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Progressive governance preparatory conference

  • Date(s)
    4 April 2003
  • Location
    Warren House

Around one hundred thinkers, strategists and politicians engaged with centre-left politics from around the world gathered to discuss the key policy dilemmas facing progressives over the coming decade. The conference allowed the participants to discuss the various overlapping themes.

As the first meeting of its kind, the meeting was an important staging post in the renewal of the progressive Left since the internationally divisive effect of the US-led military intervention in Iraq.
The conference chair, Peter Mandelson, opened the conference with a call for a renewal of the Third Way:
‘The ideas of the Third Way which inspired the Blair-Clinton progressive governance network were first formulated nearly a decade ago at a time of political and economic optimism. Since then, the world has moved on. So must the progressive Left’.

Progressive lessons

Patricia Hewitt, the British Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, called for closer attention to local politics, and stressed that communities must be given control over their public services.      
Wouter Bos, the leader of the Dutch PvDA underlined that social democrats are judged on what we do today, not what we did in the past – however great our achievements.

Working groups

Over the weekend, the working groups got down to business. Each session began with a presentation of papers on each of the policy areas, by each respective author. Discussion followed under the chair of Anthony Giddens (then Director of the LSE), Peter Mandelson, and Par Nuder (Swedish Minister of State for Policy Coordination). By the close of the weekend, ideas for discussion at the Progressive Governance Conference began to take shape.

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