The outgoing leader of the second largest group in the European Parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Udo Bullmann, announced on 17 June that he has dropped out of the group presidency race.
In a letter to his fellow MEPs, Bullmann said he would step aside to clear the way for Spanish MEP Iratxe García who is his most likely successor, to run as the party’s leader. the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) suffered major losses during last month’s European elections.
Bullmann suggested in his letter that under his leadership, the S&D “proved the doomsayers wrong”, adding that since his election as the new group’s leader nearly 14 months ago, he was able to turn the party’s focus to “re-invigorate European Social Democracy with a new vision and new ideas, and to forge alliances capable of pushing through much needed progressive policies.”He also said the European Social Democrats have been able to stage a major come back as the second largest group and the strongest progressive force in the parliament.

Fullscreen Mode
“Our Battle Plan, the Progressive Society initiative and in particular the Sustainable Equality report were – and are – a clear signal that not only do we want a radical change in Europe, but we have a set of credible and fundamental proposals for making it happen,” the outgoing leader adds.
Hinting that Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez can’t wait to make his presence felt in Brussels, Bullmann’s decision gives the impression that the S&D is planning to further align itself behind Spain’s leadership after Sánchez’s Socialists secured a second landslide victory in a matter of months.
In his letter, Bullmann urged his party members to continue pushing for a visionary platform, saying
“internationalism must become an even stronger lighthouse for our actions, no matter where we sit”.