Elections 2024: The key players in PS

With the June elections on the horizon, Belga looks at the key political figures from each party.

The Parti Socialiste (PS) is a centre-left political party advocating for social democracy, emphasising the importance of social justice, economic equality, and robust public welfare systems. The party supports free public schools and transport, taxing the ultra-rich and multinationals, decriminalising cannabis and extensive social services to reduce poverty and inequality. Additionally, PS is committed to environmental sustainability and often pushes for policies that promote green energy and environmental protection. Vooruit is the party's Flemish counterpart.​

Paul Magnette

Paul Magnette, leader of PS is known for his academic background and expertise in EU constitutional law. He gained international attention for his staunch opposition to the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, positioning himself as a defender of stringent legal and environmental standards​.

Domestically, Magnette's leadership has been marked by his efforts to address Wallonia's economic challenges, including managing the fallout from major industrial closures​.

As the 2024 elections approach, Magnette has expressed his ambition to become Belgium's next prime minister, advocating for a progressive coalition while firmly opposing alliances with the right wing.

Rudi Vervoort

Rudi Vervoort is a member of PS and the minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region. Supporters appreciate his firm stance on improving public safety and his efforts to secure more resources for law enforcement to combat rising crime and drug trafficking in Brussels​​. His commitment to addressing social housing shortages and enhancing living conditions in the region is also noted positively, as evidenced by his efforts to deploy an Emergency Plan for Social Housing​.

However, Vervoort faced criticism regarding the effectiveness and implementation of some policies. Concerns about slow progress in tackling the housing crisis and issues related to the management of public funds have been raised. He also faced criticism in February when nearly 40 neighbourhood associations and neighbourhood committees in Brussels ​requested an immediate solution to drug violence in an open letter. They accused local, regional and federal politicians of political procrastination on the issue.

Additionally, his call for stronger federal support and better recognition of Brussels as a unique region sometimes leads to political tensions with other Belgian entities​.

Maria Arena

As a member of PS and a member of the European Parliament (MEP), Marie Arena is respected for her strong advocacy for social justice, gender equality and labour rights. Her work within the European Parliament, particularly on issues related to human rights and social welfare, has garnered positive attention. However, her reputation has been marred by controversy, including her involvement in the "Qatargate" scandal, which led to criticism and calls for her resignation from various quarters​​.

With the elections for the federal, regional and European parliaments on 9 June, Belga English is publishing a series of articles about politicians, political parties and which issues they stand for.

#FlandersNewsService | PS members Paul Magnette, Elio Di Rupo, Marie Arena and Jean Pascal Labille ​

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