Having interviewed numerous applicants, the Executive Committee of the SP is ready to present its recommended list for the European Parliamentary elections on 4th June to the party's membership for consideration. Their choice to lead the list is 53-year-old Dennis de Jong from Rotterdam, a member of the Rotterdam SP branch executive and an activist on such international affairs as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. The list will now be put to the Party Council on 21st February. Made up of the Chairs of each SP branch and the members of the much smaller Executive Committee, the Council is the party's highest governing body after the national conference. The Council will also debate, and amend or simply approve, the SP European election manifesto. “The SP will be aiming in these elections to double our present tally of two seats,” says General Secretary Hans van Heijningen. “The list is nicely balanced between young people and those with more experience and will ensure that we will make our voice heard in Brussels for socially progressive policies.” Current SP European Parliamentary Group leader Erik Meijer is to stand down at the age of 64 after ten years representing the party in Brussels and Strasbourg. “The SP is grateful to Erik for his pioneering work in the European Parliament, where he was our first member. He has laid a basis on which a renewed and dynamic team can build,” said Van Heijningen.