Teresa Ribera will lead the Spanish Socialists’ list for the European Parliament elections in June. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Green Deal champion Ribera to lead Spanish Socialists in the EP


Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera, a staunch champion of the European Green Deal, will be the new leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) in the European Parliament.

In an April 24 communiqué, the PSOE confirmed rumours that Ribera will lead the Socialists’ list for the European Parliament elections in June.

“We want a more just, social, ‘green’ and feminist Europe,” Ribera said after the announcement.

Ribera, who also serves as Spain’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, added that she was “honoured to follow in the footsteps of Josep Borrell,” the current Spanish Vice President of the European Commission and High-Representative of Foreign Affairs.

Borrell ran as lead candidate on the PSOE’s list in the 2019 EP elections.

The decision to enlist Ribera will be officially sanctioned on April 27 during a meeting of the PSOE’s Federal Committee.

According to the PSOE, with her leading the list, “the Spanish Socialists ratify their bet to lead the energy transition in Europe”.

Known for her technocratic approach, Ribera could also be Spain’s candidate for European Commissioner and manage one of the climate-related portfolios.

A close and trusted supporter of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, she has been at the forefront of domestic politics since 2018 when Sánchez established an acting Government after defeating former prime minister Mariano Rajoy in a vote of no-confidence.

Ribera was also one of the architects of the so called “Iberian Exception”, a measure that capped prices of natural gas and allowed Spanish and Portuguese businesses and households to enjoy lower electricity costs.

In 2020, Sánchez assigned her the leadership of the inter-ministerial “de-escalation” strategy to gradually relax the Covid isolation measures and co-ordinate Spain’s recovery plan after the pandemic.

Prior to that, Ribera served as an MP in the Spanish Parliament and as Deputy Minister of Climate Change and Biodiversity during the government of former prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The PSOE noted that Ribera was one of the key players for this April’s adoption of the European Union’s electricity-market reform, which she lobbied for heavily during Spain’s six-month presidency of the Council of the EU to December 31 last year.

In addition, during that period, the European Council and Parliament reached an “indispensable” agreement that led to the February 2024 adoption of the Nature Restoration Law, “the first of its kind”, according to Ribera.

Despite that, the implementation of the Nature Restoration Law is uncertain as current Council of the EU President Belgium is allegedly looking to torpedo its final approval.