“On immigration policy, social democrats in Denmark are to the right of many centrist parties,’’ Mr. Cohn-Bendit said, referring to a series of hard-line immigration measures adopted by Denmark’s Social Democrats.
Following years of a rise in right-wing parties, social democrats now lead governments in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, and are poised to do so in Norway. But their hold on power is far more tenuous than in the past.
In Norway, the Labor Party, led by Jonas Gahr Stoere, came in first in last month’s parliamentary election, but won only a little over a quarter of the total seats, one of the party’s lowest scores on record. After talks to form a broad center-left coalition failed in recent days, Mr. Stoere is now expected to become prime minister of a minority government.
“There isn’t a new definition yet of what social democracy could be in today’s world,’’ Mr. Cohn-Bendit said.
Mr. Stetter said he, too, was skeptical of a broad revival of social democracy. Over the past decade, social democrats had worked unsuccessfully for a revival under the banner of the “Next Left,’’ he said.
Still, Mr. Stetter said he hoped that last Sunday’s election results in Germany could presage positive developments for social democrats in Europe.
“If Scholz succeeds in forming a government as a social democratic chancellor, there would be a dynamic force at the heart of Europe, and that could give energy to the French Socialist Party in the campaign period before the presidential elections in April,’’ Mr. Stetter. “We have to remain optimistic.’’