Epinay Congress

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The Epinay Congress was the third national congress of the French Socialist Party (Parti socialiste or PS), which took place on 11, 12 and 13 June 1971, in the town of Épinay-sur-Seine, in the northern suburbs of Paris. During this congress, not only did the party admit the Convention of Republican Institutions (Convention des institutions républicaines or CIR, a federation of left-wing republican groups led by François Mitterrand) into its ranks, but the party leadership was also won by Mitterrand and his supporters. For the observers and the French Socialists themselves, the Epinay Congress was the real founding act of the current PS. It was also the turning point in Mitterrand's grand political plan, which led to the ascendancy of the French Left over the next quarter-century, and eventually, in 1981, to Mitterrand's election to the Presidency of France for two consecutive 7-year terms.

After the catastrophic results of the 1968 legislative election and of the 1969 presidential election, the secretary general of the French Section of the Workers' International (socialist party, SFIO) Guy Mollet resigned. The party merged with several centre-left clubs. The leader of one of these groups, Alain Savary, was elected first secretary of the new Socialist Party (PS).

Supported by Mollet's circle, he tried to convince the internal opponents of his will of change. However, these opponents were themselves divided about the strategy of the party. The right-wing, led by Pierre......
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