At the PES Congress the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament submitted its activity report (PDF). It gives an interesting snapshot of how the parliamentary party views itself, as a party of opposition within the EU institutions.
The poor election results of 2009, the dominance of the EPP and Liberals in the Council and Commission, and the failure to select a candidate for the Commission within the PES have cut deeply, and seems to be the motivation behind a lot of the changes within the PES recently. The need to increase coordination between PES ministers before ministerial meetings (like the EPP and Liberals do), and to promote dialogue between national parties and national parliamentary parties to help build a workable alternative comes across very strongly in the report.
It's good to see that there is an awareness there of the challenges the PES and S&D face in order to increase their representation across the EU, and, more importantly, it's good to see that the direction is towards a more coherent party that can deliver a political alternative at elections. Easier said than done, but it's an important debate for the party and political group to have.