With less than two months to go before the EU elections of May 22-25, the European Parliament published on 24 March, its latest projections of the seat allocation after the elections.
Accordingly, the S&D group is expected to grow to 204 Members (growing from the current 195 Members). The EPP group is predicted to receive 29.16% of the votes – 219 seats – a drop from the 274 seats it currently holds.
Both the ALDE Group and the Greens will be losing seats (ALDE are expected to drop to 61 seats from their current 84 and the Greens to 45 seats from currently 58).
While this forecast is good news for the S&D group, a common concern derives from the prediction that “other”, (referring to the parties whose affiliation has yet to be determined), are predicted to obtain almost 9% of the votes, translating into 67 seats.
The “other” category can include Marine Le Pen’s “Front National”, who already registered major success in the French local elections of 21-23 March; Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in the Netherlands; Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party, Timo Soini’s True Finn’s party and Udo Voigt’s Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (National Democratic Party of Germany).
How will that shape the European Parliament? The answer is unknown but the question is on everyone’s mind.
However, before sinking into despair it is important to remember that even with the relative drop in seats of the main parties, a coalition of the pro-European parties is still feasible.
Moreover, in-line with the EU Treaties the next Commission President should represent the outcome of the EU elections. In that case we are safe to assume that the next President will either be the EPP candidate Jean Claude Junker, or the Socialist candidate Martin Schulz.
Also the posts of the President of the European Council, the High Representative/VP and the EP president, which are equally important, are likely to be led by pro-EU leaders.
Lastly, while the nationalist, far right groups are united by their Euroscepticism, other ideological differences stand between them (views on capitalism, immigration, traditional values etc); these could potentially lessen their ability to affectively block pro-EU legislation.
Hope is still alive, and kicking!
Greetings from the European Parliament,
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg
Link to the latest projections of seats in the Parliament: