26th May 2014

Politics: Elections are over, tough times ahead for the EP

On Sunday 25 May at 23:00, the last ballot room closed in Italy and the much anticipated preliminary results of the EP elections were published. According to the still unofficial results, the biggest group in the new European Parliament will be again the center-right European People´s Party which won some 213 seats. The second place goes to the social democratic Socialists and Democrats and the liberals from ALDE scored third. However, the expected strengthening of eurosceptic and openly anti-EU parties took place and many of the more than 60 newly-elected MEPs who did not possess a seat in the outgoing EP are their contribution. Such parties won in France and in the UK, gained strongly in Italy, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and made their way to the Parliament also in Hungary, Sweden and Germany. Although this trend seems not to be disastrous for the EP – the strongly pro-EU parties of EPP, S&D and ALDE form a relatively large majority, eurosceptic, anti-EU and openly anti-establishment parties will be better heard from Strassbourg and, not least, will be funded by the EU budget. This will, however, happen only if they manage to form a political group, for which at least 25 MEPs from at least 7 Member States are necessary and although the victory of Marine Le Pen in France and of Nigel Farage in the UK could suggest this could be an easy task, deep differences exist between these and other eurosceptic parties. Analysts agree that the following weeks will be very interesting in terms of political negotiations on the formation of structures of the new European Parliament, but also concerning the look for the new Commission president.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic