Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

European Parliament, 7th Parliamentary Term. Conference of the Presidents, EP President Martin Schulz presiding. (EP Audiovisual Services 13/03/2014)

European Parliament, 7th Parliamentary Term. Conference of the Presidents, EP President Martin Schulz presiding. (EP Audiovisual Services 13/03/2014)

Say farewell to the European Parliament you knew and be prepared to work with the new legislature to be constituted after the elections of 22-25 May. This is what the Brussels’s bureaucracy must be thinking these days. The composition of the new Parliament remains a puzzler. If the tendencies the voters have shown in national elections are to be repeated on the European level, the new house will be full of extremist and Eurosceptic MEPs.

After the last amendment of the Treaty of the European Union, the EU’s constitution has greatly upgraded the role of the Parliament and the ‘trilateral’ agreement (Parliament, Council and Commission) is a standard procedure in almost all legislative acts of the Union. Without the consent of the Parliament, the EU’s law making machine is blocked. However, the rise of Eurosceptic right-wing political parties like Nigel Farage’s UKIP in Britain, Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France and the Fidesz party of Viktor Orbán in Hungary may derail the traditional cooperative attitude of the legislature vis-à-vis the other two decision-making bodies of the EU, the Commission and the member states’ Council.

Parliamentary tradition

Tradition also has it that the major legislative initiatives are finally voted for in the Parliament with large majorities, after long negotiations with the Council and the Commission. During the ‘trilateral’ procedure, the initial texts proposed by the Commission are taking their final shape through dense deliberations between the two legislative bodies, the Parliament and the Council. However, it’s most probable the large majorities in favour of the new laws could be a thing of the past in the new Parliament.

Those large majorities were attained through the positive attitude towards the entire EU project included in the ideology and the political practice of the three major European Parliament parties, the European People’s Party, the Party of European Socialists and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The determination of those political forces to arrive at an agreement with the Council is at the heart of the overall success of the EU edifice. If those three parties appear weakened after the 22-25 May elections the large majorities will be a memory from the past.

The three major political groups

In the presently dissolving Parliament, the three major political groups number 554 MEPs in a house of 766. This is a 72% solid majority rendering the minor parties presence almost ornamental. Understandably, party discipline is not meticulously observed and there is at times national allegiance by MEPs, but overall, in major issues like the European Banking Union, the three parties proved to be the major power houses not only in Parliament but in the long and difficult negotiations with the Council of member states.

In any case, the legislative work accomplished by the present European Parliament is impressive. It has completed the final session of its seventh term, passing 70 acts. Over the past five years, Parliament adopted 970 legislative acts. The new, eighth, Parliament will be constituted on 1 July, after elections held from 22 to 25 May. Before then, a number of other events will take place.

One month to go

On 15 May, a presidential debate with the five leading candidates for the presidency of the European Commission will be held in Brussels, organized by the European Broadcasting Union (Eurovision). The debate, will last from 9 pm to 10.30 pm, and will feature Jean-Claude Juncker for the European People’s Party, Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Ska Keller for the Green Party and Alexis Tsipras for the Party of the European Left.

On 27 May, the current Conference of Presidents – the EP president and the leaders of the political groups – will convene in order to give a first assessment of the election results. EP President Martin Schulz will inform Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council President, of the Conference of Presidents’ findings. The European Council – heads of states or governments – will meet later that day and start deliberations on the person to head the new European Commission as of January 2015. Presumably, it will be one of the candidates of the three major parties, which are also expected to retain control of the new EU Parliament.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This entrepreneur is helping farmers get food to consumers during lockdown

Switzerland has the most highly skilled workers in the world. This is why

These are the countries best prepared for health emergencies

The essence of care is cosmopolitan

Call to revitalize ‘language of the ancestors’ for survival of future generations: Indigenous chief

Mental Health: Role of the individual for their well-being in the pandemic

‘Fire-fighting approach’ to humanitarian aid ‘not sustainable’: Deputy UN chief

Black babies more likely to survive when cared for by Black doctors, suggests new study

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

EU-Vietnam free trade deal gets green light in trade committee

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

UN health agency spotlights stalled effort to close health divide across Europe, in new report

IMF v Germany: Eurogroup keeps the fight under control

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

Here’s what I learned at Davos 2020

Yesterday’s “jokes” and sarcasm by Digital Single Market’s Vice President Ansip on EU member states’ right to protect their telco markets

We need to talk about integration after migration. Here are four ways we can improve it

UN human rights chief fears world has grown numb to Syrian carnage

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

Reducing disaster risk is a good investment, and ‘the right thing to do’, says Guterres

5 priorities for leaders in the new reality of COVID-19

How the United States can win back its manufacturing mojo

From low-earth orbit, ‘envoys’ of humanity join UN space forum

iSting: Change Europe with your Writing

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

This wall of shoes is for the women killed by domestic violence

Workplace risks: Final vote on protection from carcinogens, including diesel fumes

Copyright: MEPs update rules for the digital age

UN chief calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

Eurogroup asked to reduce public debts of its member states

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

I created a class to teach zero waste. It turned into so much more

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

‘Amid stormy global seas, UN charter remains our moral anchor’, says Guterres on United Nations Day

ECB’s €1.14 trillion again unifies Eurozone; Germany approves sovereign debt risks to be pooled

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

‘Our goal is to democratize the air.’ How aerial transportation will shape cities of the future

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

Israeli security forces’ response to Gaza protests ‘a recipe for more bloodshed’, says UN expert

Environmental Implementation Review: Commission helps Member States to better apply EU environment rules to protect citizens and enhance their quality of life

Yemen ceasefire deal: ‘Potential’ now to restore humanitarian lifeline to millions

AI can wreak havoc if left unchecked by humans

Celebrating Gaston Ramon – the vet who discovered vaccinology’s secret weapon

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

E-cigarettes are killing us softly with their vapor

Business is a crucial partner in solving the mental health challenge

The Ultimate Career Choice: General Practice Specialist

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

These airports are now opening their doors to non-fliers

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

There are 3 barriers blocking good menstrual hygiene for all women. Here’s how we overcome them

Denmark’s last circus elephants are retiring – here’s what might take their place

Tax havens cost governments $200 billion a year. It’s time to change the way global tax works

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s