Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

To celebrate Europe Day in the weeks leading up to the European elections, the EU institutions opened their doors to the public in Brussels. Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other events to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU. (EC Audiovisual Services).

To celebrate Europe Day in the weeks leading up to the European elections, the EU institutions opened their doors to the public in Brussels. Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other events to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Today, Monday 26 May, the morrow of the EU elections, Eurosceptic and extremist newcomers in the European Parliament finally won’t be able to turn the European Union into a different and worse place. At the time when those lines were being typed, reliable result albeit partial, had already confirmed that Eurosceptic and extreme right parties were getting around one quarter of the EU Parliament seats, but the four solidly pro-EU political groups that is the European Peoples Party (EEP), the center-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the centrist Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the ecology group Greens-European Free Alliance (G/EFA) had secured around 70% of the votes electing an equal percentage of deputies in a house of 751.

Juncker won the race

The EPP retained its lead as the main political force of the European Parliament, despite heavy losses. Actually the EPP is thought to have gained 211 seats in the new Parliament in relation to 274 in the just dissolved House. The S&D comes second with 25.8% and 193 seats that is two less than in the previous parliament. In short, the leading political forces of Europe, which together guarantee the functioning of the European democratic system and social model, didn’t suffer the much feared degradation. This means that Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP candidate, will be the next President of the European Commission.

In Germany the Social Democrats, a solid member of the S&D group of the European Parliament, are thought to have made a better showing than in the September 2013 national elections, with 27,5% of the German votes, in a larger than in 2009 turn-out of around 48 %. The Christian Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel lost some ground. This increased the chances of Martin Schulz, the S&D candidate for EU Commission President, but proved not enough to contest Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the favourite of the race. At the end Juncker won the race and is to get the top EU job.

Actually yesterday only 21 EU countries held elections to choose their MEPs. The rest seven member states have already held the election during this past week, including the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia and Malta.

Accidents do happen

However, yesterday’s vote had its accidents too, with the most regrettable one being the win of Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France with 25% of the vote. The governing Socialist party of President Francois Hollande ended third with 15% and the center right party of UMP second with 20.3%. As for the other important Eurosceptic political formation, Nigel Farage’s UKIP, a BBC analyst “suggests that the party UKIP did somewhat less well than in 2013 local elections”. In the European Parliament UKIP will elect one quarter of the British MEPs. Due to the electoral system of Britain though for the national Parliament (winner takes the seat in all single candidate constituencies) UKIP could barely gain two MPs. In Germany also for the first time a Eurosceptic party, the AfD with 6.5%, will elect deputies in the European Parliament.

Turning to the crisis hit countries, the governing parties in Greece and Ireland have sustained heavy losses. The Greek major opposition political party, the left wing Syriza, gained the first place with 26.7% while the governing Center-right New Democracy got only 22.8%. In Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny recognized that his governing coalition with Labour suffered heavy losses, due to the three year austerity policies followed by his government.

Undoubtedly the EU didn’t suffer the political accident that many had predicted. The solid majority of the four pro-EU political groups is a guarantee for the European project.

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