EU Specialty Food Ingredients News

2019-05Outcome of the European elections โ€“ Key learnings and next steps

After 50.97% of the European voters (42.61% in 2014) went to the polls between 23rd and 26th May to elect the new Members of the European Parliament for the next five years, Strasbourg and Brussels’ hemicycles will be more fragmented than during the previous legislative term.

Indeed, although the EPP and the S&D groups remain the first and second political groups in the European Parliament, they can no longer form the “big coalition” that used to rule Parliament as they cannot reach its absolute majority (376 seats) altogether.

A third political, and some pundits even say a fourth one, will be needed to obtain a comfortable ruling majority. Being the new third strongest political group and after gaining 36 seats, ALDE seems to be a prominent partner. However, the Greens, who gained 17 additional seats should also be approached.

Finally, the massive and most-feared Eurosceptic wave did not really materialise. Indeed, one cannot deny the high scores obtained by Eurosceptic groups in Belgium, France, Italy or the United Kingdom. However, their influence in the European Parliament should be limited and will very much depend on their capacity to build a coherent and stable group together, which is quite uncertain.

Negotiations have now begun to allocate the EU top jobs: President of the Commission, Council President, Parliament President, foreign affairs chief and President of the European Central Bank. The twenty-eight heads of state of government had their first discussions over an informal dinner on 28th May and aim to have more clarity on the allocation of these posts at their next summit scheduled on 20th and 21st June. What emerged from this dinner is that the EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber’s key role in building the coalition and in accessing the presidency of the European Commission is not guaranteed and that gender balance should be a crucial criterion in the selection of happy candidates.

The new European Parliament will have its first plenary session between 2nd and 4th July in Strasbourg.

EU Specialty Food Ingredients would like to offer its congratulations to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on their election and wishes their every success in their coming work. As the voice of specialty food ingredients in Europe, our federation will be pleased to provide MEPs with science-based information and share with them the rationale behind its positions on food related topics.

Click here to check the latest provisional results of the European elections.

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