The good news first: these elections saw the highest voter turnout in 20 years. With interesting results: for the very first time, the two leading parties EPP and S&D have not attained a majority of seats together, meaning that majorities must now be gained with a broader coalition. The Liberals and the Greens, who gained significantly, are well aware of that fact and, for a start, want a say in the European Commission President nomination. Negotiations will hence become more difficult, but results hopefully more inclusive in this Parliament.
The bad news as expected: extremist and small specialist parties have also gained a significant number of seats. Marine Le Pen’s far-right RN came out on first place in France – never mind her 300 000 Euro of misused funds during the last legislative period. The Austrian FPÖ gained 17% of votes despite the recent Ibiza scandal that brought down the Austrian government. Overall, nationalist parties took 115 seats. As already in the last legislative period, these MEPs will directly and also indirectly influence the way all political groups act in the hunt for sufficient majorities – possibly more populist than ever, possibly forging new coalitions that grow strong over the need to counter populist voices. Let us hope for the latter.
These elections also had a significantly stronger impact on national politics than ever. The prudently timed Ibiza video in Austria made a head start, bringing down the entire Austrian government, resulting in the appointment of the first-ever Austrian female chancellor and an interesting expert cabinet of ministers. The Italian Prime Minister threatens to quit over increased quarrels between the government’s coalition partners. Party chiefs of the German social democrats and the French conservatives stepped down in the wake of their parties’ devastating losses. Less to do with the elections and more with home-grown scandals is the current situation in Romania: Liviu Dragnea, PSD party (and de facto government) leader, was jailed for corruption, which is possibly paving the way for change.
More is yet to come once the electoral smoke has cleared – all national parties and the European party groups are still counting their blessings and licking their wounds.Meanwhile, you may want to watch at least a few games of the Women’s World Championships starting on 7 June, which have, as usual, come up almost unnoticed. Whilst the athletes are used to such ignorance, the German ladies are taking it with irony and demonstrate that Germans can indeed be funny.
No matter if it is about gender (in)equality, corruption, populism or other topics that trigger your interest to make an impact: this is a good time for adding your bit to the course of politics. Find attached some jobs and as usual more on politjobs.eu!
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- European Commission seeks Directorate-General for Trade
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- Kreab seeks Consultant EU Digital Policy
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