EU elections: A message from the Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe

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The 2019 European Parliamentary elections have been marked by the highest turnout of voters in the last 20 years and by an ever more fragmented political landscape, not only between the different Member States but also in the European Parliament itself.

The two main political groups, the Socialists & Democrats and the European People’s Party have seen their influence largely reduced, losing their combined majority in the European Parliament. Other political forces such as the Liberals (which will likely include French President Macron’s candidates), the Greens and Eurosceptics parties have gained a great number of seats. In that sense, Liberals and Greens will be instrumental in building a majority coalition in the new European Parliament.

The fragmented outcome of the elections will also have an impact on the negotiations to fill the EU’s top jobs, including the presidencies of the European Commission, the Council and Parliament as well as the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Negotiations are therefore expected to be particularly difficult. Moreover, this will also have direct consequences for majority building in the European Parliament on specific policy files.

Most pro-EU parties have pledged, in their EU elections Manifesto, to continue to work to make the EU more competitive, innovative and capable to project its rules beyond its borders, and we are also welcoming back certain “tech-savvy” MEPs and (soon-to-be) former Commissioners on the benches of the European Parliament. Consequently, the European Parliament could be a driving force on digital issues if majorities are built efficiently.

Eurosceptic forces could bring more complications on future negotiations in the Parliament on tech issues, for instance on content regulation and privacy, and jeopardize the further harmonization of the Single Market. Even though the rise of Eurosceptic forces has been weaker than anticipated, pro-European political parties need to come together and create a stable majority in order to continue building on the progress the European Union has made until now. There is still a great deal of challenges ahead of us to create a level playing field for companies in the EU and globally.

Ecommerce Europe laid down the key recommendations from the e-commerce sector in a Manifesto directed at new policymakers, which we warmly congratulate on their election. We look forward to a fruitful cooperation with all newly-elected Members of the European Parliament.

Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe

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