The European Parliamentary elections were held across 28 Member States on 22-25 May 2014. The run up to the elections was topic of many discussions, as many predicted a land-slide victory for Eurosceptic parties. However in general, the division of power staid more or less the same as before – no great fireworks.
This is not to say that Eurosceptic parties did not win – parties such as the Front National and UKIP became the largest parties in France and the UK respectively. The Dutch Freedom Party lost a seat, contrary to the expectations. The German AfD, the only German Eurosceptic party, gained seven seats. It was nevertheless still the European People’s Party who stayed the largest, followed by the Socialists and Democrats, then followed on an enormous distance by ALDE.
The prospected impact for policy making with this outcome is negligible. Although Eurosceptic parties are not famous for their cooperation and open ears to stakeholders, they do not have that much to say. What will cause more headache is who will become the next President of the European Commission. EU Heads of State met in Brussels on May 27th to share their analyses on the outcome of the elections.
The Lisbon Treaty states that the European Parliament should have some say in the appointment of the next President, but since this is the first time in history, it is unclear what that exactly means. If the EP would have a say, Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP) would be the most logical successor the President Barosso. However, certain European leaders have already uttered their concerns with the appointment of Mr. Juncker, who is to pro-European as he has a past as leader of the Eurogroup – so goes the argument of UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Thus in the coming time it will be gossiping who will succeed Barosso – Christine Lagarde of the IMF, current President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem or the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk perhaps?
Nobody knows, and negotiations are under way. President of the Council Herman Van Rompuy was assigned with the task to explore who could take the place of Commission President.