The Road to EP2024

And it’s lift-off! In the coming year and a half, I will be using this space to report on the European Elections. If you think it is too soon. Think again! We have no time man! The elections are just around the corner. This time, a look on te polls, what will Timmermans do and some words and the first gossips about the Spitzenkandidaten.

The Center will Hold 

There is this cool site called the European Election Project where they keep track of what the outcome of the elections would be if they would be held now. How come I didn’t learn about this project sooner? They really are doing my homework 🙂  Every month they analyse what the outcome would be if the European elections were held now. For example, in December 2022, we would see all the traditional parties in DIRE STRAITS. However, a critical note from my side is that these projections don’t factor in the fact that there are fewer seats in the current parliament than in the last term due to Brexit (751 versus 705). If you compare percentages of the total of seats, you will get the following

  • EPP 24% in 2019 and 23% in the December 2022 poll.
  • S&D 21% & in 2019 and  20% in the December projections.
  • Renew 14% in the 2019 elections and it remains 14% in the December poll.
  • Big winners are GUE and the ECR.

So if you factor in the reduction of seats caused by Brexit, the losses are actually minimal. What is even more. Together they (EPP/S&D/Renew) would command a comfortable 400-seat majority. This all makes us believe that the Center will hold the next elections. The only thing to watch out for is that the winners

But please mind that polls are ….well nothing but polls of course.

Spitzenkandidaten: Will the Greens support Timmermans? 

Last week there was a joint election kick-off by the Dutch Socialists (PvdA) and the Dutch Greens (GroenLinks). No – not for the European Elections but for the regional (Provincial) elections in the Netherlands. What does this have to do with the EP2024? Well, I am wondering if the local cosying-up by the Socialists and the Greens could be replicated on the European level. Not in the least bit because it would tip the odds in favor of Timmermans as Commission president. In the Netherlands, the Greens and Socialists are all but merging together. While it might go too far to merge the Greens and the S&D on the European level, it would be enough to have one Spitzenkandidat.

Another gossip that is making waves is that the S&D in the European Parliament is pushing for Finish MP Sanna Marin as European Commission president. A lot will depend however on the Finnish elections of 2 April. ; If Sanna Marin, does well, will Brussels be interesting enough? If she does poorly, Brussels might be interesting, but she might not have the backing of her own government. What a dilemma! And then there is of course the elephant in the room; What will Timmermans do?

For more speculations on the Spitzenkandidaten. The European Föderilist did this gossip exercise already a year ago. 

What others are reporting 

The European Parliament Research Service just published 10 things to watch heading towards the European Elections. 

Weber is cosying up to Meloni. The leaders met in Rome to discuss working together heading toward EP2024. Euractiv has more on this.