Monday

13th Jul 2020

EUobserved

Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection

  • The Greens are projected to get 71 seats, up from 52 in 2014 (Photo: EUobserver)

The Greens are already celebrating. In a packed conference room above the European Parliament's hemicycle, Green supporters and staff were Sunday night (May 26) preparing for major gains in Germany and elsewhere.

According to the first official European Parliament projection, they are set to become the fourth-largest biggest group in the plenary with 70 seats, up from 52.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"When Finland says we go from one to two, that is a doubling, when Germany says we go from 11 to 22, it is a doubling as well," Philippe Lamberts, a leading Belgian Green MEP in the previous EU parliament, told Euobserver.

So far, the Greens are also likely to get MEPs from Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

As of writing, results have yet to come in from Belgium, where the right-wing nationalist party Vlaams Belang scored big in the federal elections.

The Flemish party is set to become the second largest in the region, behind the right-wing separatist party known as the N-VA.

"You see one of the richest areas of Europe voting for people who are basically saying we are going to do everything it takes to preserve our wealth and let the others die, that is the really the attitude they have," reacted Lamberts to news of the Vlaams Belang and N-VA projection in his own country of Belgium.

The Belgian federal election gains points to wider projections that European nationalists and populists are set for big wins as well.

EPP and S&D gloomier

Meanwhile, the jubilant mood among the Greens was lacking among the socialists (S&D) and the centre-right European People's Party (EPP).

Both groups are set to shed seats the European level, stripping them of a two-party rule they enjoyed for decades.

Inside the socialist S&D base camp inside the EP building in Brussels, small groups of people were eating finger food in relative silence.

At the EPP, the doors are closed off to journalists. But a window portal showed small groups huddled around computers.

Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'

Following an investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament recommended a single commissioner should be responsible for both air quality and setting industrial standards. But only the Greens want to commit to carry out that advice.

Schinas spars with MEPs over migration job title

A number of MEPs pressed Margaritis Schinas to drop the "Protecting the European Way of Life" title of his portfolio, which deals with migration. But Schinas refused, claiming it needs protecting from terrorists and populists. He failed to convince.

Poland's 'vague' nominee flops in EU hearing

Poland's nominee for agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, is likely to face a second hearing after MEPs from top political groups lambasted his "vague" performance on Tuesday.

News in Brief

  1. Croatia opens for US tourists, defying EU ban
  2. Poll: only 61% of Germans would get Covid-19 vaccine
  3. UK to spend €788m on new UK-EU border control system
  4. Berlin wants first use of EU cyber sanctions on Russia
  5. Erdogan warns neighbours over hydrocarbon reserves
  6. Bulgaria: political crisis amid anti-corruption protests
  7. Pope and Turkish-German leader join Hagia Sophia protest
  8. France and UK create joint migrant intelligence unit

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Poland's EU-battles to continue as Duda wins tight vote
  2. EU 'in-person' summit plus key data privacy ruling This WEEK
  3. Let's have positive discrimination for EU stagiaires
  4. We need to do more for our small and medium-sized enterprises
  5. Romania's virus surge prompts queues and new worries
  6. Michel lays out compromise budget plan for summit
  7. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  8. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us