Wednesday

26th Jun 2019

'Pan-European' Volt and DieM25 manage one MEP each

  • Volt Europe campaigning in the Netherlands, where it received 1.9 percent of the votes - not enough for a seat there. But the German Volt MEP managed to get elected. (Photo: Peter Teffer)

Two new pan-European movements managed to be elected to the European Parliament on Sunday (26 May) - but, ironically, with only one MEP each.

The new pro-EU Volt Europe party participated in eight EU countries on the same political platform.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Yanis Varoufakis received only 0.3 percent of the votes in Germany, not enough for a seat (Photo: Aleksandra Eriksson)

Volt wants "a strong political [European] Union" and a "truly progressive Union".

The idea was that if elected in all countries, it would be able to form a political group in the EU parliament that was united on all issues.

Now, national parties sit together in political groups that do not always agree amongst themselves.

Volt managed to enter the EU parliament at its first attempt - but with only one MEP.

That newcomer received 0.7 percent of the vote in Germany, which was enough for one seat - because Germany elects the most MEPs of all EU states, 96.

Volt MEP-elect Damian Boeselager, born in 1988, said on Monday that the day before had been "the most exciting day of my life".

While the party also received 2.1 percent of the votes in Luxembourg, and 1.9 percent of the votes in the Netherlands, those countries have far fewer seats up for grabs.

Varoufakis flops

Also in Germany, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis failed to become elected as an MEP.

Varoufakis had launched the far-left pan-European Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DieM25) in 2016.

DieM25, also called European Spring, participated in eight EU member states.

The movement campaigned for a "post-capitalist economic and social model" and democratisation of the EU.

German voters, however, gave DieM25 only 0.3 percent of their votes. Varoufakis may not mind, if he spoke the truth when he gave an interview to Sueddeutsche Zeitung days before the election.

"I do not want to go to the European Parliament," Varoufakis told the German newspaper. "I just want to debate and for that I use the election campaign."

However, in his native Greece, DieM25 did win a seat, by securing three percent of the vote.

The Greek party is called MeRA25, for European Realistic Disobedience Front.

The DieM25-associated party in Denmark, Alternativet, did even better with 3.4 percent of the Danish votes - yet that was not enough to win a seat.

The movement's French division, Generation S, remained below the five-percent threshold with 3.3 percent of the French votes.

The result is therefore that both Volt and DieM25 will be represented in Brussels and Strasbourg - but without any friends from other member states.

The difficulty for the pan-European movements operating in the current system is that votes are lost if they fail to reach a national threshold.

Last year, EU leaders shelved an idea to have transnational lists.

The idea would have meant that EU citizens would have been able to vote for candidates from all over Europe, and not just in their own member state.

French president Emmanuel Macron was a supporter of the idea, but the European People's Party effectively killed it.

More Pirates

For the third time in a row, another pan-European movement showed it had staying power.

The Pirates will return to the European Parliament, bigger than ever.

The Czech Pirate Party came third, with 14 percent of the votes, gaining three seats.

German voters also voted the Pirate Party back in - during the last parliament, Germany's Julia Reda had been the only Pirate in the EP.

They also did well in other countries, with 7.7 percent of the Luxembourgish votes - although that was not enough for a seat.

It is the first time that Pirates from more than one country will sit as MEPs. In 2009, two Pirate MEPs were elected in Sweden. In the 2014 election, when Reda was elected, the Swedes were not.

With four Pirate MEPs, it is also the largest contingent of the movement, which aims to defend internet freedoms and direct democracy.

EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'

The 'Brussels bubble' ideas for transnational electoral lists was put on ice at the summit, while Jean-Claude Juncker's idea for an EU 'super president' was also rejected. The 'Spitzenkandidat' proposal backed by the European parliament also suffered a rebuff.

German Pirate MEP kicks off EU copyright debate

The European Parliament is gearing up for what is expected to be a tough fight on reforming the EU's fragmented copyright rules. A German Pirate MEP is leading the way.

Analysis

Key takeaways from the European elections

European voters upset the status quo in the new European Parliament, breaking the monopoly of the mainstream centre-right and centre-left. Here are the key points from the 2019 vote.

EP parties planning 'coalition agenda' ahead of jobs summit

Political bosses of the European Parliament's groups, hoping to assemble a majority coalition, are eyeing putting forward an political agenda - and possibly a name for the commission top job - before EU leaders gather in Brussels.

News in Brief

  1. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  2. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'
  3. Share trading ban looms as Swiss row with EU escalates
  4. Cooperation needed on Brexit, says Johnson
  5. Europe hit by record breaking June heat wave
  6. Liberal split complicates talks on new Spanish government
  7. Italy unravels massive European VAT carousel fraud
  8. Venezuelans cause spike in EU asylum bids

Spanish socialist leader strengthened by EU vote

The Spanish social democrats becomes the biggest national group among the European socialists, after winning the Spanish European election - which also sees a Catalan separatist in jail elected as MEP.

EP parties planning 'coalition agenda' ahead of jobs summit

Political bosses of the European Parliament's groups, hoping to assemble a majority coalition, are eyeing putting forward an political agenda - and possibly a name for the commission top job - before EU leaders gather in Brussels.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  4. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  6. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  7. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  8. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  9. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

Latest News

  1. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  2. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  3. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  4. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  5. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  6. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  7. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says
  8. Babis unmoved by EU scam allegations

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  2. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  3. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  6. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  11. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  12. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us