Saturday

6th Jun 2020

Liberals and centre-right unite in EU parliament

  • EPP candidate Antonio Tajani is now backed by the liberals in hos bid for the EU parliament's presidency (Photo: EPP)

The European Parliament's centre-right and liberal groups reached a last-minute deal on Tuesday (17 January) to back centre-right EPP candidate Antonio Tajani as the assembly's next president.

Under the deal, which was reached minutes before the first round of the vote began, the liberal candidate Guy Verhofstadt withdrew his candidacy in exchange for top posts for his Alde group.

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

According to sources, Alde will be given another vice-presidency post in addition to the two it already holds, as well as a more influence in the conference of committee chairs, the body that coordinates the work of the parliament's committees.

The EPP and Alde groups also formed a "pro-European coalition", to which they invited others to join.

"Europe is in crisis. Nationalists and populists of all boards try to destroy the union from within and from outside. A pro-European coalition is needed to withstand this attempt," the two groups said in a statement.

"The EPP and Alde - beyond their ideological differences - have decided to work closely together and to offer a common platform as a starting point for this pro-European cooperation."

They said they would propose an "inter-institutional reflection" on the future of the EU, including the possibility of launching a convention to prepare a new EU treaty, a long-time Verhofstadt demand.  

The EU parliament's president will be elected in a secret ballot, leaving MEPs leeway to vote against the group line. But in theory, Tajani could count on 217 votes from his centre-right EPP, as well as 68 liberal votes.

He needs 376 votes to secure the presidency, and could draw the rest from the conservative ECR group.

The EPP has been trying to rally support for its candidate to avoid another candidate winning with the votes of far-right and eurosceptic MEPs.

The article mistated the number of votes needed to secure the presidency. The absolute majority is 376, not 368.

EU Commission aspires for treaty change on health

The European Commission has proposed a €9.4bn stand-alone programme dedicated to health known as EU4Health. The proposal is touted as a first step towards a possible Treaty change when it comes to health.

Exclusive

Lobbyist register to be tightened after Monsanto case

The EU's joint-transparency register lists thousands of lobbyists and what they spend or earn trying to shape EU legislation. New and clearer rules set for launch at the end of the year may lead to more realistic figures.

News in Brief

  1. Poland accused of 'blatant violation' of EU court injunction
  2. EU concerned by US approach to Kosovo and Serbia
  3. City morgues cast doubt on Putin's virus data
  4. ECB increases pandemic stimulus to €1.35 trillion
  5. New EU cloud computing platform 'moonshot'
  6. City of Berlin passes anti-discrimination law
  7. Iran hits record corona cases in second wave
  8. EU job losses tell tale of pandemic damage

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  3. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  5. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition

Latest News

  1. EU warns UK to abide by Brexit political declaration
  2. Internal EU borders open by 15 June - bar V4, Portugal, Spain
  3. CAP 'failed to halt biodiversity loss', auditors find
  4. After Covid-19, deserted Venice struggles to survive
  5. Commission plans strategy to 'maximise' vaccine access
  6. How spies use women to steal EU secrets
  7. Hong Kong - when the Chinese Dream became a nightmare
  8. Right of reply: Letter from the Hungarian government

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us