Saturday

20th Aug 2022

Boost for Right in post-Brexit EU parliament

The composition of the European Parliament will tilt towards the right as the centre-right European People's Party and the far-right Identity and Democracy will gain seats in the post-Brexit assembly.

Meanwhile, the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), the liberal Renew Europe, and the Greens will lose a total of 24 seats.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

As UK MEPs leave at the end of January, 73 seats will be up for grabs: 27 of those seats will be re-distributed among 14 member states.

The new assembly will have an overall total of 705 MEPs (with one Catalan MEP not having yet taken his seat).

The remaining 46 seats will be available for potential EU enlargements and for any possible future creation of a transnational lists.

Based on a decision back in 2018 on how to redistribute the seats, taking into account member states' populations, France and Spain gain five seats, Italy and the Netherlands get three, Ireland will have two more MEPs, and Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Croatia, Estonia, Poland and Romania will have one extra each from 1 February.

In 10 countries, new MEPs have already been formally elected, but not yet designated. In Spain, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark only the lists from which the additional members will come have been officially announced, and their EP party-affiliation confirmed.

According to figures published by the European parliament's think tank on Tuesday (14 January), and based on information gathered from parliamentary groups, the ID will overtake the Greens as the fourth-largest group in the European parliament.

And the European People's Party (EPP) will gain five seats, with MEPs from Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Slovakia.

The centre-right group is already the largest in the parliament, and will now surge to a total of 187 seats.

The S&D will in total lose six MEPs as key British Labour party deputies leave, but will be joined by four new MEPs from Spain, France, Romania and Croatia. They will have a new total of 148 seats.

The liberal Renew Europe group will haemorrhage 17 seats as UK's Liberal Democrats leave - but will gain six MEPs from Denmark, Ireland, Spain, France and the Netherlands.

The far-right ID will become the fourth-largest group. They did not have any UK MEPs, but will receive three more seats from France, Italy and the Netherlands, increasing their overall number to 76.

The Greens, in sinking to the fifth-largest group in the parliament with 68 seats (with one MEP being unable to take up his seat), lose 11 MEPs but gain four from France, Finland, Austria and Sweden.

The European Conservatives and Reformists, which has been the home for the UK Conservatives and recently some Brexit Party MEPs, will lose seven seats and gain three, according to the parliament's unofficial projection.

New MEPs will come from Spain, Italy and Poland.

According to a parliament source, it remains to be seen if the new Dutch MEP from the Forum von Democratie will join the ECR, which the right-wing populist party has been aligned with in the EU since it first entered the European parliament last year.

The radical left of European United Left/Nordic Green Left will lose one seat with the departure of a Sinn Fein MEP from Northern Ireland.

The non-attached members will lose 27 colleagues from the short-lived Brexit Party of Nigel Farage.

But this slight tilt toward the right does not mean a significant increase for eurosceptic forces.

The EPP and S&D and Renew total decreases from 444 to 432 seats.

The eurosceptic-populist bloc of ID, ECR, and non-attached members (mostly from eurosceptic parties, such as Italy's Five Star Movement, Greece's Golden Dawn, Hungary's Jobbik) will decrease from 191 to 165 MEPs.

MEPs to keep 27 UK seats after Brexit

The number of French MEPs will grow from 74 to 79, while Spanish MEPs will increase in number from 54 to 59. Italy, the Netherlands, and Ireland will also get more MEPs, but Germany is already at the maximum allowed.

EU gears up for post-Brexit renovation

Both EU member states and the parliament want to be ready in January with an agreement on how to involve citizens in a serious attempt to rethink the future of the EU. But institutional issues would come first.

Five new post-Brexit MEPs to watch

Five MEPs to keep an eye on from the 27 new members who are joining the European Parliament this week, following the UK's departure from the EU.

Opinion

Brexit - Europe's 'Versailles moment'?

The spectre of another peace agreement looms: that of the doomed Versailles treaty, which, by sowing resentment and perpetuating misunderstanding of each other's true ambitions and principles, created more tensions than it dissolved.

Opinion

Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?

The former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have retained close ties with Russia since 1989. Yet this consensus may be shifting. At the UN, none of them supported Russia in the resolution condemning the Ukraine invasion.

Column

Is this strange summer a moment of change?

It is a strange, strange summer. The war in Ukraine continues, 60 percent of Europe is in danger of drought, and Covid is still around and could rebound in the autumn. At the same time, everyone is desperate for normalcy.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us