Europe has voted. FTI Consulting Brussels previously provided an overview analysis of whether the outcome could be good, bad or ugly. What has been the outcome?
Good provided for a post Brexit environment where Europe came together to move forward collectively. Bad provided for a fragmented Parliament where the decision-making process slowed. The ugly revolved around anti-establishment parties taking control and pulling the European project apart from within.
The results are a mixed bag. The good news is it isn’t ugly. Whether it is good or bad is more subjective. What is clear is that there are elements of each across the 28 Members States. It is a very different situation in each country. An overview analysis we have provided in a separate report.
What could be good about these elections? The continued threat of Brexit has perhaps caused some reflection and the anticipated Eurosceptic, anti-European surge largely failed to materialise. Overall turnover was up, the first time in twenty years. Pro-European parties continue to have an overall majority collectively, and the more anti-establishment parties are talking more about jobs and investment than about pulling the European project apart.
What could be bad about these elections? The next European Parliament will see a significant increase in the number of anti-establishment or Eurosceptic MEPs. Should they unite and form a group, they will have a strong voice to redirect policy objectives or to counter pro-European forces. This situation could lead to governance changes in the way the European Parliament works.
FTI Key Takeaway: It is too soon to say whether this election will reinvigorate the European project. More opinions will lead to more debate. The battle between pro-European and Eurosceptics could escalate during the next mandate and impact policy making. Could this result in more pragmatic outcomes or will each legislative vote turn into an unpredictable political battle? What is clear is that the status quo has changed and business needs to be ready for whatever implications this might have.
Introducing the European Parliament’s current political groupings:
- European Peoples Party (EPP) – Right, pro European, conservative
- Socialists & Democrats (S&D) – Left, pro European, progressive
- Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe (ALDE) – Centrists, pro European, liberal values
- European Conservatives and Reformists Group – Eurosceptic and anti-federalist (ECR)
- The Greens / European Free Alliance (GREENS) – Left, pro European, progressive
- Anti-establishment – Brings together Eurosceptic, populists and extreme parties (GUE/NGL, EFDD, ENF, NI)
Source: EP Press News web page