Now that voters have spoken, comes the question of coalition-building in the European Parliament, where no group has a majority by itself, leaving Green groups and liberals in a strong position. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.
For the first time since 1979, the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) and the Social Democrats (S&D) will not have a majority in the European Parliament between them.
With 180 seats and 152 respectively, they are well short of the 376 required for a majority. They will therefore need to strike alliances, particularly with the group of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), which won 13.98% of the seats, and the European Greens, who won 8.92%.
Majorities fluctuated depending on the issues voted upon, often making it necessary for the main groups to broker compromises with liberal MEPs from the ALDE group or with ecologists (European Greens), or even with the far-left (European United Left-Nordic Green Left, GUE-NGL).
Below are the potential majorities, according to the latest projections provided by the European Parliament.
Scenario 1: A very large coalition
Even if the EPP and the S&D still lead the polls with almost 24% and 20.24% of the seats, respectively, a very large coalition of 67.2% of the seats, bringing in the Liberals and Greens would ensure majorities can be reached regardless of the legislative texts and reluctance of some national delegations.
Scenario 2: A coalition with centrists
Social democrats and conservatives do not necessarily need the Greens. An alliance with the forces of Guy Verhofstadt and Emmanuel Macron would make it possible to achieve a comfortable majority of almost 58.19% of the votes.
Scenario 3: A narrow coalition
An EPP-S&D and Green alliance is also possible and would obtain 53.13% of the seats.
However, this would be a fragile majority, and it is unlikely that the centrist liberals would be left out of a coalition. Nonetheless, such an alliance would allow Yannick Jadot of the French green party Europe-Ecologie-les Verts (EELV) to justify his rhetoric and call for ecology to be the “new centre of gravity” in the European Parliament.
Scenario 4: A minority coalition
The EPP and S&D could move forward together, but such a hypothesis seems very unlikely both for ideological reasons and because both groups are in a steady decline.
Their alternative could be to try to form a minority coalition that would fluctuate according to the votes by joining forces with Liberals or environmentalists.
Scenario 5: A left-centre coalition
With nearly 48.73%, a coalition ranging from France’s left-wing populist party La France Insoumise (LFI) to MEPs from La République en Marche – MoDem would be close to a majority.
However, the main difficulty would not be in obtaining a coalition agreement, but in national party leaders being willing to support such an alliance.
When voting on European legislative texts that cover social policy issues, such alliances have often been reached. But on economic issues, the ideological gap appears to be too wide. Certainly, it is hard to see LFI MEPs agreeing to alliances with Macronists.
Scenario 6: The coalition between the right and nationalists
The Eurosceptic group has progressed with 19 additional MEPs in these European elections. Still, it is far from being in the majority, despite promises of victory held by Rassemblement National’s figureheads Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella.
Split into three groups, Eurosceptics cannot agree on forming a single group, despite recent attempts by the Italian Matteo Salvini. Between Eurosceptics and anti-Europeans, liberals and statists, it appears impossible for an alliance to be formed.
By 2014, they were only 20%. The results provided by the European Parliament now give them 22.90%. This is largely due to their low presence in many countries, despite having very good results in France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
However, with an alliance with the EPP, where the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban sits, Conservatives and Eurosceptics would reach nearly 47% of the seats.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]