EU2024: Time is ticking

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In less than six months, between 6 and 9 June 2024, Europeans in all 27 EU member states will choose 720 MEPs – the new European Parliament composition for the next legislative mandate (2024-2029). While time is ticking ahead, the months ahead still provide interesting advocacy opportunities that can help you to achieve key policy objectives in the next mandate.

Right on the rise

November 2023 brought a record high in opinion polls for Identity and Democracy (ID), the most right-wing party in the European Parliament, with projected 87 seats in total. This puts them four seats ahead of the other right-wing group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), and only two seats below the liberal group Renew Europe. If this trend continues, the race for third place in the new European Parliament, behind the social-democrats and the European People’s Party and may be fiercer than expected before.

This sharp rise should not come as a surprise considering the recent elections in the Netherlands and Poland, and emerging trends in Finland, Germany, and Belgium. Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) secured 37 out of 150 seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house in the Dutch parliament, making them the biggest fraction. Law and Justice (PiS) won in the Polish elections, gaining 194 seats (out of 460) in total, yet too little to secure the parliamentary majority making way instead a coalition of progressive, yet very diverse, parties. The new government, with Donald Tusk as a new-old Polish Prime Minister, was sworn in on 13 December 2023. In the Netherlands, the talks on coalition forming continues. The coalition scout and former social-democrat though now right-wing minister Ronald Plasterk, has voiced that a right-wing cabinet may be possible under certain conditions.

New year, new opportunities

With limited time ahead of the EU 2024 elections, the number of advocacy opportunities is shrinking. At the beginning of next year, European parties will present their manifestos and Spitzenkandidaten for the top European Commission job (you can find out more about the process, in our previous blog post here). As national lists for EU elections are being finalised, this offers opportunities to push candidate MEPs to commit to an organisation’s cause by supporting a pledge – today more often with a selfie than a signature. The strategy here is to get a lot of candidate MEPs to sign your pledge, so that they will push for your policy objective during the elaboration of the next European Commission agenda.

As the Spanish Presidency’s of the Council of the European Union comes to an end, the Belgian government prepares to step in as the last rotating presidency of the current legislative mandate (2019-2024). The Belgian Presidency has a clear goal in mind: wrapping up as many trilogues as it can. This means that only legislative files that are ready to enter inter-institutional negotiations will be dealt with in the first months of the new presidency. Therefore, do not forget about the remaining work around legislative files which is due to accelerate in the next weeks.

If you are interested in knowing what other opportunities EU 2024 elections present for your organisation, as well as how we can help you navigating the next European Commission and Parliament, and influence their work in the next mandate, please get in touch through the contact form.