Let the Games begin: one month to European Elections

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In less than a month, on 6 to 9 June, Europeans will go to polling stations to vote on the composition of the next European Parliament, which will hold office for the upcoming five years (2024-2029). Given the current political shift towards the right in most EU Member States, the upcoming elections are likely to be a turning point in European politics. After the last plenary session of the current Parliament a couple of weeks ago, MEPs have left for their home countries either not to come back or to do their best to be re-elected.

Goodbyes, tears, and current polls

MEPs met for the last time in Strasbourg in April with a busy agenda of 90 votes. They approved trilogue agreements, such as the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, the ESG Ratings Regulation, and many more. They also endorsed first-reading Parliament positions for files where they advanced faster than the Council and for which trilogue negotiations will be held after the elections. This is for example the case for plant reproductive material rules. MEPs that do not plan to return in the next mandate faced tear-shedding moments. Belgian MEP Philip Lamberts (Greens) gave an emotional goodbye speech, recalling his first time in the hemicycle. Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek (EPP) was caught by surprise when the President of the Parliament Roberta Metsola thanked him personally for his service in the Parliament, as he had started as the first Central European President of the Parliament after the Great Enlargement of 2004.

While some MEPs can now enjoy their retirement from EU politics, others have rolled up their sleeves with a view to return to Brussels in June. According to the latest projections, the EPP and S&D are set to remain the biggest groups in the Parliament, currently polling at 183 and 140 seats respectively. The race for third place, on which we reported previously, has gotten more heated than ever before as hard-right political group ECR and liberal Renew are currently projected to win the same number of seats (86), while far-right ID is only two seats away from them. Both the ID and ECR could also try to lure new parties into their group to make wins and land in third place. On the left side of the political spectrum, the Greens are only four seats (48) ahead of the Left (44).


What’s next?

The European Elections are taking place between 6 and 9 June. Once the results are announced, newly elected MEPs will embark on a series of activities to set for their mandate. They will need to affiliate themselves with one of the seven groups in the Parliament, or decide to remain unaffiliated, which would negatively impact their capacity to influence. Then, they will have approximately one month to settle down in Brussels, either in their new or current offices, and select the committees they wish to work in. The first plenary session takes place from 16 to 19 July.

The first important task of the new Parliament will be to confirm the Commission President proposed by the Member States, and his/her Cabinet. This is a crucial time for NGOs to engage with their old friends and make new ones who can help them influence the hearings of new Commissioners in the autumn. This is the time to ensure that the right questions are asked, and the right commitments are secured.


If you are interested in knowing what other opportunities the first months of a new mandate present for your organisations, and how we help you navigate the next EU Commission and Parliament, please get in touch through the contact form.

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