Comedians will soon rule the world. At least that’s the impression one could get when looking at the ever-growing number of international comics and showmen who are running for – and in fact winning – political mandates.
Citizens cast their ballot for their European representativesalmost three weeks ago, but the election night frenzy of exit polls and press conferences was followed by a peculiar calm after the storm. There hasn’t been much clarity on a way forward, let alone progress, when it comes to forming a new European leadership. Meanwhile, voters can easily feel disaffected or excluded from the process as unlike in most national contexts, media coverage, and therefore public pressure, is low and institutional arrangements to form a government are blurry at best. It is no wonder then that potential outcomes are plentiful, information scarce and decision-making inscrutable.
On Friday the British Guardian headlined that “the European Elections have left things clear as mud”. We at BridgeEurope shed light on the most important post-election developments in the lead-up to the European Council Summit on 27 June 2019 that Donald Tusk declared to be the formal deadline for a compromise on the Union’s future leadership constellations.
BridgeEurope sat down with Ralph Sina and Holger Beckmann of the ARD Broadcasting Centre in Brussels in the week preceding the 2019 European Elections to talk about the elections and the challenges ahead for the next European Parliament and the European Union as a whole. Ralph Sina is a renowned German journalist who served as a correspondent in Nairobi and Washington D.C. and is currently the Brussels Bureau Chief for the ARD, one of two major public-service news outlets in Germany. Holger Beckmann has a background in economics and currently reports alongside Ralph Sina on the European Union and politics in Brussels.
Since its foundation in 1976, Alde is together with its youth organisation LYMEC (nowadays: European Liberal Youth) the liberal voice in Europe. Initially, it was a merger between nine parties from Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium (3). After changing its party name several times, it finally adopted “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe” as its official name in 2012. In 2004, the Liberals wanted to strengthen their position in the European Parliament and subsequently merged with the Centrists from the European Democratic Party, with whom they entered into the European parliament for the first time after the elections in the same year. They are the 4thlargest party, currently holding 69 seats in the parliament.
The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D group) is the political party group in the European Parliament (EP) of the Party of European Socialists (PES). The then-called Socialist Group was founded on 29th June 1953 in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community and is the second-oldest European political party group. The Socialist Group consisted primarily of deputies from social-democratic groups and constituted thus the principal political force of the centre-left.