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.
Between 23 and 26 May 2019 approximately 350 Million voters are eligible to vote for the next European Parliament, making it the largest transnational election on the globe. Sluggish growth, climate change and international trade conflicts are only some of the reasons why the stakes in this year’s elections are particularly high. At the same time, there is a fierce debate about the EU’s future, whose supranational powers are far from unchallenged. In the run-up to the elections, BridgeEurope presents the most important party groups, candidates and policy platforms. We also look at some of the decisive issues that Europe faces today and how they shape the parties’ campaigns, their electoral prospects and the future of the Union more broadly.