A Letter From…Czech Republic! 

 

After the results were published, several Czech political parties have proclaimed that they were happy with the results. Whether there was a reason for merriment is a fairly difficult question to answer.

 

In my opinion there was no clear winner. ANO, the party of prime minster Babiš did win most votes, but the 21 % ANO received is rather underwhelming (ANO polls around 30 % nowadays). As a member of ALDE, ANO possibly faces a domestic image problem if Macron’s party LREM takes a leading role in the European party family. Many voters of ANO do not endorse Macron’s agenda for deeper EU integration. Continue reading

A Letter From… Poland! 

 

If ever there was any doubt that hard work and due diligence pays off, this doubt was dissipated during this European election in Poland.  A party of Euro-skeptics, nationalists, ultra-conservatives wishing to relegate the position of women back to the Dark Ages; a party of homophobes, who gives neo-Nazis no more than a pat on the hand for hijacking otherwise peaceful parades during national holidays – this party has taken the European elections by storm despite record-high participation levels.  Why?  Because they put in the biggest, most inhumane amounts of effort and they believe in what they do. Continue reading

A Letter From… France! 

 

 

European elections have always been atypical in France. Most French citizens have never really understood proportional elections and single ballots. In addition, non-EU related debates and programmes always prevailed.

This year’s European elections were no exception: lack of interest by citizens and the media, lack of knowledge about the election, lack of a European programme for most of the candidates on the electoral lists.

 

What is different in 2019 is the context: For the past six months, the yellow vests’ movement has absorbed all the attention of the media, with protesters looking for work and riots occurring each Saturday. Some thought this movement would not even last a month; others argued it was a new beginning. Both were wrong. Continue reading

A Letter From… United Kingdom! 

 

The best news of the night, consistent with the picture elsewhere in Europe, is that voter turnout went up sharply, from 35.4% in 2014 to 50.5% this time. Europeans are beginning to value Europe, or at least to recognise its importance.

 

In the UK, more people voted for anti-Brexit parties than for pro-Brexit parties (this excludes those who voted Labour or Conservative, since both parties are divided). The result is consistent with recent opinion polls that show 55% of UK citizens now opposed to Brexit and only 45% in favour. It is widely seen to increase the chances of a second referendum on EU membership. Continue reading

A Letter From… Hungary! 

I was asked to write this short piece on the European Election in my country, Hungary. I was fulfilling my democratic duties in a town in western Hungary where some of my relatives reside. I arrived a day before the elections with two burning questions in mind: what’s best for the country, and how to make this article interesting when the results are expected to hold no surprises? I resolve this latter issue by deciding to give you an immersive view into the life of a Hungarian (me) on Election Day. Continue reading

EU Citizenship and European Elections – a Sleeping Beauty? 

Italian, Maltese, Swede, Belgian, French, Bulgarian – no matter which nationality of one of the 28 EU member states you possess, you also enjoy EU citizenship and the numerous freedoms and opportunities it entails.

However, only one in two Europeans are fully aware of their status as citizens of the EU and one in three is not sure about what it actually means. This is surprising and alarming at the same time, as the concept of EU citizenship in itself is not new. Continue reading

ALDE and Macron’s Renaissance List Form a Common Faction 

European Liberals and French seal their cooperation in Strasbourg

“CC BY-NC-ND © ALDE Party”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ca y est!” – “It’s done!”, is what many europhile liberals probably thought last weekend. After months of uncertainty about the political anchorage of the pro-European Renaissance list of French President Emmanuel Macron in the future European Parliament, the speculation should now have come to an end.

 

After first tentative cooperation attempts at the ALDE party congress in Madrid last November, European liberals and the French Renaissance list finally sealed their post-EU-election cooperation. The cooperation is based on a Memorandum of Understanding for a still nameless future faction. It is likely that the French name “Renaissance” will be retained, being in line with the ALDE election slogan “Renew Europe”.

Continue reading