Wed, 19 June 2024

Who gets what after European elections?

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by Edward Steen, Vienna, June 3, 2024

The future of the EU, and notably of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (left), hangs in the balance after the European elections on June 6 – 9. The online Polico magazine, now in its 11th year and increasingly influential, today runs a lead article which notes that she needs 361 votes to keep her job. “Good luck with that.”

The AEJ earlier reported on the difficulties she faces given the steady rise of the right-wing parties in parliament, and EPP member parties’ temptation to cave in to popular worries about immigration and the risk of losing support from the Greens.

With the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, Mario Draghi, 77, former head may end up replacing Ursula. Or possibly, Euractiv argues, heading the European Council. There is much behind-the-scenes plotting.

Who else will be rewarded after these elections? Politico‘s detailed analysis of who gets what, depending on the results of the elections, is also useful. See article on front-runners and country-by-country analysis ofnational choices for Commissioners. One possibility is Poland’s fervent Europeanist Radek Sikorski (left) for defence.

Meanwhile, what about Hungary, due to take over the rotating EU Presidency on July 1?

Belgium, still holding the EU Presidency, is urging the EU finally to kick out a country which under Vickor Orban disobeys any rule it does not care for. Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib (right), a well-known former journalist, told Politico the EU should go for the nuclear option in the face of Hungary’s many rule-of-law violations — advocating stripping Budapest of its ability to veto European policy at the leaders’ table.

“I think we need to have the courage to make decisions,” she said in an interview, urging the EU to “go right to the end” of its longstanding Article 7 censure procedure.

Could it really happen? The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) delves into whether this could be a European first.

“May you live in interesting times” is widely thought to be a Chinese curse, though apparently it isn’t.


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