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EU policy towards Ukraine will not change: political expert on the results of the European Parliament elections

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The EU heads of state and government met informally to consider candidates for key positions in European institutions, namely the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, and the European External Action Service.

The results of the European Parliament elections were discussed on Hromadske Radio with Oleksiy Haran, Research Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and Professor at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

«If we talk about the elections to the European Parliament, the results are good. This means that the course of the European Parliament and the EU will not change towards Ukraine. The European People’s Party (EPP) won the most seats among all factions. But it does not have a majority. There has never been such a majority in the European Parliament. A coalition has always been formed. It used to be a coalition of two. All key positions were shared by two representatives. Then they were joined by a third party, the Liberals. This was largely due to Macron’s coming to power. Now it is a coalition of three.»

According to Oleksiy Haran, the intrigue of the election was whether this coalition would survive. Will it mathematically have enough votes to elect the head of the European Commission? Ursula von der Leyen has the best chances. This would be a good option for us.

There are 720 members of the European Parliament in total. These three forces (the European People’s Party, the Liberals, and the Socialists) have 390+ MPs. It seems like there is a reserve. And it is needed.

«From a mathematical point of view, the far right plus the right-wing populists and the centre-right would have a majority. However, the European People’s Party immediately stated that it would not enter into a coalition with the far right and extreme populists. This is because it contradicts its basic principles.

I would not say that far-right and extreme populists are democrats. Quite the opposite. Therefore, there is very little in common. I mean, mathematically it could work, but in reality it doesn’t. The far-right has become stronger in the European Parliament, but not enough to influence the election of leaders. But this does not mean that there is no far-right threat in Europe. It will be primarily related to the elections to national parliaments in other countries.»

In Germany, for example, Scholz’s party came in 3rd place. Alternative for Germany, a pro-Russian far-right party, came in second.

«Everyone started writing about the defeat of Scholz and the enormous success of the far right. However, they do not notice that the Christian Democrats, i.e., the centre-right, are in 1st place. They take an even more decisive position on Ukraine than Scholz. This means that Alternative for Germany will not affect the majority in the German parliament.»

As a reminder, the 2024 European Parliament elections, the tenth elections since the first direct elections in 1979, took place on June 6-9, 2024. They were the first to be held after Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Preliminary results of the European Parliament elections:

  • The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) is expected to win at least 184 out of 720 seats.
  • The top list of factions will also include:
  • The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) – about 139 seats;
  • The Union of Liberal Politicians «Renew Europe» – 80 seats;
  • European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) – 73 seats;
  • Right-wing political party «Identity and Democracy» (ID) – 58 seats;
  • Non-partisan – 45 seats;
  • Greens – 52 seats;
  • Left – 36 seats;
  • Other – 53 seats.
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