June 14, 2024

Unpacking the European Parliament Elections

Last weekend, voters across the European Union went to the polls to select the next European Parliament. In the run-up to the elections, many observers were focused on the potential for large gains by the far-right, and those projections turned out to be largely accurate, with far-right parties now occupying roughly a quarter of the seats in Parliament. The performance of the far-right was particularly striking in the two largest EU member states of Germany and France, even causing French President Emmanuel Macron to call for snap elections this summer. At the same time, centrist parties look set to continue to control the European Parliament in the years ahead, having won enough seats to form a comfortable governing majority. Finally, as we look ahead to the coming weeks, all eyes will be on the contest for the European Union’s top jobs, as national leaders haggle over the next European Commission President, European Council President, and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. To address all of this, Klaus Welle and Susi Dennison join Nicholas Lokker and Jim Townsend on this week’s episode of Brussels Sprouts.

Klaus Welle is the former Secretary-General of the European Parliament, a role in which he served from 2009 to 2022. And Klaus now serves as the Chaiman of the Academic Council at the Martens Center.

Susi Dennison is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her topics of focus include strategy, politics and cohesion in European foreign policy; climate and energy, migration, and the toolkit for Europe as a global actor.

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