Negotiations are underway for the top jobs in Europe now that the results of the weekends elections are known.
The European Peoples Party (EPP), which Fine Gael is part of, has emerged as the largest party in the European Parliament with 263 seats. For a majority in the parliament 379 seats are needed.
The ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), which Fianna Fail is part of, has 80 seats giving a combined ALDE-EPP link up of 343 seats. This is 36 seats short.
For getting Barosso elected it would be easy for the EPP and ALDE to link up with the new Conservative grouping and get a majority for that election.
The question is who will be President of the Parliament. According to Euractiv.com the EPP have suggested a grand coaltion of the EPP, ALDE and the Party of European Socialists (PES) which would have 505 seats in the Parliament.
Graham Watson of the ALDE wants to be President of the Parliament and there will be no shortage of candidates in the EPP and PES vying for the top job in the Parliament.
Normally the President is elected for two and half years and is shared between two grouping. Im not sure how its going to be shared among three groupings over five years?
Lets see how the negotiations go, but it will be strange to have Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in a coalition no?
Well I haven’t blogged since Monday and I apologise! But I may make up for it today! So I have found a few things relating to the EU elections.
First up is VoteMatch. Now I think its done by the same crowd who had the tool for the London Elections last year. This is based on the European Political Parties rather then the National Parties. You get asked to agree, disagree, neither with 30 statements and its gives you your match. My results are
A good idea I think considering it will show which European Party you agree with. Check it out.
The other thing I found is called CandidateWatch. This is lauching on May 5th. What does it do?
Candidatewatch Ireland will allow you to question all Irish candidates in the forthcoming European Elections. Since all questions and answers are made public, you can follow up on promises after the elections.
It has been set up b ay German non-profit organisation called parlamentwatch.de and TASC, an. Irish think-tank. It is an interesting idea and could frame the online dialogue between candidates and voters. It will be forum based, so should be easy to use. I look forwward to the launch of this one.
The European People’s Party Congress takes place this Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th in Warsaw. The congress will put the finishing touches to the EPP Manifesto and will probably be the launch for the European Campaign.
Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny will be addressing the Congress on Wednesday as one of the EPP opposition leaders. He will be the last of the speakers on Wednesdays before the Non-EU leaders speak on Thursday.
I was invited to the congress by the EPP but unfortunately I cannot attend. I would have loved to have gone as I would have loved to attend some of the side events which look really interesting. The ones that stand out are
Centre for European Studies: Conference on the democratisation of Belarus – 29th April 9:30 – 13:00
European Democratic Students: Conference on student issues in the EP elections – 29th April 10:00 – 13:00
Youth of the European People’s Party: Round Table 29th April 10:30 – 12:30
The Congress will be live streamed on the EPP’s Dialogue TV. For more information on the Congress see EPPWarsaw.eu. I may be live blogging the congress from the streaming on Thursday if i dont go canvassing with Colm Burke.
The European Peoples Party have launched an online consultation on their draft manifesto (availible here in PDF). They have called it Dialogue TV. It is a multimedia site with video’s on the major subjects in the manifesto.
The major subjects are: 1. Creating Prosperity for Everyone 2. Making Europe a Safer Place 3. Combatting Climate Change 4. Tackling the Demographic Challenge 5. Uniting Europe on the World Stage
What are the EPP hoping to get from Dialogue TV?
The EPP hope that Dialogue TV will approach and actively engage European citizens in a dialogue. A high aim considering how many EU citizens visit the EPP website? The EPP also want Dialogue TV to present the EPP’s. program and ideas ahead of the European elections in June 2009.
This is going to be hard sell as it has to compete with the likes of Party of European Socialits “Yourspace” and also disinterestin the European ELections.
So people this is your chance to influence the EPP’s (and therefore Fine Gael’s if you are in Ireland) Manifesto. Take the Opportunity! Start the Dialogue!