With the anouncement today of the new conservative grouping in the European Parliament, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECRG), we now know all the Groupings in the Parliament.
They are (in order of size) (PS not sure im numbers are correct):
- European People’s Party – 266
- Party of European Socialists – 161
- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – 80
- European Conservatives and Reformists – 55
- Greens-European Free Alliance – 53
- Union for Europe of the Nations – 35
- United Left-Nordic Greens – 32
- Independence/Democracy – 18
- Non-Inscrits – 38
So it looks like the Parliament will be dominated by the centre right. The BNP failed to get enough MEPs.
Its going to be an interesting five years in Brussels/Strasbourg.
So the new European Parliament is going to be a bit of an Alphabet soup. According to The Lobby blog the Party of European Socialist Grouping in the Parliament is going to change its name to the “Alliance of Socialists and Democrats” or ASDE for short (Not to be confused with ASDA). So why the change?
The name change is to suit the Italian Partito Democratico who in the last parliament where split between PES and ALDE. This will shore up the PES ASDE numbers by giving them 21 extra MEPs.
There was some opposition from some MEPs who didnt want to lose the Socialist branding, but after the election results they look less likely to stick to their guns.
So the Groupings in the next parliament could be as follows:
- Ind/Dem (maybe)
- European Conservatives (Or similar name)
- Far-Right grouping (BNP are trying to set up a grouping)
The Independence/Democracy grouping had a rough campiagn and lost a few MEPs including their co-leader. But will they exist as a political grouping in the next Parliament?
To form a grouping in the European Parliament you need a minimum of 25 MEPs from at least seven member states. After last elections the Ind/Dem were left with 18 MEPs from four member states.
- UK: 13 UKIP MEPs
- Greece: 2 Popular Orthodox Rally MEPs
- Netherlands: 2 Christian Union MEPs
- France: 1 Movement for France MEP
So if Ind/Dem is to continue it needs to get seven more MEPs from three member states. There are 93 MEPs in the NI grouping at the moment, some of these will go to the new Conservative Grouping and Ind/Dem might be able to get more to join from them to survive into the next Parliament.
The BNP will be looking to the NI MEPs to make a far right grouping in the Parliament. It looks set to be along the lines of the failed Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty grouping.
Its going to be a interesting parliamentry term.
While reading blogs and surfing links I came across EPvote.eu. I may have linked in before. I think its a bit cumbersome but it will do until VoteWatch.eu launches next week. I found out about that from Jan’s EUblog. While flitting around it, I came across some stats. And one very interesting one.
The Dutch MEP Paul van Buitenen has a voting record that consists of abstaining on 98% of votes! Yes you read that right! He abstained in 98% of votes. He has voted 1% yes and 1% no. Check out his full voting record. Mr van Buitenen is a member of the Greens-EFA grouping of the Parliament and is standing for re-election as part of the Dutch ChristianUnion which is part of the Ind/Dem group in the Parliament. Im told on twitter he has announced his retirement from the Parliament. Not that he did a lot there in first place!
Just in comparison the second highest abstention vote is 60% which belongs to Greek MEP Diamanto Manolakou of the EUL/NGL Grouping. The third highest is 45% and belongs to Jim Allister MEP.
Will he be re-elected with a record like that? I hope not.