The newly elected Parliament looks set to become deadlocked over the nomination of the next European Commission President.
Jose Manual Barrosso has the backing of the EPP, and thats about it. The new European Conservative grouping could be persuaded to back him too. I doubt they could persuade Ind/Dem to back him publicly but they may vote for him.
The other candidate Guy Verhofstadt has the backing of GUE/NGL, Greens-EFA, PES ASDE and ALDE.
Unfortunatley neither side have a majority in the Parliament.
This could mean a very long summer of talking and such to try and cobble together a majority or it could mean a compromise candidate with which no one will be 100% happy with.
Now I’m not sure if I want to see Barrosso re-elected. I have read a few things lately from him that I wasn’t happy reading.
Now I’m not sure if I want Verhofstadt elected either, mainly as hes a leftist candidate.
Its going to be a long summer, and I don’t think I’ll be happy with who ever is elected President of the Commission. I wonder will the Parliament feel the same?
I was giving out during the election campaign that the PES didnt have a candidate for Commission President. Despite the fact the PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen wants the job, its looking highly unlikely that he will not be the PES nominee.
Instead the Greens, ALDE and PES look set to team up to try and get former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt elected as Commission President according to euractiv.com instead of José Manuel Barroso. Verhofstadt’s party the Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (Flemish Liberals and Democrats) is part of the ALDE and looks set to be the their nominee.
This makes things interesting as the Commission President has to be elected by the European Parliament in a secret ballot. A combined vote of the PES, Green and ALDE grouping would be 294 votes, which is short of a majority.
Of course the ALDE is itself divided on the nomination as it is a small group it cannot hope to hold Commission President and Presidency of the European Parliament, which its leader Graham Watson wants.
Shuttle diplomacy is underway across European capitals to try and get support for nominations of both candidates, but it dosent look like Barroso’s re-election is assured as it was.
Kathy Sinnott (Ind/Dem) is no longer an MEP! Results from the Count Centre in Cork show that Senator Alan Kelly of Labour has beaten Sinnott on the final count for the final seat in Ireland South.
It was a mixed day in Cork with at one point looking like Toireasa Ferris of Sinn Fein was in a shout of the last the seat, but she failed to attracted enough transfers and Sinnott leap frogged past her.
It was then between Sinnott and Kelly for the last seat and many thought that Sinnott would attract the transfer based on Lisbon stance and gender, but it seems it was a left vote and Kelly got enough transfer to be about 10,000 votes ahead of Sinnott.
So Sinnott is gone and this means this could be my last blog post about her…. unless she runs for Dáil again??? But will she?
Title taken from a tweet by Conor O’Neil
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.
This EU links post shall be all about the EU political groups in the Parliament.
For a Group to be formally recognised in the Parliament, it must fulfil the conditions laid down in Rule 29 of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. That Rule states that a Group must have MEPs elected in at least one-fifth of the Member States, must have at least twenty MEPs, must contain no MEP that is a member of another Group, and its MEPs must have a common political affinity.
Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats
Know as EPP-ED. Fine Gael is the Irish Member in this group. The EPP-ED is the largest grouping in the EU parliament with 289 MEPs. The Chairman of the EPP-ED Group is Joseph Daul MEP (FRA). The current president of the Parliament is a EPP-ED Member.
Socialist Group in the European Parliament
Known as the PES. Labour is the Irish member here. The PES have a very cool flashy website check it out. The PES has 215 MEPs in the parliament. Martin Schulz MEP (GER) is the current president of the PES.
What They Stand for
Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Known as the ALDE. Marian Harkin is the Irish MEP for this group. The ALDE has 100 MEPs in the Parliament and is led by Graham Watson MEP (UK)
What they stand for
Union for Europe of the Nations Group
Known as the UEN. This is Fianna Fail’s grouping in the Parlaiment. The Co-Presidents of the grouping are Brian Crowley MEP (IRL) and Cristiana Muscardini MEP (ITA). Found the website hard to get around and cant link to specific pages to you have to look for yourself. Cant find a what we stand for page…
Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance
This group consists of two distinct European political parties – the European Green Party and the European Free Alliance (EFA). The EFA consists of parties representing stateless nations. The Greens-EFA is a grouping of 42 MEPs in the Parliament. It is led by Monica Frassoni MEP (ITA) and Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP (GER). I *think* the Green Party when it has MEPs sits with this grouping.
Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left
The EUL/NGL grouping in the Parliament has 41 MEPs and Sinn Fein sits with this grouping. The EUL/NGL is led by Francis Wurtz MEP (FRA)
IndDem grouping in the Parliament has 24 MEPs. Kathy Sinnott is the Irish Member of the Group. The grouping is led by Johannes BLOKLAND MEP (Netherlands), Jens-Peter BONDE MEP (Den) and Nigel FARAGE MEP (UK)