European elections 2019

What do the results look like?

Between May 23rd and May 26th the EU citizens elected a new parliament (EP). This year’s turnout amounted to 51 % and is therefore considerably higher compared to the elections in 2014 with 42,6 %. Issues such as climate change, environmental protection, the distribution of refugees and inner-state conflicts (Brexit, Yellow Vests, etc.) were responsible for an increased interest in the European elections and thus a greater mobilisation of the electorate.

Compared to the last elections, the results of this year show a significant redistribution. The European People’s Party (EPP) reached 23,8 % (2014: 27%) and the Party of European Socialists (PES) achieved 20,37 % (2014: 23 %). With an increase of 39 votes the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), strengthened by Emmanuel Macron’s “Renaissance”, recorded the highest gain and represents the third largest party in the EP. Due to the substantial loss, there will be no Grand Coalition. Possible coalition partners would be either the ALDE or the European Green Party (EGP).

Some national results turned out to be very interesting and leave room for further domestic political discussions. As second largest party the Greens reached 20,5 % in Germany. No other member state was able to record such a high percentage of the Greens. Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) with 23,31 % in France and Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord with 34,33 % in Italy represent the strongest parties in their countries. According to this the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF) achieved an increase of 7,72 %, as forecast.

Negotiations with the goal of announcing the composition of the political groups started on May 27th. The composition must be fixed until June 24th. The 8th legislation period ends on July 1st and on the following day the 9th parliamentary term begins. In order to decide about the top EU appointments the Heads of State and Government met on May 28th. It is doubtful that the spitzenkandidaten will play a central role.