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Five takeaways from the first EU election results


Five takeaways from the first EU election results

The campaigns are over and the day that all European policy nerds have waited for has finally come. We have an initial result of the election to the European Parliament. At this stage, it is, of course, premature to draw any grand conclusions. Still, there are a few takeaways from the election result that are worth noting.

Published on 10 Jun 2024

1. No great changes in the majority conditions of the parliament

The fear that a surge from the far-right would rock the fundament of the parliamentary landscape has not come true. EPP, S&D, and Renew still hold a majority of the seats, albeit a very slim one. The level of influence between the groups has, however, changed with EPP strengthening its position. To create a strong majority, a fourth party is needed. The question is if it will be the Greens or ECR that will play that role. 

2. Far-right surge in France

The far-right party The National Rally won the French election, crushing the Renaissance party. The result also triggered President Macron to dissolve the National Assembly, with new elections being held on June 30th. The long-term consequences of the whole French political landscape turning more reactionary will be massive.

3. Lithuanian Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius wins a seat

He is a well-known figure for his work on environmental issues in the EU Commission. According to Politico, in a speech, he promised to continue working on the implementation of the Green Deal, which is good news. 

4. Vice President of the European Parliament Martin Hojsík keeps his seat

One of the strongest voices for more progressive chemical legislation has been the Slovak MEP, Martin Hojsík. The fact that he is part of the Renew group has given him a key role in finding majorities and bridging difficult divides. 

5. Did Ursula von der Leyen secure a second term?

The fact that the centre parties still gather a slim majority and the far-right has gained seats makes for a good negotiation position for the EPP group. The political debacle in France possibly strengthens Ursula van der Leyen’s position further. Consequently, the next EU Commission might get an even stronger mandate than the current one. 

Ultimately, what does this mean for the chemical issues in the European Union? 

With strong MEPs in place, the Parliament will likely have the capacity to deliver progressive and ambitious chemical legislation. The question is if this capacity will ever be put to good use.

The growth of the EPP and the fall of the Greens will likely be very problematic when guiding legislative processes through the EU. Additionally, a new Commission with a stronger mandate might disregard the need for stricter chemical legislation altogether. 

There is much at stake. For example, the broad PFAS restriction has not yet been delivered. One might ask: Is it now in jeopardy?

There is much we do not yet know, but over the summer and early autumn, everything will become more comprehensible. As usual, we will update you along the way.