The European Union is rather busy due to Brexit. There is confusion regarding Brexit. There are many questions waiting to be answered. At this time, European Parliament elections are going to be held. The future of the European Union and whether this future will be with Britain or without it is a conundrum. In European Union countries voters are having a hard time understanding these developments.
Generally, the European Parliament is not popular with voters. In the EU member states, Europe is a less important subject. This causes parties and candidates to work harder. There are election posters on the roads. And the media also allocates time to these elections albeit not at the same level as national elections. Parties and candidates are holding meetings. Participation in election meetings is low. Voters, other than party members, rarely attend meetings held by the parties and candidates. Center parties' events end up being the ones that draw the least attention.
In EU member states, the EU is seen as an institution that cannot solve any problems and usually produces problems. For example regarding the migrant problem, one of the main issues for citizens on the street, the EU is a "monument to failure." In some EU member states, economic problems are the main problems for voters. There isn't any expectation from the EU in regards to unemployment. In fact, there is criticism around the EU that "it does not provide any benefits or supports the economy of their states." There are large masses of people that believe the EU is an additional burden for their countries, whether it is true or false, the EU's image is not very bright.
The European Parliament's status is even worse. Most of the citizens of EU member states have a negative opinion regarding the "functionality" of this parliament. Many members of the European Parliament are seen as "nobodies" in their states. A majority of voters don't even know them. Their countries' media outlets don't give them much coverage. The European Parliament, which is seen as a very expensive and unnecessary institution by voters, also has a hard time taking the steps necessary to improve its image. EU capitals seem to be pleased with this situation. They control members of the European Parliament, especially members of the center parties that are also the government parties.
In the end, except for some congressmen, they do whatever their states desire. In certain situations, if EU capitals need to play the role of the "good cop," the European Parliament, out of need, shoulders the role of "bad cop." When it comes to Turkey, this often plays out. However, now this balance is about to shift. While the center parties are losing votes, smaller parties are increasing their votes, and by partnering they are gaining power and this seems like it is going to shift the balance.
Up to this point in the European Parliament, two big groups reigned supreme. The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats were designating important positions, commissions and parliament rules by sharing them as two-and-a-half year terms between them for the five-year ruling period, without consulting the smaller groups. Having a Christian Democrat president for two-and-a-half years and a Social Democrat president for another two-and-a-half years every period had become the standard procedure.
The commission and the other committees were also assigned via a similar system. Even reporters assigned to the EU budget were assigned in the same manner. In short, EU capitals easily controlled the European Parliament through two big groups. In the new European Parliament that will be formed after the May 23 and May 26 elections, the Christian Democrats will remain the largest group; however, their partners for the things mentioned above, the Social Democrats, are about to lose their chance at being the second-biggest group.
Liberals are preparing to form the second biggest group. If far-right and populist parties can manage to come to an agreement between themselves, they can form the third biggest party. The Greens should not be underestimated either. Far-left and populist parties may also increase the number of seats they have. As participation by voters decreases, centrist parties will have less power. Parties that we regard as "small" in their countries can become a "big" group if they come together across the EU.
Following May 27, the new European Parliament will become a parliament with new "strong" groups. The balance will shift. In this new parliament balance, new coalitions will be needed for the commission members assigned by the EU capitals to gain the necessary amount of votes. In the same vein, the EU Parliament's presidency council, commission and committees will no longer be assigned via the old system but will be formed based on very different deals. It will be beneficial to be prepared for and to adapt to this new form of the European Parliament.
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