There is less than a month until the May 23-24 European Parliament (EP) elections. The 28 European Union member countries will elect 751 members of parliament.
Since the United Kingdom was unable to complete its exit from the EU due to the Brexit dilemma, it will also participate. Public opinion polls indicate that the election results will cause a shift in balance. For example, Theresa May and the ruling Conservative Party will likely suffer the biggest defeat in its history. Its vote percentage is 13 percent. However, not only May, but many more leaders will suffer similarly. In the elections in Spain this Sunday, the conservative party, the top vote-getter in previous elections, decreased from 33 percent to 16.7 percent.
Let's see if we'll see new surprises in the May 25 EP elections in Spain. According to the latest public opinion polls, the Christian Democrats (EPP) are going to lose about 40 seats but still be first with around 180 seats. Social Democrats (S&D) are expected to lose around 30-40 seats, dropping to 150 seats. The Liberals (ALDE) are the winners, possibly gaining over 100 seats. Representatives of the far-right will also increase their number of seats. Even if they do not remain in the same group, they will have 200 members of parliament. It seems the greens and the far-left are going to preserve their seats. If the elections match public opinion polls, new coalition models will be needed for commissions and committees in the EP. Majorities will become more changeable. Classical partnerships will have to change. The EP, which will vote for the EU commission draft, will tire commission candidates more than ever.
This new EP might be a chance for new policies in many fields. Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Liberals and Green groups, which can form the majority in the EP if they wish, have to draw lessons from these elections and change the image of the EP. The EP should not be exploited as a rallying field for radical groups. For example, when it comes to relations between the EU and Turkey the EP might play a very important role. If the Turkey-EU relationship suffers problems due to crises, it harms both Turkey's interests and the EU's interests. Thus, the EP could be an important middleman and bridge. The EP, which has been used as a platform for Turkey opposition groups and for bloody terrorist organizations like the PKK, should no longer allow this. If the EP really wants Turkey to become more democratic and solve its existing problems and provide support for this endeavor, it has to take steps regarding Turkey.
The state we are in due to Annual Turkey reports formed by copying propaganda brochures of terror organization representatives or listening to them, is out in the open. Thus, dialogue between the EU and Turkey has suffered greatly. We need constructive dialogue. Of course, the EP can criticize Turkey, and it has to do so, as they cannot be of the same opinion on every matter. EP-Turkey cooperation is very important when it comes to sensitive subjects like the fight against terror.
The newly elected EP must begin by not electing people "renowned for their enmity against Turkey" on commission and committees relating to Turkey. In the same vein, it must also see the truth that Greek Cypriot members of parliament exploit the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, which they are a part of, for their own internal policies and media activities in regards to Turkey. Of course, when it comes to the committee members of parliament, Greek Cypriot members of parliament can become members. However, it is not beneficial to have the co-president and presidential aides of a committee that exists to provide contributions to the dialogue between the EP and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), which are of vital importance for Turkey and the EU, be a Greek member of parliament and Greek Cypriot, as has been the case for the last five years.
In the past, EP Turkey rapporteurs were chosen from members of parliament that were experienced and aware of diplomatic rules, and we hope for that in 2019. An inexperienced rapporteur who is easily fooled by propaganda does not benefit either side when it comes to a delicate matter like Turkey. Proper criticism that can contribute to Turkey is needed. However, if "unjustified claims and defamations" are made under the guise of criticism, Turkey won't accept such reports; thus, they do not work. Our wish is to have the EP turn the dialogue for EU-Turkey relations into a constructive one with the help of a new, experienced rapporteur, and commissions and committees formed with the points we have discussed in mind.
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