And finally, the European Parliament elections are over. In truth, the results were generally as we expected. One of the good things about these elections was the fact that the participation ratio was the highest in 20 years. The voters showed they now care about the European Parliament elections by increasing the participation ratio to 50.5%. We are seeing an 8% increase when compared to the elections five years ago.
For Germany, the same is also true. The participation ratio in the European Parliament elections, which was 48.1% five years ago, has increased to 61.5%. Especially when we consider that the participation ratio in the German federal elections (Bundestag) on Sept. 24, 2017, was 76.2%, we can say that the 61.5% participation ratio of May 26, 2019, European Parliament elections are rather high.
Despite many "distasteful" and "negative" results, one election result that we got to cheer for was that the "anti-Islam, anti-Muslim" far-right populist Geert Wilders and his Party PVV were unable to be elected and thus left out of the parliament.
Although while his votes were won by his opponent Thierry Baudet (FvD), even he was only able to get three members of parliament elected. Despite being very successful across Europe, far-right populist parties were unable to see success in the Netherlands.
The European Parliament elections may bring new developments with it for the important EU countries, like Germany and France. In Germany, the question is, how long the coalition government formed by the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) at the federal level will last?
Angela Merkel's party CDU with a vote ratio of 22.6 preserved its status as the number one party, but it lost about 7.5% votes. The CSU, by increasing its vote amount by 1%, with a vote ratio of 6.3%, only barely managed its status.
Coalition member SPD, on the other hand, suffered a great defeat, adding to a growing list of defeats. The SPD, which lost around 11.4% of its votes, has fallen down to 15.8%.
As we anticipated, the winners of the elections in Germany was the Greens. They increased their vote ratio by 9.8%, they have scored a great success by receiving 20.5% of the votes. This election success, likely to be translated on the federal level, is both historical and meaningful.
I want to present the number of voters to show clearly the number of voters who voted for the CDU, SPD and Greens respectively. The CDU, which came out as the number one party, has 8,437,093 supporters. The defeated SPD, on the other hand, has 5,914,953. In comparison, the Greens have 7,675,584 - only 800,000 less than the CDU and 1.8 million higher than the SPD.
After these elections, we can be sure that a new president and governing body will be elected in the SPD. However, what could this change? The number and pressure of those wishing to leave the federal coalition within SPD will increase. The European Parliament elections could be seen as a sign for a new coalition model (CDU/CSU/Greens) on the federal level, for the strongest and most stable country of the EU - namely, Germany.
It is clear that the German voters no longer have trust in the SPD and thus the current coalition has lost its majority. In the other strong country of the EU, namely France, the situation is not very different.
The winner of the elections there is Marine Le Pen. Her party Rassemblement National has become the number one party with a vote ratio of 24.9%.
President Emmanuel Macron's party LREM could only become number two with a vote ratio of 21.5%. The Greens were successful in France too, and they are in third place with 12.8% of the votes.
Marine Le Pen is determined to form a strong group within the European Parliament together with the LEGA president and Italian Internal Affairs Minister and with other far-right populist parties that were successful in the elections. However, she is also aiming for the government in France. It seems things are going to get difficult for President Macron.
After the latest polls, nothing will be the same in the European Parliament. A new period is at the doorstep. The EPP (Christian Democrats), which only managed to get 179 members in the Parliament and the S&D, or Social Democrats, who were considered successful because they were able to elect 150 members of parliament, no longer have the majority.
The Liberals' (ALDE) now have 107 members in the Parliament. I am saying "now," because these numbers may change. Now the negotiations will begin. First, we have to wait for the groups to be formed. After that, we can talk about the groups and the exact numbers of members of the parliament.
The power of the groups will increase or decrease based on these negotiations. The real negotiations will begin after that. It seems the matters like the appointment and elections of new European Parliament president, the Presidency Council, Commission and Committee presidents and members will be resolved after complex and colorful negotiations. They at least need a third partner. Alternatively, the coalitions within the parliament will be formed of colors we are not used to.
After all this, we will encounter a new problem with the elections of the new EU Commission. For the EU leaders, there is no longer a European Parliament they can easily agree on. It will not be easy for them to get the name they wish elected, to be elected by gaining the majority within the parliament. It is too early to write about the role the new European Parliament will play on Turkey-EU relations. I will make my assessments about the members of parliament of Turkish-descent or Turkish members on Thursday. As it stands, we have much more to discuss and write about. Let us wish good luck to the new European Parliament.
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