After a long night of election results from across the EU, META looks at five things we’re learnt about how Europe voted.
1. Greens did well, in some places really well
From early in the evening it was clear that green parties had surged in Ireland and Germany.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had already taken to Twitter on Saturday to say “we’ve got that message”.
I want to congratulate the Greens on a very good election. It’s a very clear message from the public that they want us to do more on climate action – and we’ve got that message. That’s going to require lots of changes on individual level, community level and Govt level.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) May 25, 2019
Angela Merkel now faces the similar pressure as the Green party came second in Germany.
The latest projections show the Greens/EFA group heading toward 75 seats in the new Parliament. That’s 50% more than the 50 seats they’ve held since 2014.
Green parties won more seats than last time round in ten countries: Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and Ireland.
2. Pro-EU parties won the election
Despite small gains for nationalist and far-right parties, the overall picture was one of disappointment for anti-EU forces that had been hoping for big gains.
Once MEPs take their seats, pro-EU members will form a comfortable majority.
EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates said this was particularly important because “so many environmental problems need more action to be taken at the EU level”.
3. High turnout
For the first time ever turnout increased at this EU election, breaking the 50% mark for the first time in 20 years.
The European Parliament has been praised for its work to boost participation. Citizens’ groups across Europe have also worked hard to encourage their supporters to turnout at the election.
4. Young people made this the climate and environment election and the future is green
Polls in France, Germany and elsewhere show young people backed greens in their droves.
France, Harris exit poll:
Age group: 18-24
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) May 26, 2019
With major school strikes taking place again last week, the voice of young people was clearly heard at this election.
— TIME (@TIME) 24 mei 2019
5. The next Commission President is…
Oops, actually this is something we still *don’t* know!
EU leaders must now take account of the election, which has produced a progressive majority, before proposing a candidate to lead the next EU Commission.
EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates warned against focusing on personality and stressed the importance of the developing a programme for the next five years:
“…it’s important to remember that whoever becomes Commission President will need to set out a programme that delivers not only for people but also for the natural world.”
You can read Wates’ full response to the election result on the EEB website.