A smaller composition, greater representation of some Member States, some overturn between political families and the reinforcement of the ideological right. Those are the effects that the ‘brexit’ will have in the European Parliament. Seats released by the 73 British deputies -Thursday the last formal session was held for them although they will have until February 7 to leave their offices- force to restructure the hemicycle following the guidelines that the institution marked two years ago. And the first is that It will have a smaller size: it goes from 751 elected to 705.
That means only 27 of the vacant seats will be filled; 46 are reserved for future enlargements of the EU (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, all in the Western Balkans, aspire to enter the club).
Seats that already have a holder are distributed by 14 Member States. The reason was “slightly underrepresented” in relation to its number of inhabitants. And here Spain and France are the ones that emerge most reinforced by adding five MEPs each. Italy and Holland win three; Ireland, two; and Poland, Romania, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Slovakia, Finland, Croatia and Estonia, one.
Spain goes from 54 to 59. Marcos Ros will join his PSOE teammates (22), Gabriel Mato, those of the PP (13), Adrián Vázquez, and those of Ciudadanos (7, in this case, after Javier Nart left the game and became independent attached to the group of liberals); Margarita de la Pisa reinforces Vox (4) and the Catalan independentist coalition Free for Europe (in which Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín concurred) takes the last seat. The former fleeing in Scotland Clara Ponsatí would opt for him and Jordi Solé would be called to replace Oriol Junqueras, to whom the Eurocamara withdrew the status of deputy for the condemnation of ‘procés’. The ERC leader has appealed that decision.
Opening the focal angle again, the British who leave responded to different ideological sensibilities and divided into the seven political families that fragment the hemicycle, in addition to the 57 unassigned to date. Among the latter were the 29 MEPs led by Nigel Farage, so that is where the most notable hole will be. Although “we are not going to miss them,” the liberal Guy Verhofstad recalled before the key Brexit vote last Wednesday.
Yes, and much will accuse the group of The Greens-European Free Alliance the march of the 11 British partners. Receive four new ones from Austria, France, Finland and Sweden. But the decline is so important that it will be removed from fourth to fifth group in the Eurocamara. Because he will keep 67 seats and will be surpassed by Identity and Democracy (the extreme right-wing family created by Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen). He had 73 deputies and earns three more with the restructuring.
Balance of power
The Group of European Conservatives and Reformists, of which Vox is a part, gave shelter to the Tories (6 seats). Your loss is less. With readjustments it goes from 66 to 62 seats. British Liberals and Democrats leave 17 seats in the ‘sponsored’ group by Emmanuel Macron, Renew Europe (where Citizens are). They will recover six. That loss, such as that of the Social Democrats with the march of the six Labor MPs, or the slight increase of the popular (5 more) close the list of more striking changes.
The final image brings the nuance of a greater right weight because the Group of the European Popular, which raises its representation quota to 26.6% (2.3 points more than to date) and the ultraconservatives of Identity and Democracy, which grow 1.1 points (up to 10.8%), are the big beneficiaries of the restructuring. But his conceptions of Europe are diametrically opposed.
And the reality is that nothing changes for practical purposes in the balance of power. The elections of May 26 ended the traditional ‘great alliance’ popular-socialists controlled by the European Parliament. After that date, a third key pro-European actor, the liberals, has joined them. The new simple majority (down to 353 MEPs) and still require the involvement of MEPs from these three large political families.