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Has Macron lost the EU elections ?

Emmanuel Macron and Antonio Costa, Prime minister of Portugal, 24 may 2019.

He wanted to win. He lost, his team getting 22,4 % of the votes, against 23,3 % for National Rally. But has he lost, really ?

 

1. Not that bad

“After 6 months of social unrest, this is not that bad” said Pascal Canfin, a newly elected Renaissance MEPs, referring to the “yellow vests” protests. 

In France, others parties couldn’t agree more : they would die to be at the same place. Les Republicains tumbled to 8%, socialists barely sent MEPs to European Parliament with their modest 6%, Communists disappeared for the first time, and the Greens got a majority for the Greens in France, with 13,4 % of votes, but it’s way behind LREM, a party that was created 2 years ago.

2. Right/left opposition is dead

Macron has also succeeded in the sense that he answered to the need of change expressed by voters, a feeling shared all around the EU. In France, it meant that Renaissance was chosen by right-wing voters.

30% of the citizen who voted for centre-right François Fillon two years ago voted Renaissance on Sunday, while part of the left-wing voters who voted for him chose the Greens instead. It shows he has won his bet of saying there is no right and left any more: its pro-European ideas can be shared by the two sides.

3. Appetite to change the EU

And finally his pro-European stance is coming along a common feeling shared by European citizen: most of them demonstrated confidence in the EU by hitting polling station more than in 2014, and their vote expressed a strong taste for a different EU: more green, more social or more nationalist, but not the same.

4. No more Spitzenkandidaten

And finally, two days after the elections results, the Spitzenkandidaten system seems to be dead: that was on Macron’s initiative. In 2014, Martin Schulz had expressed his support to see Juncker heading the European Commission on the evening of the election. Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager or the Greens are not ready at all for that. On the contrary, Vestager already stated she was a candidate.

Besides, Macron is seen as a kingmaker in next European Parliament as his team of 22 MEPs will be key in the new center group. He has lost, but won a few bets and more power at the same time.

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