The European election campaign have been very French. Citizen still wonder what is it about, Google trends show.
“It has been the 3rd round of the presidential election”, outgoing MEP Jean Arthuis said in a tweet.
La campagne franco-française des élections européennes touche à sa fin, dénaturée par la volonté d’en faire le 3eme tour de la présidentielle. J’ai la conviction que @NathalieLoiseau sera un député influent. Elle a besoin de coéquipiers nombreux pour sortir du duopole PPE-S&D.— Jean Arthuis (@JeanArthuis) May 24, 2019
But the European campaign has been shorter. Most media started talking about it only two weeks ago, and avoided any complicated European issues: the campaign was about the good and the bad, Macron or Le Pen.
Macron’s Renaissance list started long ago to say its opponent was Le Pen’s National Rally, and this story-telling worked. Or at least it was taken as such: main topics of the campaign were defined through this opposition that happened to be quite violent.
Accusations and tough language were commonplace during the debates between candidates. And the debates were numerous, with a special effort by public services. But have they helped citizens understanding the EU ?
Basic questions remain unanswered
It’s not that clear. The questions asked on Google about the European election show a huge lack of information. The most asked question is “how many round for EU elections”, third is “how to vote for European election”, but many others questions are about “what is it” and “how useful it is” of why go and vote”, according to Google Trends.
None of the debates tried to answer those simple questions. Left parties were way too busy escalating their attacks against one another, the Greens pretending they were the only ones being greens, the right also attacking National Rally.
Now what ?
What has not been explained is what will come next : for the first time a centre-left coalition could take shape in the European parliament, rather than a grand coalition between centre right and centre left. This is partly due to the weakness of the center parties and the rise of the extremes, but also to the newcomers like Renaissance who plan to drag the center party ALDE to the left, and the good results of socialists especially in southern Europe (Spain, Portugal). This is a new situation, and difficult to explain, as Renaissance in France is more on the right side than on the left. But surely this might be possible to explain. By talking about other countries, too.