Monday, June 8, 2009

Voorlopige indeling EU parlement. EU voters shift to the right

Voorlopige indeling Europees parlement

Dominantie Christendemocraten, EVP wint.

EU Voters Shift to the Right
Conservative and Far-Right Parties Notch Up Wins; Socialists Lose Seats

(Source Wall Street Journal)
Europeans punished their governments and boosted conservative and far-right parties, as voters spooked by the economic downturn registered their unhappiness in European parliamentary and local elections across the Continent.

Elections to the 736-seat body were a mishmash of local political needs and lofty debates over the future and purpose of the European Union. But one thread was clear. It was a "very sad evening for socialists in Europe," said Martin Schulz, a German who is president of the Socialist group in the European Parliament. "In most countries we did very badly."
Voters voiced their unease by sending record numbers of far-right candidates to Brussels -- or by staying home. Turnout fell for the seventh straight time, to a record low of 43.4%, according to preliminary estimates.

When the EU's founders set up the first elections to the parliament in 1979, they hoped the institution would become a guarantor of popular support for the union. Instead, national governments have handcuffed the chamber, so that it can hold up and occasionally tweak EU legislation, but can't propose laws of its own. Elections to the parliament "have always been an opportunity for Europeans to register a protest vote," says Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, an analyst with the Centre for European Policy Studies, a Brussels-based think tank.

In the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown's Labour Party was emblematic of the whiplash -- pre-election polls projected it would finish third, and early results confirmed that grim diagnosis.

News was grim for Socialists in recession-ravaged Hungary, where they lost ground to the right-leaning Fidesz party; in Spain, where the center-right People's Party pulled ahead of the ruling Socialists; and in the Netherlands, where socialist support fell from 24% in the last go-round in 2004 to just 12%. Read on...
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