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What will new European Parliament look like: Preliminary assessment

What will new European Parliament look like: Preliminary assessment European Parliament elections are over (photo: Getty Images)

Voting in the European Parliament (EP) elections is coming to an end in the European Union today, June 9. It is already known how many seats in the new convocation the EP factions can get.

According to a preliminary forecast of the distribution of seats based on the assessment of voting in EU countries, the European People's Party faction will retain its primacy in the new convocation of the European Parliament. The EPP may receive 181 seats.

How many seats can other factions get?

  • Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) - 135
  • "Renew Europe" - 82
  • European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) - 71
  • "Identity and Democracy" - 62
  • Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) - 53
  • European United Left (GUE/NGL) - 34

Another 51 seats can be won by independent MEPs. The same number of seats can be won by MEPs who may later become part of an EP faction.

In total, there will be 720 seats in the new convocation of the European Parliament.

What will new European Parliament look like: Preliminary assessment

EP 2024-2029 seats projection

What do these results mean

Overall, according to current estimates, the two main groups in the European Parliament, the European People's Party (center-right) and the Social Democrats (center-bench), have retained their dominant positions. The EPP gained 5 seats, while the Social Democrats lost four.

Two other groups - Renew (liberals) and the Greens - failed in the elections, losing 20 and 18 seats respectively. The group of European Conservatives and Reformists (right-wing conservatives) gained two seats. The main winners of the elections were the right-wing radicals from the Identity and Democracy group, who gained 13 seats.

However, the current balance of power shows that the existing coalition of EPP+Social Democrats+Renew, which together will receive 398 seats, may remain in the European Parliament.

But the situation may change. The main task of the European Parliament in the near future is to approve a new head of the European Commission, which will require a majority of 361 votes. The main candidate for this position is the current head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. However, according to many European media outlets, at least 10% of the EPP+Social Democrats+Renew coalition MPs are not ready to support her. Therefore, if the final distribution of seats in the European Parliament remains the same as predicted, there will certainly not be enough votes to appoint von der Leyen.

She has several options for getting out of the situation. The first is to bring the Green Party into the coalition in support of it. But given their disastrous election result, such a majority would still be shaky.

The other scenario is that von der Leyen will try to reach an agreement with right-wing groups, primarily the European Conservatives and Reformists, whose “face” is Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. And she can already reach an agreement with the right-wing radicals from Identity and Democracy, the most famous politician in this camp being Marine Le Pen from France. This will mean that, for the first time since the European Parliament's existence, right-wing radicals will be able to enter the European governing structures. This is what scares the more moderate groups in the European Parliament, so, for example, the liberals from Renew will definitely not join such an association.

A major factor of uncertainty is the more than a hundred newly elected MPs who do not belong to any of the major parliamentary groups. According to one scenario, the right-wing groups of Maloney and Le Pen may merge into one, and if they recruit at least a few right-wing or right-wing radical like-minded people, they could become the second largest group in the entire European Parliament, pushing the Social Democrats aside. And this will definitely affect the distribution of power in the European Union for the next five years.

European Parliament elections 2024

The European elections to the European Parliament took place from June 6 to 9. The new convocation of the European Parliament will begin its work on July 16. Its first decision will be to elect its president. MEPs are expected to re-elect the current president, Roberta Mecola, for a new term.

Along with the European Parliament, the European Commission, including its president, will be renewed after these elections. The vote on the election of the European Commission President will be scheduled after the EU leaders select a candidate for this position.

It is currently unclear whether Ursula von der Leyen will be able to stay in office for another five-year term, as she faces significant opposition among the EP factions.

After the appointment or re-election, the President of the European Commission will have to form a new composition of European Commissioners. For Ukraine, it is important to know who will receive the portfolios of the European Commissioners for Enlargement and Defense, as well as who will replace the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell.

Read more about the elections to the European Parliament and their importance for Ukraine in RBC-Ukraine's article.