Europe 2009: Final Parliamentary Groups
Well, the parliamentary groups have been formed, and we have seven groups. Though there were also seven groups for most of the 2004 legislature (except for the ITS interlude in 2007), there have been new groups, dead groups and so forth.
Firstly, here is the final distribution of MEPs by parliamentary group.
The European People’s Party will form a group on its own, without the European Democrats sub-group (which is dead). The EPP has MEPs in all member countries except the United Kingdom, and the largest party within the EPP remains the German CDU with 34 MEPs (+8 CSU MEPs). Few surprises in the member parties, except for the Flemish N-VA which will sit with the Greens-EFA. In addition, all French MEPs elected on UMP lists will sit in the EPP group, including the 3 New Centre MEPs and 2 Modern Left. The Romanian Magyar László Tőkés, elected in 2007 as an EFA independent, has joined the EPP group like all Romanian Magyar MEPs. After all, Tőkés was the top candidate.
The Socialist group, renamed Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (PASD) to accommodate the Italian PD, has MEPs in all member countries except Latvia (the Harmony Centre, which I predicted would join PASD, has joined the EUL-NGL). In the end, all MEPs elected on the PD list in Italy (except for one South Tyrolean who joined EPP) will sit in the PASD. PASD has also welcomed former ALDE member DIKO (Democratic Party) from Cyprus, giving the PASD two MEPs from Cyprus (there is one Social Democrat, EDEK). The PASD’s largest party is the German SPD with 23 MEPs. The PD is the second-largest with 21 MEPs.
No major changes for the Liberals, except for the negligible loss of Cypriot DIKO to PASD. ALDE has MEPs in all countries except Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Portugal. The German FDP, a right-liberal party, replaces the British Liberal Democrats, a left-liberal party, as the largest member party with 12 MEPs. As known before the elections, the Irish FF has joined ALDE. The European Democratic Party (EDP), which includes the French MoDem, has 9 MEPs (including 6 French MoDemers).
The Greens-EFA, with 55 MEPs, has actually more MEPs than in 2004, even when the 2004 parliament had more MEPs. The Greens-EFA have members in 14 countries, and the largest parties are the German Greens and French Greens with 14 MEPs each. The European Free Alliance has 7 MEPs: one Flemish (the conservative N-VA has joined the EFA), one Corsican (PNC), one Latvian-Russian (PCTVL), one Catalan (ERC), two Scots (SNP) and one Welsh (Plaid). The Estonian Independent Indrek Tarand has joined the group, as well as the Swedish Pirate Party.
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) has only 55 MEPs, quite smaller than I would have predicted. It has MEPs from 8 member states, and the British Conservatives (and Ulster Unionists) are the largest with 26 MEPs. The Polish PiS, with 15 MEPs, is the second-largest. Here is a list of members:
1 Flemish (Lijst Dedecker)
9 Czechs (ODS) from ED
1 Hungarian (MDF) from EPP
1 Latvian (TB/LNNK) from UEN
1 Lithuanian (Polish LLRA)
1 Dutch (ChristianUnion) from IND/DEM
15 Poles (PiS) from UEN
26 British (25 Conservatives and 1 Ulster Unionist) from ED
The Dutch CU-SGP electoral alliance, which elected two MEPs has one MEP (ChristianUnion) joining the ECR. Surprisingly, the Polish LLRA from Lithuania has also joined the ECR. The EUDemocrats Europarty has two MEPs, both from UKIP.
The European Left have 35 MEPs from 13 countries and the German Linke is the biggest party with 8 MEPs. Unsurprising composition, except for one of the two Latvian Harmony Centre MEPs joining the group. The Nordic Green Left (the NGL part of the EUL-NGL abbreviation) has 3 MEPs, though two of them (the Danish Socialist People’s Party) sit in the Green-EFA group, since they refuse to flirt with hardline old Communists like the Greek KKE or Czech KSČM.
Two groups have died, the UEN and Independence/Democracy. The member parties have gone different ways, although a few have formed a 30-member group – Europe of Freedom and Democracy – with MEPs from 8 different countries. The British UKIP, with 13 MEPs, is the largest party. Here is the composition of EFD:
2 Danes (DFP) from UEN
1 Finn (True Finns)
1 French (Libertas-MPF) from IND/DEM
2 Greeks (LAOS) from IND/DEM
9 Italians (Lega Nord) from UEN
1 Dutch (SGP) from IND/DEM
1 Slovak (SNS)
13 British (UKIP) from IND/DEM
As aforementioned, the Dutch CU-SGP electoral alliance split with one MEP joining ECR, the other, from the ultra-Protestant SGP joining the EFD. There is a slim chance the far-right Austrian FPÖ could join the group (giving it 32 MEPs).
The Non-Inscrits include the far-right [FPÖ, VB, Ataka, FN, Jobbik, TT, PVV, PRM, BNP] (23 from 9 countries), the Austrian anti-corruption MEP Hans-Peter Martin and his 3 MEPs, the sole Democratic Unionist from Northern Ireland, one of the two Latvian Harmony Centre MEPs, and the Spanish nationalist-liberal UPyD (they aren’t in ALDE since ALDE includes their enemies, EAJ and CiU).
Once again, awful predictions from yours truly, though I’m proud of my call on UPyD. Many thought they’d join ALDE.
Obituaries go out for Independence/Democracy, though the most important passing is that of the Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN). The UEN, the latest in a series of names, was founded by the French RPR as a Gaullist national-conservative group before 1979 and briefly included Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the SNP from Scotland during its existence. The major members of the UEN were Lega Nord from Italy, PiS from Poland and Fianna Fáil from Ireland. The Europarty Alliance for a Europe of Nations, AEN, has 18 MEPs (15 PiS, 2 TT, 1 TB/LNNK).
Talking of other Europarties, the Anticapitalist Left (EACL) has 4 MEPs (3 from the Portuguese Left Bloc and one Irish Socialist). The Christian Political Movement (ECPM) has only one MEP, the Dutch ChristianUnion. The far-right Euronat has 5 MEPs (3 French FN, 2 BNP); the National Front has none.
Libertas, as mentioned earlier, has one MEP, Philippe de Villiers from France. Very far from the 100 or more Declan Ganley predicted. Ganley must also be very unhappy at wasting so much money on electing only an obnoxious French.