Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:32:37 PM EST
Left tongue tied as right takes all -  La Repubblica/Presseurop

Whether in power or oppostion, conservative parties have benefited from the electorate's anxiety about the recession. In decline throughout the EU, the left is going through "a language crisis". It no longer knows how to talk to its traditional base, believes La Repubblica.

European elections marked by the worst turnout in history (only 43% of Europe's 388 million-strong electorate cast their votes) have done little to modify the allocation of seats in Brussels. But profound changes are emerging on the right and the left of the European Parliament.

The European People's Party has confirmed its lead in parliament and won new seats. The Party of European Socialists maintains its second-ranked position, but has given up a substantial number of seats. However, in practical terms, this loss will be offset by the significant growth of the Greens, who have emerged as the fourth largest group, and the hard left, which conserved its share of MEPs and even won some new seats. Confirming its role as a key player in the balance of power, the liberal ALDE, which sides with the Right on some votes and with the Left on others, remains the third largest group, while right wing parties that are unequivocally hostile to the process of European integration scored significant successes in a number of countries (Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, and the UK).

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:41:19 PM EST
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The European People's Party has confirmed its lead in parliament and won new seats.

Isn't that blatantly false?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 05:51:46 PM EST
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Maybe they meant 'won new seat covers'?

At this point, it's anyone's guess what on earth the media are talking about.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 05:54:27 PM EST
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Rout of the soft left: Europe veers right to beat recession - Europe, World - The Independent
Angry voters stayed home in record numbers but did not flock to extremists

It may be difficult to say who "won" the European elections, but it is clear who lost. From France to Poland - and spectacularly in Britain - politicians of the moderate left were shunned or humiliated by the few voters who bothered to cast their ballots.

In a time of recession - and especially one caused by the exuberance and immoderate greed of markets - centre-left arguments might have been expected to thrive. Instead, centre-left parties of government were routed in Britain and soundly defeated in Portugal and narrowly beaten in Spain. Centre-left opposition parties were rejected in Italy and Poland and crushed in France. In Germany, where the main centre-right and centre-left parties share power, voters rejected the Social Democrats and gave a comfortable victory to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The principal exceptions to the rout of the moderate left were the good results for social democratic parties in Denmark, Sweden, Greece and Slovakia.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:43:04 PM EST
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Sweden: We're not geeks any more, say Pirates of the internet - Europe, World - The Independent

Amid the deluge of bewilderingly long and indigestible political manifestos, that of Sweden's Pirate Party was refreshingly brief - an internet file-sharing free-for-all, a ban on monitoring emails and the abolition of patents. Standing on essentially a single issue might have seemed like cloud-cuckoo land but the Scandinavian fringe party picked up more than 7 per cent of the Swedish vote at the weekend, capturing a seat in the European Parliament.

Not bad going for a bunch of pirates who have only been around for three years and whose supporters dub them the "geek" party.

"Last night, we gained political credibility," founder Rick Falkvinge, 37, told BBC radio. "The establishment is trying to prevent control of knowledge and culture slipping from their grasp. People were not taken in."

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:43:26 PM EST
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I've always feared that these kinds of libertarianism verge on nihilism, but I do admire their vitality.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 04:50:23 PM EST
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France 24 | Barroso agrees to serve a second term, with conditions | France 24
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has accepted an EU request to lead its executive branch for a second term after his mandate expires in October but says he will only remain if the bloc adopts his "ambitious" five-year plan.

AFP - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso accepted Tuesday a request from the European Union presidency to stand for a second five-year term as head of the bloc's executive arm.
"I have agreed to this request," he told reporters, after talks in Brussels with Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of the month.
Barroso has long coveted a new mandate after his current term expires at the end of October, but he said he would only take on the job if EU member nations and the bloc's parliament endorsed his programme for Europe's future.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:47:13 PM EST
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Barroso seeks new term as EU Commission chief | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 09.06.2009
European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso has said he will stand for a second term as head of the EU's executive. 

Barroso, one-time Conservative prime minister of Portugal, told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that he had accepted a request to run for another term at the top of the body charged with regulating and proposing EU legislation.


He said he was "honoured that the President of the European Council has today asked me if he can put forward my name for a second mandate," adding that he had agreed to the request.


The Commission chief made his announcement on the back of talks with leaders from Sweden and the Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:47:36 PM EST
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European elections 2009: Europe's centre-right declares war on Conservatives - Telegraph
The European Parliament's centre-right grouping has declared war on David Cameron and said a new Conservative government must not be allowed to derail the Lisbon Treaty.

The Tory leader has angered the European People's Party (EPP) after pulling out of the grouping to form a new Eurosceptic bloc called the European Conservatives and Reformists.

Mr Cameron's pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon European Union Treaty, if it remains unratified by the Irish by the time of a British general election, has also alarmed the Brussels establishment as Labour goes into political meltdown.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:48:12 PM EST
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The conservatives are in trouble thanks to the success of the BNP. A lot of the parties who were thinking of forming a new grouping with them are more allied/sympathetic to the BNP. So the tories may have a choice of joining a group alongside the BNP or crawling back to the EPP.

Good choices Dave.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 04:53:10 PM EST
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The World from Berlin: 'Europe's Elites Are Destroying the Grand Project' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Never mind who the voters voted for. Why didn't more Europeans cast their ballots? German commentators think they have the answer.

How does one analyze an election that took place simultaneously in 27 different member states? Prior to the European parliamentary vote, pundits lamented the fact that the EU-wide vote rarely went beyond being a domestic political barometer. With the results having been made public on Sunday evening, however, those same pundits rushed to fit the results into a continent-wide pattern.

A couple in Brussels look at a board displaying provisional results of the European parliament elections. The patterns were certainly there to be seen. Social Democrats suffered mightily across the EU as voters apparently turned to the right for solutions to the ongoing economic crisis that has gripped Europe and the world. At the same time, many voters found center-right parties not conservative enough, with far-right parties doing well in Holland, Austria, Hungary and elsewhere.

Success on the center-right was good news for European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. On Tuesday, the conservative former prime minister of Portugal declared his candidacy for a second five-year term. Given his political camp's strong election showing, his candidacy will likely be unopposed.

Mostly, though, Monday mulling focused on the perennial European election problem: low voter turnout. Just 43 percent of Europe's 375 million eligible voters headed to the polls from June 4 to 7, less even than last time when 45.5 percent voted. German commentators on Tuesday say that national leaders and parties are to blame for failing to campaign on European issues and for using Brussels as a convenient scapegoat when things go wrong.

by Fran on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 03:50:34 PM EST
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