COMMENTARY: European Parliament Elections to Affect Government Policy-making and Efficiency in Croatia

EP pic7 April 2014, LPJ Croatia Issue 79

From 22 to 25 May 2014, elections for the European Parliament (EP) will be held in all member states of the European Union, including Croatia on 25 May for 11 Members of the European Parliament (MEP).  This will be the 8th Europe-wide election to the EP since the first direct elections in 1979.  The Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, provides that the EP shall elect the president of the European Commission (EC) on the basis of a proposal made by the European Council, taking into account the European elections. This provision will apply for the first time for the 2014 elections.

Since the final likely compromise proposal is by the European Council (i.e. heads of state of the member states), the results of the upcoming elections, along with the composition of the EC, will also have mid and long-term effects on the Croatian government’s policy-making and efficiency.

Pan-European Popular Vote to Elect EC President
Present President of the EC, Jose Manuel Barroso, will not run for another term and comes from the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), whose candidate for this year’s election is former PM of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker.
The second largest political grouping in the present configuration of the EP is Party of European Socialists (S&D) whose presidential candidate is Martin Schultz, the German MEP and President of the European Parliament Incumbent.

As stated earlier and given that the present European-wide polling results show that the public opinion is split almost exactly between the centre-right grouping led by the EPP and the centre-left grouping led by the S&D, it is likely that the European Council will decide to nominate a compromise candidate from the grouping with the best electoral results.

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