24 Juni 2024

FIIA panel discussion: After the European Parliament election

The European Parliament elections on 6-9 June marked the start of a crucial and likely contentious legislature. Over the next five years, the EU faces a tough political agenda – with geopolitical challenges, negotiations on enlargement and internal reform as well as a new long-term budget, and other projects such as the green and digital transformation and the reform of the single market. At the same time, the rise of far-right parties in both the Parliament and the Council will make it more difficult to build majorities.

In a panel discussion organised by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in cooperation with the European Parliament Liaison Office in Finland, we take stock of the election results and look ahead to the next legislature: What new majorities will emerge? What will be the priorities of the next European Commission? And who is in the running for the EU’s top jobs?

The panel included Jarmo Oikarinen (head of the EP Liaison Office), Hanna Tuominen (Helsinki University), Totti Sivonen (Eurooppalainen Suomi / European Movement Finland), Manuel Müller (FIIA) as well as Tuomas Iso-Markku (FIIA) as chair. Here is a video recording of the event.

FIIA-Podiumsdiskussion: Nach der Europawahl

Die Europawahl am 6.-9. Juni markierten den Beginn einer einschneidenden und voraussichtlich kontroversen Wahlperiode. In den nächsten fünf Jahren steht die EU vor einer schwierigen politischen Agenda – mit geopolitischen Herausforderungen, Verhandlungen über Erweiterung und interne Reformen, einem neuen mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen und anderen Projekten wie der grünen und digitalen Transformation und der Reform des Binnenmarktes. Gleichzeitig wird der Aufstieg rechtsextremer Parteien sowohl im Parlament als auch im Rat die Mehrheitsbildung erschweren.

In einer Podiumsdiskussion, die vom Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Informationsbüro des Europäischen Parlaments in Finnland organisiert wurde, haben wir eine Woche nach der Wahl Bilanz der Ergebnisse gezogen und auf die kommenden Jahre vorausgeblickt. Welche neuen Mehrheiten werden sich herausbilden? Was werden die Prioritäten der nächsten Europäischen Kommission sein? Und wer ist im Rennen um die EU-Spitzenjobs?

Auf dem Podium waren Jarmo Oikarinen (Leiter des EP-Informationsbüros), Hanna Tuominen (Universität Helsinki), Totti Sivonen (Eurooppalainen Suomi / Europäische Bewegung Finnland), Manuel Müller (FIIA) sowie Tuomas Iso-Markku (FIIA) als Moderator. Ein Videomitschnitt der englischsprachigen Veranstaltung ist hier zu finden.

18 Juni 2024

Podcast Bohrleute: Europawahlnachlese

Der von Stefan Sasse betriebene Podcast „Bohrleute“ begleitet die Politik mit Einschätzungen, Analysen und Seufzern. In der aktuellen Folge war ich zu Besuch, um über die Ergebnisse der Europawahl zu sprechen (aus europäischer Perspektive).

„Bohrleute“ ist bei Spotify und allen anderen großen Podcast-Portalen zu finden.

13 Juni 2024

Results of the 2024 European Parliament election

In the European elections, the “Party of Progress”, the “Voice of Reason” and “The Party is Over” have all won seats. What does this mean politically? We are about to find out – once the newcomers join a political group in the European Parliament.

Mehrheitsbildung im neuen Europäischen Parlament: Ein formaler Koalitionsvertrag kann mehr Stabilität bringen und die Demokratie stärken

Von Manuel Müller
Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament

Das Europäische Parlament wird Ursula von der Leyen wahrscheinlich wiederwählen. Aber zuerst ist es ein Koalitionsvertrag nötig.

Bekommt Ursula von der Leyen eine zweite Amtszeit als Präsidentin der Europäischen Kommission? Als Spitzenkandidatin der Europäischen Volkspartei (EVP), die bei den EU-Wahlen vom 6. bis 9. Juni 2024 die meisten Sitze errungen hat, hat sie starke politische Argumente für sich. Im Europäischen Rat gibt es wenig Appetit auf weitere institutionelle Unsicherheiten, insbesondere angesichts der Neuwahlen in Frankreich Ende Juni. Für das Europäische Parlament wiederum ist von der Leyens Wahl die einzige plausible Möglichkeit, dem Spitzenkandidatenverfahren gerecht zu werden. Und ohnehin hat sich bislang keine andere Kandidat:in herauskristallisiert, die in beiden EU-Organen die erforderlichen Mehrheiten erreichen könnte.

Nach der Wahl forderte EVP-Fraktionschef Manfred Weber die Sozialdemokrat:innen und Liberalen auf, von der Leyen rasch zu unterstützen. Doch obwohl nur wenige politische Akteur:innen eine zweite Amtszeit für von der Leyen rundheraus ablehnen, ist ihr Weg noch nicht frei. Bevor sie ihrer Wiederwahl zustimmen, wollen die anderen Fraktionen der Mitte Zusicherungen sowohl hinsichtlich politischer Inhalte als auch hinsichtlich der Art und Weise, wie die EVP künftig Mehrheiten im Parlament bilden wird – insbesondere einen Verzicht auf die Zusammenarbeit mit Rechtsaußen-Parteien.

Tradition flexibler Mehrheiten

Dieses starke Interesse an der Vorab-Festlegung künftiger parlamentarischer Mehrheiten mag überraschend erscheinen. Während es in den meisten nationalen Parlamenten eine klare Unterscheidung zwischen Regierungs- und Oppositionsparteien gibt, sind die Mehrheiten im Europäischen Parlament traditionell flexibel und themenspezifisch. Die meisten Entscheidungen wurden dabei immer von einer „Großen Koalition“ getroffen, die sich aus den wichtigsten Fraktionen der Mitte zusammensetzte: der konservativ-christdemokratischen EVP, der sozialdemokratischen S&D und der liberalen Renew Europe (RE), oft ergänzt durch die Grünen. Diese Zusammenarbeit ist jedoch weitgehend informell geblieben, mit nur wenigen Vereinbarungen in Verfahrensfragen.

Außerdem gab es daneben meistens noch alternative Mehrheiten, die bei bestimmten Abstimmungen zum Tragen kamen. In den letzten fünf Jahren haben sich beispielsweise S&D, RE und Grüne manchmal mit der Linksfraktion zur einer knappen Mitte-Links-Mehrheit zusammengetan, vor allem in Umwelt- und Sozialfragen. Die EVP wiederum bildete in der Vergangenheit zeitweise ein Mitte-Rechts-Bündnis mit der RE- und der EKR-Fraktion, die damals von den britischen Conservatives dominiert wurde. Dieses Bündnis verlor jedoch bei den Wahlen 2019 seine Mehrheit und war nach dem Brexit auch politisch nicht mehr tragfähig, da die polnische PiS und die italienischen FdI die EKR-Fraktion weit nach rechtsaußen trugen.

Die versuchte Rechtsöffnung der EVP erzeugt Misstrauen

Die Wahlen 2024 haben die politische Landschaft erneut verändert. Obwohl die beiden Rechtsaußenfraktionen EKR und ID ihren Sitzanteil erhöht haben, können sie von den anderen politischen Kräften immer noch leicht überstimmt werden. Durch die Wahlverluste der Grünen und der Liberalen kann das Mitte-Links-Bündnis im neuen Parlament jedoch keine Mehrheit mehr bilden. Dies stärkt die Position der EVP, die nun de facto ein Vetorecht hat und die Mitte-links-Fraktionen in jedem Fall zum Aushandeln von Kompromissen zwingen kann.

Darüber hinaus will die EVP-Führung die Machtposition ihrer Fraktion weiter verbessern, indem sie neue Mehrheitsoptionen auf der rechten Seite eröffnet. Damit ist nicht ein stabiles Bündnis mit der EKR oder der ID gemeint, das politisch ohnehin nicht möglich wäre. Vielmehr will sich die EVP weiterhin in erster Linie auf die Große Koalition stützen, dabei aber auch jene Rechtsaußenparteien in die Mehrheitsbildung mit einbeziehen, die „pro-EU, pro-Ukraine und pro-Rechtsstaat“ sind – wozu aus Sicht der EVP die italienischen FdI, nicht aber die polnische PiS oder das französische RN zählen. Aber selbst eine solche begrenzte Öffnung nach rechts könnte es der EVP ermöglichen, bei der Mehrheitsbildung auf die Grünen und den linken Flügel von S&D und RE zu verzichten. Die plausible Landezone für politische Kompromisse im Parlament läge damit künftig sehr nahe bei den Positionen der EVP selbst.

S&D, RE und Grüne hingegen lehnen eine solche Unterscheidung zwischen vermeintlich akzeptablen und inakzeptablen Rechtsaußen-Parteien ab. Im Wahlkampf forderten sie die EVP wiederholt auf, jegliche Zusammenarbeit mit EKR und ID auszuschließen, was diese jedoch stets zurückwies. Dass es im Parlament keine stabile rechte Mehrheit ohne S&D und RE gibt, gibt diesen nun allerdings ein Druckmittel in die Hand, um die Wiederwahl von der Leyens von bestimmten Zugeständnissen abhängig zu machen. Neben politischen Zielen wie der Fortführung des Green Deals dürften diese Zugeständnisse vor allem auch eine ausdrückliche, möglicherweise schriftliche Verpflichtung beinhalten, keine Mehrheiten mit Rechtsaußenparteien anzustreben.

Ein Koalitionsvertrag würde das Parlament stärken

Wenn es dazu kommt, könnten die Herausforderung durch die extreme Rechte, das wachsende Misstrauen zwischen der EVP und den anderen Fraktionen und der Mangel an alternativen Mehrheiten zuletzt noch zu einem demokratischen Fortschritt führen: einem echten Koalitionsvertrag auf europäischer Ebene. Eine solche Vereinbarung würde eine stabilere und formalisiertere Zusammenarbeit ermöglichen und die demokratische Transparenz und Verantwortlichkeit erhöhen. Langfristig würde sie auch die institutionelle Position des Parlaments stärken, das auf diese Weise seinen eigenen politischen Prioritäten neben der Strategischen Agenda des Europäischen Rates und den Politischen Leitlinien der Kommission sichtbarer machen könnte.

In den kommenden Wochen werden sowohl die EVP als auch der Europäische Rat wahrscheinlich darauf drängen, die Wahl der nächsten Kommissionspräsident:in schnell abzuschließen, um institutionelle Instabilität zu vermeiden. Tatsächlich hat die unglückliche Entscheidung des Europäischen Rates, die Europawahl erst im Juni statt im Mai abzuhalten, den Zeitrahmen für die Ernennung der Kommission unnötig verkürzt. Das Parlament sollte sich aber nicht zu sehr unter Druck setzen lassen. Jetzt eine verlässliche Vereinbarung zwischen den großen Fraktionen auszuhandeln wird die politische Stabilität für die nächsten fünf Jahre verbessern und ist es allemal wert, von der Leyens Wiederwahl von Juli auf September zu verschieben.

Dieser Beitrag ist zuerst auf Englisch als FIIA Comment auf der Webseite des Finnish Institute of International Affairs erschienen.


Bild: Von der Leyen im Europäischen Parlament: European Union 2021 – Source: EP [CC BY 4.0], via Flickr.

Majority-building in the next European Parliament: The case for a more formal coalition

By Manuel Müller
Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament

The European Parliament will probably re-elect Ursula von der Leyen. But first, it needs a coalition agreement.

Will Ursula von der Leyen secure a second term as President of the European Commission? As the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), which won the most seats in the EU elections on 6-9 June 2024, she has a strong political case. In the European Council, there is little appetite for further institutional uncertainty, especially in view of the snap election in France scheduled for the end of June. For the European Parliament, von der Leyen’s election is the only plausible way to honour the lead candidate procedure. And in any case, no other candidate has emerged who would be able to secure the necessary majorities in both institutions.

After the election, EPP group chair Manfred Weber called on the Social Democrats and Liberals to quickly support von der Leyen. But although very few political actors are outright opposed to giving her a second term, her path is not yet clear. Before agreeing to her re-election, the other centrist political groups seek reassurances both on policy and on how the EPP will build future majorities, particularly a renouncement of cooperation with any far-right parties in the European Parliament.

A tradition of flexible majorities

This strong interest in predetermining future parliamentary majorities may seem surprising. Unlike the clear distinction between government and opposition parties in most national parliaments, majorities in the European Parliament have traditionally been flexible and issue-specific. Most decisions have always been made by a “grand coalition” consisting of the main political groups of the centre: the centre-right EPP, the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the liberal Renew Europe (RE), often supplemented by the Greens. However, this cooperation has remained largely informal, with only few procedural agreements.

Moreover, alternative majorities have often been used in some votes. In the last five years, for example, the S&D, RE, and the Greens have sometimes joined forces with the Left group to form a narrow centre-left majority, notably on environmental and social issues. The EPP, on the other hand, has at times in the past formed a centre-right alliance with RE and the ECR group, which was then dominated by the British Conservatives. However, this alliance lost its majority in the 2019 elections and also became politically unviable after Brexit, as Poland’s PiS and Italy’s FdI pushed the ECR to the far right.

The EPP’s attempted opening to the right has created mistrust

The 2024 elections have changed the political landscape once again. Although the two far-right groups, ECR and ID, increased their share of seats, they can still be easily outvoted by the other political forces. However, the electoral losses of both the Greens and the Liberals mean that the centre-left alliance can no longer forge a majority in the new Parliament. This strengthens the position of the EPP, which will now have a de facto veto, forcing the centre-left to constantly negotiate compromises.

In addition, the EPP leadership would like to further improve the group’s power position by opening new majority options to the right. This does not mean forming a stable alliance with the ECR or ID, which would be politically unfeasible. Rather, the EPP would still rely primarily on the centrist grand coalition but extend the majority-building process towards those far-right parties that are “pro-EU, pro-Ukraine and pro-rule of law” – which, according to the EPP, includes the Italian FdI but not the Polish PiS or the French RN. Still, even such a limited opening to the right could allow the EPP to dispense with the Greens and the more left-wing member parties of the S&D and RE when building majorities. This would shift the plausible landing zone for political compromises in the Parliament very close to the EPP’s own positions.

The S&D, RE and the Greens, on the other hand, reject such a distinction between acceptable and unacceptable far-right parties. Their demands to exclude any cooperation with both ECR and ID were repeatedly dismissed by the EPP during the election campaign. However, the lack of a stable right-wing majority without the S&D and RE now gives them leverage to make von der Leyen’s re-election conditional upon certain concessions. In addition to policy goals such as the continuation of the Green Deal, these concessions are likely to include an explicit, possibly written commitment not to seek majorities with the far right.

A coalition agreement will strengthen the Parliament

If this were to happen, the challenge from the far right, the growing mistrust between the EPP and the other groups, and the lack of alternative majorities could eventually result in a new democratic achievement: a genuine coalition agreement at the European level. Such an agreement would lead to more stable and formalised cooperation, increasing democratic transparency and accountability. In the long run, it would also strengthen the institutional position of the Parliament, allowing it to better articulate its own political priorities alongside the European Council’s Strategic Agenda and the Commission’s Political Guidelines.

In the coming weeks, both the EPP and the European Council are likely to stress the need to resolve the election of the next Commission president quickly to avoid institutional instability. Indeed, the European Council’s unfortunate decision to hold the EU elections in June instead of May has shortened the projected timeframe for the nomination of the Commission. However, the Parliament should not allow itself to be put under too much pressure. Negotiating a reliable agreement between the main political groups now will improve political stability for the next five years, and it may well be worth delaying von der Leyen’s re-election from July until September, after the summer recess.

This article was first published as a FIIA Comment by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.


Picture: Von der Leyen in the European Parliament: European Union 2021 – Source: EP [CC BY 4.0], via Flickr.

11 Juni 2024

Ergebnisse der Europawahl 2024

Bei der Europawahl haben die „Partei des Fortschritts“, die „Stimme der Vernunft“ und „Das Fest ist vorbei“ Sitze im Parlament gewonnen. Wofür das politisch steht? Wir werden es bald herausfinden – wenn sich die Newcomer einer Fraktion im Parlament anschließen.

03 Juni 2024

European Parliament seat projection (May 2024): The last polling numbers – who will win, who will lose, and who will form a majority?

By Manuel Müller


Left G/EFA S&D RE EPP ECR ID NI other
EP today 3772139102176694961
April 24 35511328617381833544
May 24 37571368117279665042
dynamic 405813785186807856
Baseline scenario,
as of 29/05/2024.


Dynamic scenario,
as of 29/05/2024.

European elections do not usually lead to sudden political upheavals. Unlike in national parliaments, there are no stable coalitions and no clear contrast between governing and opposition parties in the European Parliament; majorities are formed flexibly depending on the issues, are usually very broad and have always been based on an “informal grand coalition of the centre”.

This year, however, there has been much more discussion than usual about how well the various parliamentary groups will perform and what majorities will be possible after the election. And with good reason, because the stakes are actually higher than usual. This final seat projection before the European elections provides an overview of the latest poll results – and of the key questions of this election, some of which will only be answered on election night and in the weeks that follow.

Who will be the strongest force?

At the latest since the introduction of the lead candidates system, the role of the strongest political group in the Parliament has taken on a special significance. It is associated with a claim to the Commission presidency – or at least with a claim to the right to make the first attempt to form a parliamentary majority in order to obtain it.

However, the question of who will be the strongest force this year is not all that exciting. In the seat projections of recent years, the centre-right EPP has always held a lead over the second-placed centre-left S&D. By the end of 2021, halfway through the legislature, that lead had shrunk to less than a dozen seats. Currently, however, the EPP has 172 seats to the S&D’s 136, meaning that the gap between the two groups would be similar to the one in the current Parliament (EPP 176, S&D 139).

In the dynamic scenario of the seat projection, which also takes into account possible group changes and newcomers after the European elections, the lead is even slightly higher (EPP 186, S&D 137). So will Ursula von der Leyen automatically become Commission president again? More on this below.

How much will the far right grow?

The big issue that has dominated the election campaign across Europe is the rise of the far right. Groups to the right of the EPP have made gains in every European election since 2009. According to the seat projection, they are now set to surpass their previous high in 1984, when they won just under 22 per cent of the seats (although two of the three right-wing groups of that time were much more moderate than the ECR and ID are today).

The seat projection puts the ECR at 79 MEPs (dynamic scenario: 80) and ID at 66 (dynamic scenario: 78). Both groups would thus be significantly stronger than in the current Parliament (ECR 69, ID 49). In addition, there will be several far-right parties that do not belong to any group: the German AfD, recently expelled from the ID, the Polish Konfederacja, and other, smaller parties. These non-attached far-right MEPs account for a further 25 seats in the seat projection, compared to 36 in the current Parliament.

All in all, this gives the far-right a bit more than a quarter of all seats in the Parliament. That is quite a lot – but still far from a majority.

Will there be new groups?

Even when all the votes have been counted, the exact distribution of seats between the political groups will not be known immediately. This is because many national parties decide only in the days and weeks after the election which European family they will join. A kind of “bazaar” usually develops around the many small newcomer parties entering Parliament for the first time, where they negotiate the terms of their entry with the various political groups.

There are also likely to be two attempts to form entirely new parliamentary groups. First, the German BSW, which is entering the Parliament for the first time, wants to gather left-conservative parties. Second, the German AfD, which has been excluded first from the ECR and then from ID in recent years, may try to form a new, third, far-right group. To do so, at least 23 MEPs from at least seven member states are needed. Both the BSW and the AfD are likely to find it difficult to reach this threshold.

There could also be other movement in Parliament after the elections. The Italian M5S wants to join a centre-left group. Marine Le Pen’s RN is seeking a rapprochement with Giorgia Meloni’s FdI – possibly in the form of a joint parliamentary group, which would also appeal to Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz. However, the formation of such a large right-wing group has often failed in the past and is likely to fail again this time. Exactly who will end up in which parliamentary group will only become clear in the weeks after the elections.

The dynamic scenario of the seat projection takes into account some plausible changes in political groups. Of course, it can only show one possible scenario. Depending on post-election developments, the final composition of the parliament could be very different. An overview with a wider range of possible developments can be found here.

How far will Greens and RE fall?

While the polls suggest that far-right parties will make strong gains, the centre-left will suffer significant losses. This is particularly true of the liberal RE and the Greens/EFA. Both of these groups made significant gains in the 2019 European elections, each reaching a new record number of seats in the European Parliament. In the case of the Liberals, this was largely due to the performance of French President Emmanuel Macron, who was successful on a decidedly cosmopolitan agenda. The Greens, on the other hand, benefited from the Fridays for the Future movement, which brought climate change to the forefront of public debate in the months leading up to the 2019 European elections.

Although both parties tried to build on their successes this year – Macron gave a new big speech on Europe, and climate activists took to the streets again –, they could now lose much of their gains. According to the projection, the RE group would fall from its current 102 seats to 81 (dynamic scenario: 85). The Greens/EFA face a drop from 72 to 57 seats (dynamic scenario: 58), despite making up some ground in recent weeks.

In a long-term perspective, however, even these results would still be in the upper range. For the Greens it would be the second best European election result ever after 2019, and for the Liberals the third best after 2019 and 2004. From this point of view, things look more problematic for the two largest groups: Both the EPP and the S&D performed very poorly in 2019 and cannot improve significantly this year. The Social Democrats are even on the verge of a new negative record – for the first time they could end up with less than a fifth of all seats in the Parliament.

Will the grand coalition retain a majority?

The decline of the EPP and the S&D already began around the turn of the millennium. Ever since the first European election in 1979, they had formed an “informal grand coalition”, sharing responsibility for the vast majority of decisions in the Parliament. Since the 2019 election, however, the two parties no longer have a majority together.

Today’s “von der Leyen coalition” therefore includes not only the EPP and S&D, but also the liberal RE. This three-party alliance achieves a solid majority, which it is likely to maintain after the election despite the losses of the Liberals. In the dynamic scenario of the projection, the three groups together have 408 out of 720 seats (57 per cent), compared to 417 out of 705 seats (59 per cent) in the current Parliament.

Alternatively, the EPP and S&D could form a narrow majority with the Greens/EFA group. Such an alliance currently has 387 seats (55 per cent) and would still have 381 seats (53 per cent) in the dynamic scenario of the projection. Often the majority is formed by an even broader alliance, bringing together all four parties of the centre. This constellation currently has 489 seats (69 per cent) and could reach 466 (66 per cent) in the future. Even allowing for the fact that there is less group discipline at European than at national level, the centre parties will still be able to outvote the far-right bloc in the Parliament.

What will happen to the centre-left majority?

For the majority situation in the Parliament, something else is likely to be more important than the rise of the far right: namely the question of how strongly the four groups to the left of the EPP perform together. In addition to S&D, RE and Greens/EFA, this includes the Left group, which according to the seat projection would be about as strong as in the current Parliament (37 seats / dynamic scenario: 40 / today: 37). In recent years, the centre-left alliance has come very close to a majority in the Parliament (350 out of 705 seats, 49.6 per cent). With the support of some non-attached parties, such as the Italian M5S, it has repeatedly offered an alternative to the grand coalition.

In the future, however, the losses of the Liberals and the Greens could leave the centre-left alliance further from a majority than ever before in the history of the European Parliament (320 seats / 44 per cent). Above all, this means a major shift of power towards the EPP, without which no plausible majority on either the left or the right of the Parliament may be possible after the elections. This is likely to be felt in areas such as climate or social and employment policy, where the centre-left majority has been particularly important since 2019.

Will there be an alliance between the EPP and the far right?

But that is not all. In order to make the most of its new pivotal position, the EPP has a strategic interest in opening up possibilities for cooperation on the right. Two options are conceivable: a centre-right alliance of EPP, RE and ECR, or a far-right alliance of EPP, ECR and ID.

However, both would probably need the support of some non-attached MEPs or dissenters from other parliamentary groups to achieve a majority. Moreover, a stable right-wing alliance is also very unlikely for political reasons. The RE has ruled out any systematic cooperation with the ECR, and the EPP itself does not want to open up to the ID. Finally, some EPP and ECR member parties – notably PO and PiS in Poland – are deeply hostile at national level.

The EPP will therefore probably have no choice but to continue working with Social Democrats and Liberals in the future. However, the inclusion of at least some ECR parties in the majority-building process could allow it to dispense with the Greens and the left wing of the S&D and RE. This also seems to be the EPP’s current strategy when it tries to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable far-right parties on the basis of the – not very clear-cut“pro-EU, pro-Ukraine, pro-rule of law” criteria. (An alternative could be to directly integrate some current ECR parties, such as Meloni’s FdI, into the EPP; but it is doubtful whether Meloni herself wants this).

The S&D, RE and Greens, on the other hand, are currently trying to get the EPP to rule out cooperation with far-right parties in as binding a way as possible. The EPP has regularly avoided such a commitment during the election campaign.

Will Ursula von der Leyen remain Commission president?

However, as mentioned above, the EPP will not be able to form a majority without the S&D and RE. This could become important shortly after the election if Ursula von der Leyen seeks re-election as Commission president. In principle, she should be in a better position now than in 2019, when a number of MEPs rejected her simply because she had not previously stood as a lead candidate in the European election. Today, there are only few in the S&D, RE and G/EFA groups who would not vote for von der Leyen under any circumstances.

But the three parliamentary groups have repeatedly made it clear in recent weeks that they will make von der Leyen’s re-election conditional on her ruling out any cooperation with the ECR and ID. A showdown within the “informal grand coalition” is therefore on the cards shortly after the elections. Indeed, it is probably the best opportunity for the S&D, RE and Greens to secure concessions from the EPP on cooperation in the coming years. In the best case, this could even lead to a genuine coalition agreement at European level for the first time.

Will voter turnout increase?

But all this is still up in the air. First of all, the European elections themselves are due to take place at the end of this week. Rarely have the majorities in the new European Parliament been so contested, rarely has the political scope of the election been so clear as it is this year.

This gives hope that turnout will rise again. Surveys show that many more people are interested and want to take part in the European election than in the past. We will know more on Sunday.

The overview

The following table breaks down the distribution of seats in the projection by individual national parties. The table follows the baseline scenario, in which each national party is attributed to its current parliamentary group (or to the parliamentary group of its European political party) and parties without a clear attribution are labelled as “other”.

In contrast, the dynamic scenario of the seat projection assigns each “other” party to the parliamentary group to which it is politically closest, and also takes into account other possible future group changes of individual national parties. In the table, the changes in the dynamic scenario compared to the baseline scenario are indicated by a coloured font and a mouseover text.

hier.In the absence of pan-European election polls, the projection is based on an aggregation of national polls and election results from all member states. The specific data basis for each country is explained in the small print below the table. For more information on European parties and political groups in the European Parliament, click here.


Left G/EFA S&D RE EPP ECR ID NI other
EP today 3772139102176694961
April 24 35511328617381833544
May 24 37571368117279665042
dynamic 405813785186807856

Left G/EFA S&D RE EPP ECR ID NI other
DE 4 Linke 14 Grüne
1 Piraten
1 ÖDP
1 Volt
14 SPD 4 FDP
2 FW
30 Union
1 Familie


17 AfD
2 Partei
6 BSW
1 Tier
FR 7 LFI
5 EELV 13 PS 15 Ens 6 LR 5 Rec 30 RN

IT 2 SI 2 EV 18 PD 4 SUE 6 FI
1 SVP
23 FdI 7 Lega 13 M5S
ES 2 Pod
1 IU
1 Bildu
1 ERC
1 BNG
1 CatComù
1 Comp
20 PSOE 1 PNV
23 PP 6 Vox
1 Junts
1 Sumar
1 SALF
PL

4 Lewica 4 PL2050
18 KO
3 KP
18 PiS

6 Konf
RO

7 PSD
1 PUSL
5 USR 7 PNL
2 UDMR
1 PMP
9 AUR

1 FD
NL 1 SP
4 GL
2 Volt
4 PvdA 5 VVD
2 D66
2 CDA
9 PVV
1 NSC
1 BBB
BE 2 PTB 1 Groen
1 Ecolo
2 Vooruit
2 PS
1 O-VLD
2 MR
1 CD&V
2 LE
1 CSP
3 N-VA 4 VB

CZ 3 Stačilo
3 Piráti

7 ANO 3 STAN
1 TOP09
1 KDU-ČSL
3 ODS 2 SPD

EL 4 Syriza
3 PASOK
8 ND 2 EL
2 KKE 1 PE
1 NIKI
HU

4 DK

1 KDNP

10 Fidesz 5 TISZA
1 MKKP
PT 1 BE
1 Livre

7 PS 2 IL 7 PSD
3 CH

SE 2 V 2 MP 7 S 1 C
4 M
5 SD


AT
2 Grüne 5 SPÖ 2 Neos 5 ÖVP
6 FPÖ

BG

2 BSP 3 DPS 5 GERB

3 V
4 PP-DB
DK 1 Enhl. 3 SF 3 S 2 V
1 M
1 K
1 DF
2 LA
1 DD
SK


4 PS 1 OĽANO
1 KDH
1 SASKA
4 Smer
2 REP
2 Hlas
FI 2 Vas 2 Vihreät 3 SDP 2 Kesk 4 Kok
2 PS


IE 4 SF 1 GP 1 Labour 4 FF 4 FG



HR
2 Možemo 3 SDP
5 HDZ


1 Most
1 DP
LT
2 DSVL
1 LVŽS
3 LSDP 1 LRLS
2 TS-LKD

1 DP 1 LRP
LV
1 Prog 1 SDPS 1 LA 1 JV
2 NA

1 LRA
1 LPV
1 ST!
SI
1 Vesna 1 SD 2 GS 4 SDS
1 NSi




EE

2 SDE 2 RE
1 KE
1 Isamaa
1 EKRE

CY 2 AKEL
1 DIKO

2 DISY


1 ELAM
LU

2 LSAP 1 DP 3 CSV



MT

3 PL
3 PN




Timeline (baseline scenario)


Left G/EFA S&D RE EPP ECR ID NI other
29/05/2024 37 57 136 81 172 79 66 50 42
22/04/2024 35 51 132 86 173 81 83 35 44
26/02/2024 35 48 135 85 176 78 85 36 42
08/01/2024 33 45 141 86 169 75 89 43 39
06/11/2023 43 43 137 90 170 78 76 38 45
11/09/2023 42+1 46 144+3 90+1 157+5 77 72+2 36+1 41+2
17/07/2023 41 48 136 94 160 79 70 36 41
22/05/2023 49 50 137 92 162 79 67 33 36
27/03/2023 44 42 137 94 162 78 68 38 42
01/02/2023 50 42 135 96 168 78 65 37 34
06/12/2022 51 44 136 93 166 79 64 37 35
12/10/2022 52 42 127 100 169 79 63 35 38
20/08/2022 52 47 134 98 170 75 63 27 39
22/06/2022 54 44 133 101 165 77 64 31 36
25/04/2022 59 39 139 97 157 78 64 38 34
01/03/2022 53 36 139 98 158 78 62 45 36
04/01/2022 51 39 142 99 165 73 62 34 40
08/11/2021 50 42 144 96 155 75 72 36 35
13/09/2021 54 42 141 98 160 70 75 33 32
21/07/2021 52 45 133 97 167 71 74 31 35
24/05/2021 50 50 125 95 167 74 73 33 38
29/03/2021 52 46 136 96 164 71 73 34 33
02/02/2021 52 45 135 94 184 70 71 21 33
09/12/2020 52 47 136 93 188 67 73 20 29
12/10/2020 51 49 127 96 193 67 71 21 30
14/08/2020 50 53 145 88 196 65 64 20 24
25/06/2020 48 55 143 91 203 64 63 20 18
26/04/2020 47 53 151 88 202 66 66 19 13
10/03/2020 51 58 138 88 188 67 82 21 12
09/01/2020 49 58 135 93 186 65 82 24 13
23/11/2019 48 57 138 99 181 62 82 22 16
23/09/2019 49 61 139 108 175 56 82 24 11
30/07/2019 47 64 138 108 180 57 82 22 7
EP 2019 40 68 148 97 187 62 76 27

The “EP 2019” line indicates the distribution of seats as of July 2, 2019, when the European Parliament was constituted following the election in May 2019.
The table shows the values of the baseline scenario without the United Kingdom. Until September 2023, the seat projection is based on 705 seats, thereafter on 720 seats. In the figures for September 2023, the transition is marked by superscript numbers.
An overview of the values including the United Kingdom for the period up to January 2020 can be found here. An overview of older projections from the 2014-2019 electoral period is here.
The full names of the parliamentary groups and of the national parties appear as mouseover text when the mouse pointer is held motionless on the designation in the table for a short time. If a party is attributed to a different parliamentary group in the dynamic scenario than in the baseline scenario, this is also indicated in the mouseover text.

Attribution of national parties to parliamentary groups

Baseline scenario: For the projection, parties that are already represented in the European Parliament are assigned to their current parliamentary group, unless they have explicitly declared that they will change group after the next European election. National parties that are not currently represented in the European Parliament, but belong to a European political party, are attributed to the parliamentary group of that party. In cases where the members of a national electoral list are expected to split up and join different political groups after the election, the projection uses the allocation that seems most plausible in each case (see below). Parties for which the allocation to a specific parliamentary group is unclear are classified as “other” in the baseline scenario.
 
According to the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, at least 23 MEPs from at least a quarter of the member states are required to form a parliamentary group. Groupings that do not meet these conditions would therefore have to win over additional MEPs in order to be able to constitute themselves as a parliamentary group.
 
Dynamic scenario: In the dynamic scenario, all “other” parties are assigned to an already existing parliamentary group (or to the group of non-attached members). In addition, the dynamic scenario also takes into account other group changes that appear politically plausible, even if the respective parties have not yet been publicly announced them. To highlight these changes from the baseline scenario, parties that are assigned to a different parliamentary group in the dynamic scenario are marked in the table with the colour of that group; moreover, the name of the group appears in the mouseover text. The attributions in the dynamic scenario are partly based on a subjective assessment of the political orientation and strategy of the parties and can therefore be quite uncertain in detail. From an overall perspective, however, the dynamic scenario may be closer to the real distribution of seats after the next European election than the baseline scenario. For a more detailed overview of possible group changes after the European election, click here.

Data source

If available, the most recent poll of voting intentions for the European Parliament is used to calculate the seat distribution for each country. In case that more than one poll has been published, the average of all polls from the two weeks preceding the most recent poll is calculated, taking into account only the most recent poll from each polling institute. The cut-off date for taking a survey into account is the last day of its fieldwork, if known, otherwise the day of its publication.
For countries where the last specific European election poll was published more than a fortnight ago or where significantly fewer polls for European than for national parliamentary elections were published in the last two weeks, the most recent available poll for the national parliamentary election or the average of all national or European parliamentary polls from the two weeks preceding the most recent available poll is used instead. For countries where there are no recent polls for parliamentary elections, polls for presidential elections may be used instead, with the presidential candidates’ polling figures assigned to their respective parties (this concerns France and Cyprus in particular). For member states for which no recent polls can be found at all, the results of the last national or European elections are used.
As a rule, the national poll results of the parties are directly converted to the total number of seats in the country. For countries where the election is held in regional constituencies without proportional representation (currently Belgium and Ireland), regional polling data is used where available. Where this is not the case, the number of seats is still calculated for each constituency individually, but using the overall national polling data in each case. National electoral thresholds are taken into account in the projection where they exist.
In Belgium, constituencies in the European election correspond to language communities, while polls are usually conducted at the regional level. The projection uses polling data from Wallonia for the French-speaking community and polling data from Flanders for the Dutch-speaking community. For the German-speaking community, it uses the result of the last European election (1 seat for CSP).
In countries where it is common for several parties to run as an electoral alliance on a common list, the projection makes a plausibility assumption about the composition of these lists. In the table, such multi-party lists are usually grouped under the name of the electoral alliance or of its best-known member party. Sometimes, however, the parties of an electoral alliance split up after the election and join different political groups in the European Parliament. In this case, the parties are listed individually. So far, the following electoral alliances have been confirmed: Spain: Sumar: Sumar (place 1 and 6 on the list), CatComù (2), Compromís (3), IU (4) and Más País (5); Ahora Repúblicas: ERC (1, 4), Bildu (2) and BNG (3); PNV: PNV (1) and CC (2); Romania: CNR: PSD (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17), PNL (2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18) and PUSL (10); ADU: USR (1-2, 4-5, 7-9), PMP (3) and FD (6); Netherlands: GL-PvdA: GL (1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14 etc.) and PvdA (2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 etc.); Czechia: Spolu: ODS (1-2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20), TOP09 (3, 6, 10, 12, 16, 18) and KDU-ČSL (4, 7, 9, 13, 15, 19); Hungary: Fidesz: Fidesz (1-4, 6-15, from 17) and KDNP (5, 16); DK: DK (1-4, 6, 8), MSZP (5), PM (7). In some countries, the exact distribution of seats among the parties in an electoral alliance depends on regional constituency results, so that only a plausible assumption can be made in advance. This concerns the following cases: Italy: AVS: SI (1, 3) and EV (2, 4); Poland: TD: PL2050 (1, 3, 5 etc.), KP (2, 4, 6 etc.). In Italy, a special rule allows minority parties to enter the Parliament with only a few votes, provided they form an alliance with a larger party. This is the case for the SVP in alliance with the FI.
Since there is no electoral threshold for European elections in Germany, parties can win a seat in the European Parliament with less than 1 per cent of the vote. Since German polling institutes do not usually report values for very small parties, the projection includes them based on their results at the last European election (2 seats each for PARTEI and FW, 1 seat each for Tierschutzpartei, ÖDP, Piraten, Volt and Familienpartei). Only if a small party achieves a better value in current polls than in the last European election, the poll rating is used instead.
 
The following overview lists the data source for each member state. The dates refer to the last day of the fieldwork; if this is not known, to the day of publication of the polls:
Germany: European election polls, 24-29/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
France: European election polls, 16-28/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Italy: European election polls, 21-24/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Spain: European election polls, 13-26/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Poland: European election polls, 14-26/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Romania: European election polls, 15-25/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Netherlands: European election polls, 18-27/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, Dutch-speaking community: regional polls (Flanders) for the national election, 20/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, French-speaking community: regional polls (Wallonia) for the national election, 20/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Belgium, German-speaking community: European election results, 26/5/2019.
Tschechien: European election polls, 7-13/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Greece: European election polls, 13-15/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Hungary: European election polls, 29.4-10/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Portugal: European election polls, 13-20/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Sweden: European election polls, 19-20/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Austria: European election polls, 17-24/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Bulgaria: European election polls, 5-18/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Denmark: European election polls, 14-24/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovakia: European election polls, 14-21/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Finland: European election polls, 29/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Ireland: European election polls, 15-22/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Croatia: European election polls, 25/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Lithuania: European election polls, 21/4/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Latvia: European election polls, 7/3/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Slovenia: European election polls, 16-24/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Estonia: European election polls, 15-20/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Cyprus: European election polls, 14-25/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.
Luxembourg: results of the national parliamentary election, 8/10/2023, source: Wikipedia.
Malta: European election polls, 10/5/2024, source: Wikipedia.

Pictures: all graphs: Manuel Müller.