The European elections only went well if we compare them with the worst expectations. As the worst expectations, namely the formation of an extremist radical right superparty and a supposed predisposition of close collaboration between the right and the radical right, were unjustified, the comparison it has to be done with reality. And the reality is that the European elections went badly in Europe. But yes, it could have been worse. There continues to be a European and moderate majority in the European Parliament. In the European Council, where the national Heads of State and Government are present, the situation is much worse.

All member states of the European Union are equal, but when it comes to knowing who is in charge, some are more equal than others. On June 17th, European leaders will meet informally at dinner to analyze the electoral results and begin to draw consequences. Looking at the great European leaders, it will be a supper for losers. Macron and Scholz lost in a humiliating and dangerous way. In both cases, the extreme right flourishes during their governments. Sanchéz is, once again, an excellent leader in defeats. The few relevant European leaders who can say that the night went well for them are Meloni, who many prefer to be an ally of Le Pen (you can see why) despite her proximity to the center, and Donald Tusk, who is the main head of state or government of the EPP sitting at that table. Von Der Leyen also won. His European party went to the polls and won in Europe, having won victories in the North and South, East and West. Of course, voters do not vote for the Presidency of the Commission or because of the President of the Commission and there are no true European parties. But the truth, too, is that her name was invoked and the President of the Commission appeared in the PPE campaign and is one of the few European leaders to be able to say that she won. Even if it may be of little use to you.

On the 17th at dinner, who is in charge at that table? The PPE, which won the elections, leads Poland and other countries that are not traditionally those that define the future of Europe. Is Tusk still speaking and negotiating on behalf of the victors? Traditionally, these things are resolved first among the big ones and then agreed with the rest. What strength do the defeated Scholz and Macron have to lead Europe? And whatever they propose, does it make sense for it to be against or without the agreement of Georgia Meloni, the only leader of a major EU country, along with Tusk, and a member of the G7, who won the European elections? Even if it is possible to form majorities in the European Parliament without your current political family, in the Council it will be more difficult to always decide against Italy. These are the data.

This means that António Costa, the socialists’ preferred name for the European Council, has a good chance. Liberals do not have much legitimacy to demand this place again. If Costa wants it, and he wants it, it can be his. In return, the socialists have to accept that this is also negotiated with Meloni, of course, and promise the election of the PPE candidate for the presidency of the Commission, naturally. Will it be Von der Leyen? In theory, it should be. However, both Scholz and, above all, Macron may want to transform their electoral tragedies into major changes in European leadership. Penalize Von der Leyen for his defeats and invent a name that could seem like a new beginning for Europe.

The situation in the world and in Europe is what it is. The Continent needs to take better care of itself, be more responsible for its security and defense; reglobalization forces us to rethink the economic strategy, which can no longer be based on an open, peaceful world that believes in peace through trade, but also cannot (not should) be closed, protectionist and statist; the United States closes down, turns the other way and could be betraying European interests in less than a year; voters voted against the green policies they were excited about in 2019; reindustrialization is a desire, it is not yet a policy; There are many people around who want to enter, but will those inside have the capacity to absorb them, or will they hesitate? And all that said, that leaves the next big problem: France.

Europe needed leaders and trust, or at least hope. They are defeated and afraid of the future.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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