The President of the European Parliament on the Results of the European Parliament Elections 2024

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President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola/European Union via the European Parliament
Remarks by the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola at
the informal leaders’ meeting in Brussels, 17th June 2024
©European Union. Source: European Parliament
Brussels, 17-06-2024
Thank you, Charles [i..e., Charles Michel, President of the European Council]  and good evening everyone.
It has been a little over a week since Europeans went to the voting booths to elect the 720 Members of the European Parliament that will represent their interests over the next five years. We now have a much clearer picture of the outcome of the elections and of how the 10th Legislature of the European Parliament will look like. The main takeaway is that the constructive pro-European centre holds.
To start with, I wanted to quickly touch upon the topic of voter turnout. As you know, members of the European Parliament, colleagues and staff invested a lot of time, energy and resources over the past months into trying to increase the participation rate of these elections. As part of our ‘Use your vote’ campaign, it was both a responsibility and a pleasure for me to visit your countries to try to convince people, especially young people, why their vote matters. I want to thank you all for your institutional but also personal support in helping us successfully do that.

Composition of the European Parliament 2024-2029 by political party (Based on data available as of 19 June 2024)

The 2024 European elections saw the highest voter turnout in over 30 years and in over half of EU Member States (14 to be exact), the participation rate also increased from 2019. But while it is true that the voting turnout was a little higher than it was in the 2019 European elections, it is also true that the participation rate is still too low in many places. Of course, this can be partly explained by election fatigue in some Member States. But what was perhaps a more farreaching factor in voter turnout was the actual dates of the election, which we know came later than usual. So going forward, I would suggest that we already start looking into identifying dates for future European elections, to avoid the same issue from happening again.

We are still waiting to receive the official notification of the results, but so far, 55% or 396 members are new, meaning that they were not already MEPs in the 9th legislature. The proportion of “new” vis-a-vis “re-elected” members is less than it was five years ago, but of course it is still a lot. The gender balance of the newly elected Parliament sits at around 60% male with 40% female, roughly the same proportions as they were back in 2019. . .
In [the] meetingof the Conference of Presidents [which] met last week to assess the outcome of the European elections, a majority of political group leaders confirmed the Lead Candidate process and we all agreed that following the results of the elections, the European People’s Party is once again the largest political group in the European Parliament. The largest political group also confirmed that their lead candidate for the next Commission President is the incumbent. [i.e., Ursula von der Leyen.]

Ursula von der Leyen, incumbent President of the European Commission, and candidate of the  European Popular Party reelection /European Union via the European Commission

As for our next steps: Charles Michel has already been invited to attend the next meeting of the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents this Thursday [and the]. . . political group leaders’ meeting on 26 June, for a final consultation ahead of our European Council Summit between the 27 and 28 of June. Should there be agreement on a candidate for the next Commission President, the political group leaders in the European Parliament would be available to meet that person for an exchange of views in their meeting on the 2nd of July.

To be clear: the ultimate aim of this process is to determine the candidate able to form the necessary qualified majority in Parliament to become the next Commission President. We stand ready to move the process forward without delay as soon as the European Council submits its candidate. . .

The election results show a majority of our citizens have called for the defence of our values and for security to remain a top priority. Meaning that our support with Ukraine must continue. On the twin transitions, everyone must benefit. The green deal needs to be a driver of economic growth without burdens, bureaucracy and red tape. We need to move from being in ‘crisis mode’ to thinking long term. That means building on our greatest asset, the single market and prioritising the EU’s competitiveness. That is how we cement Europe’s place in the world.

Thank you.

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For the complete text of the remarks, click here.

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Video ©European Union. Source: European Parliament