European elections in June, 81 seats to be filled for France


PARIS, (Reuters) – The European elections will be held from June 6 to 9 to designate for five years the 720 members of the European Parliament from the 27 member countries of the EU.
In France, the one-round vote will take place on June 9 to elect 81 French MEPs.

A VOLTAGE BY DIRECT UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE

Established in 1979, the European elections will allow the 450 million European citizens to nominate their representatives to the bloc’s Parliament.

With EU governments, MEPs, elected by direct universal suffrage, vote on the laws governing common policies and the European market.

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These elected officials also choose the president of the European Parliament and then that of the European Commission, the executive body of the EU. The German Ursula von der Leyen, holder of the position, is a candidate for his succession.

Parties having received more than 5% of the votes cast benefit from a number of seats proportional to the number of votes.

In 2019, six French lists gathered more than 5%. There are seven of them – out of 37 lists – hoping to cross this threshold this year.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES ?

The level of abstention will be scrutinized: after a record rate of 57.46% in 2014, it reached 49.88% in 2019.

The future Parliament will decide on issues deemed to be priorities such as the EU’s “green” transition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a competitive industrial policy vis-à-vis the United States and China, the European Union of energy and capital or even the strengthening of Europe’s defense capabilities against the backdrop of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The next European Parliament will also have to decide with the Twenty-Seven on the EU budget for the period 2028-2034. This long-term budget should be increased and its spending priorities changed to take into account the possible enlargement of the EU to Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkan countries.

AND THE ISSUES IN FRANCE?

The last national election of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term, these European elections could set the tone for the president’s last three years in power. Anxious to limit its scope, the Head of State claims to see “midterms” without consequences.

With more than 30% of the votes announced by polling institutes, the National Rally (RN), led by Jordan Bardella, hopes to improve its 2019 score (23.3%) and assert itself as the leading party in France, far from ahead of Renaissance, the party of the presidential majority which some institutes give around 16% (compared to 22.4% in 2019).

Focused on its favorite themes of immigration and downgrading, the RN is also making this election a referendum “for” or “against” President Emmanuel Macron.

For her part, the Renaissance candidate, Valérie Hayer, is struggling to convince at the head of a list penalized by the distrust of part of the electorate towards the head of state.

Another candidate could still put the Renaissance list in difficulty: credited with around 15% of the votes, the Socialist Party-Public Square candidate, Raphaël Glucksmann, carries the hopes of the left outside rebellious France. (Written by Elizabeth Pineau in Paris and Jan Strupczewski in Brussels, edited by Blandine Henault)

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