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Tuesday 28 May 2019

EU Parliamentary elections: Will the "Green wave" set a course to a sustainable future?

The big story of the EU Parliamentary elections is without doubt the ‘Green Wave’ that washed over much of Europe. With 70 seats the Greens now have a chance to hold the balance of power in the European Parliament and a more prominent role in the selection of the top jobs of the EU institutions.

The surge underlined that important geographical differences exist in Europe as the Greens failed to advance in the east or south of Europe.

With significant losses, the EPP and S&D remain the largest parties but have lost the ability to impose an absolute majority on the Parliament. ALDE will also play an important role as a kingmaker having won an additional 39 seats out of the 751 seats available in the European Parliament.

Hearteningly, voter turnout was up significantly over the weekend and averaged over 50% across the EU – a better result than many countries had seen in 20 years.

Now that they’ve been elected MEPs have the month of June to work out their groups and any coalition agreements they may want. Most of the big groups are already agreed (the biggest recent change was Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance Party agreeing to join ALDE) but there remain a number of agreements to be made amongst some of the smaller parties and groups.

The inaugural session for the newest MEPs will be on July 2nd and Energy Cities will be in touch with them to introduce ourselves, our member cities, and our manifesto to push forward energy sustainability and democracy in Europe’s cities.

Energy Cities expects the Green group to be a strong ally in building sustainable cities but we will continue to work with partners from across the political spectrum to achieve our ambitious and necessary goals. In an age of climate urgency, we rely on pragmatism to deliver the best results in the shortest period of time.
That is why we will start by introducing MEPs to our ‘Quick Wins’. Four bold changes that can set the foundation for their five-year term and hopefully set a course to a sustainable future.

Those four ‘Quick Wins’ include:

  1. Decarbonising the European Investment Bank
  2. Providing municipalities with the legal support and advice necessary to fully pursue the Paris Agreement
  3. Include the Covenant of Mayors as a partner in designing energy policies from the bottom-up
  4. Increase the EU Transition Fund to enable a radical change in energy generation and environmental responsibility.

July is also when MEPs are expected to elect the next Commission President. Hearings for new Commissioners will be held in September and October and by November the EU institutions should be running at full speed tackling the most important issue of our time.



by Adrian Hiel on 28 May 2019 / 869 visits




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