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European Elections 2024

EU and Belgian election results give veteran Green hope

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One of Brussels' best known former MEPs says he is relieved that predictions of a major breakthrough for Far Right parties in the EU elections was not realised.

Some nationalist parties did score heavily in certain EU member states such as France, Italy and Germany. But the centre right EPP group is still by far the biggest in the European parliament after the weekend poll and, with the Socialists, will continue to be the main powerbroker for the next five years.

Former Greens MEP Frank Schwalba-Hoth, still one of the most recognisable faces in the  EU Parliament, told this site, “Despite the heavy losses for the Greens and the Liberals, I am grateful that the election predictions of up to a quarter/third of the votes being populists did not come true.”

Turning to elections in Belgium, where he has been based for many years, he said, “The voters in Flanders are more reasonable than the election predictions - number one are moderate populists (N-VA) and not the extreme one’s (Vlaams Belang).”

Schwalba-Hoth is a founding member of the German Greens and former MEP who is still well known in the Parliament.

Elsewhere, BusinessEurope, the organisation representing the business community at EU levels, said that it “and the entire European business community” congratulate new  MEPs on their election and “welcome the strong voter turnout across the continent that proves that citizens care about Europe.”

BusinessEurope President Fredrik Persson said: “EU elections have seen a clear winner."

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Persson added, "We urge the main political forces to organise the pro-European majority in the European Parliament to take the necessary action to improve competitiveness and agree upon the future EU leaders as soon as possible. Economic ambition, political stability and predictability are key for the EU’s economic growth and its attractiveness for investment which are the prerequisite of the wellbeing of European citizens.

“To deliver for society, the EU needs strong companies as much as European companies need a strong European Union to succeed. 

"This was our key message leading up to the elections, where we also called for a reboot in EU policies to safeguard Europe’s competitiveness. It is now crucial that the newly elected MEPs and the other EU institutions put the success of the European economy front and centre. This is pivotal for Europe’s success and its ability to play a strong role in an increasingly challenging geopolitical situation.

“The best remedy against populism is a striving economy that attracts investment and successful companies that create quality jobs. 

"Now is the moment to steer the European ship back on course.

“We stand ready to constructively work with the new institutions to make sure Europe remains the best place to live, work and do business.”

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