Changes in EU political landscape as election results and announcements roll in

by RPP
Weekly European political updates

Changes in EU political landscape as election results and announcements roll in

Europe is a colourful continent in terms of policies and outcomes. It is essential to stay updated on how these policies may impact your work to build better regulatory frameworks, enhance your message and enhance communication with stakeholders. Here you can find a summary of the major European political updates of this week.    

 

Belgium 

An agreement for a new Belgian government has been reached after approximately 16 months since Belgian citizens cast their vote. It was announced that Dutch-speaker Alexander De Croo, who is a member of the Flemish liberal party (Open Vld), will take on the new role as prime minister. He is set to spearhead the Vivaldi coalition – a 7-party coalition comprising liberal parties, greens parties, both Flemish and Francophone socialist parties and the Dutch speaking Christian democrat party (CD&V).

The threat to international law and the surrounding hardline rhetoric has spurred a growing rebellion among MPs in the ruling Conservative Party that threatens to derail the Bill. The Government is reportedly now working on a deal to placate rebels by ensuring Parliament has a ‘lock’ on attempts to override the WA to secure a convincing majority before the Bill enters the House of Lords.

 

Germany

Following local elections in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, the cities of Wuppertal, Bonn and Aachen are now governed by a Green majority for the first time in history. This result foreshadows the increasing importance of the Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) for next year’s parliamentary elections.

 

France

On 27 September, the Senatorial elections were held, with almost half of the seats (172 out of 348) being up for grabs. It can be observed that the political balance of the chamber has not really altered, with the majority of seats being won by members of right and centrist parties. Nonetheless, change was seen in the creation of an Ecologist group. The election of the President of the Senate took place on 1 October, marking a resumption in Senate activities.

The German government announced that it will financially support three German pharmaceutical companies in their research and development processes to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. On 15 September, Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek (CDU), declared that funding negotiations with BioNTech and CureVac have already been successful, while negotiations with IDT Biologika are still ongoing. She additionally announced that her Ministry is investing €20 million in research and development of innovative medical technologies, including ventilators and PCR tests.

In response to the fire outbreak in the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party, SPD) announced that Germany will accept 1553 refugees. Amongst them are 408 families with children that have already been classified as “in need of protection” by the Greek government. This is in addition to the 150 unaccompanied youth that the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union, CSU), already approved on 11 September.

 

United Kingdom

The UK Internal Market Bill passed through the House of Commons, the wholly elected lower chamber of the UK legislature, by a strong majority of 74, just short of its 80-seat majority after only a few MPs in the ruling Conservative Party abstained, including former prime minister Theresa May. The Government now has a strong mandate for rewriting sections of the 2019 Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and therefore breaking international law, one of the key contentious provisions of the Act, as the Bill enters the House of Lords next month, where it is expected to face sterner opposition.

Moreover, on the 30 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to head off an 80-strong rebellion in the Commons, supported by Opposition parties, which seeks to ensure Parliamentary scrutiny of new COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Italy

On 28 September, Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italy's far-right party “Brothers of Italy”, was elected as president of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party (ECR). She was elected by close allies of Polish President Duda, the Spanish Vox party, as well as from most countries of the Visegrád Pact. It is worth noting that the newly found international accreditation of Giorgia Meloni could create a new front for the Italian right-wing leadership.

You can find more information on European news in our EU national elections heatmap, where we provide an overarching perspective with key political insight for individual countries. Make sure to check it here

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