The high participation rate was the unquestionable success of these elections and we all hope that this is the beginning of a longer trend, said Danuta Huebner, Member of the European Parliament, at the meeting with the Presidency of the Employers' Group on 3 June in Warsaw. She underlined that European citizens' awareness and expectations of the EU are growing and that we are witnessing the creation of "European demos".
Professor Huebner admitted that the results of the elections and the losses for two biggest groups – the EPP and the S&D – would make policy making more challenging as achieving a majority will require more negotiations and will involve more political groups. This will be the first test for the new European Parliament – to find a solid pro-European coalition to provide stability from an institutional point of view.
The elections clearly showed the main topics that attract people's interest. A good result for the Greens in many Member States shows a growing awareness of the importance of climate issues. Both the new Commission and Parliament must consider this when shaping the political agenda. The same applies to sustainability, also in terms of social policies. The new EP and EC will also have to strengthen EU fundamental values and address related challenges i.e. to the rule of law.
Professor Huebner admitted that supporters of the EU should be more proactive in showing the benefits offered by the EU. Instead of mainly replying to EU's critics, pro-Europeans should underline the positives of the EU and generate positive emotions around this subject. In her view, we did not manage to convince citizens that Europe is doing a lot to make globalisation beneficial for ordinary people.
During the debate, members of the group emphasised that both the question of sustainability and social policies must be addressed in a way that does not harm the competitiveness of European companies at global level. Jacek Krawczyk, the president of the Employers' Group thanked Professor Huebner for her engagement and cooperation and congratulated her on her result in the elections, as she was re-elected as an MEP with a high number of votes.