‘With the election of Tajani, a new and strong pro-European and reformatory coalition has been formed in the European Parliament (EP). It consists of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Liberals (ALDE) with the support of the Conservatives (ECR). The Socialists (S&D) have been excluded after withdrawing from the initial agreement with EPP and sending a bad message to the European citizens that agreements which have been reached will not be respected,’ Member of the European Parliament Milan Zver says after the election of a new President of the European Parliament. After the fourth ballot in the European parliament, Tajani received 352 votes, and his rival Gianni Pittella received 282.
A new coalition for Europe – without socialists
According to the Member of the European Parliament from the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) Milan Zver, an important dilemma has finally been clarified in the last few days – whether the Socialists are still a credible partner in the so-called Grand Coalition with EPP. ‘They have finally completely broken the written agreement from 2014 on the installation of the parliament with EPP (which was also subsequently supported by the leader of the Liberals Guy Verhofstad). An important part of this agreement was the provision that despite a victory by EPP at the European elections, the parliament would be led by the Socialist Martin Schultz during the first part of the mandate and by a member of EPP during the second part.
Turning point against populists and extremists
Zver also regards last night’s important agreement between the political groups EPP and ALDE as a key turning point. ‘Verhofstadt has withdrawn his candidacy and backed Tajani. Moreover, an agreement has been signed which points out in its introduction that the European Union is in a crisis, that populists and extremists wish to destroy it, and that the new coalition intends to confront them. The agreement underlines the importance of increasing investments, economic growth, new jobs, and a stable and sustainable development. The agreement also stresses increased safety, less bureaucracy, and a better functioning internal market. A special emphasis is placed on the effective fight against terrorism and extremism as well as the strengthening of the European Defence Union.