Preliminary results of the European Parliament Elections, held 6-9 June, show the political middle ground holding against right wing pressures, says EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) is predicted to remain the largest political grouping in the European Parliament with 189 seats.

The European Parliament is the only European institution directly elected by citizens and, as such, is the only one directly accountable to citizens and capable of holding the other governing institutions accountable. In total, around 360 million Europeans were called to the polls to elect the 720 members of the next European Parliament.

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola welcomed the result. “Voters voted on many issues such as security, rule of law, climate, competitiveness, agriculture, housing featured in a number of countries.”We can see that the constructive pro-European centre has held. And it is that centre that will be projected to build on the European projects that we need to work with.”

The citizens of the European Union were not just chosing who will represent them in the European Parliament. They also have chosen who will head the European Commission over the next legislative term. This was it was “a good day for the European People’s Party”, said its lead candidate Ursula von der Leyen. “We won the European elections,” she said. “We are by far the strongest party. We are the anchor of stability. And voters recognized our leadership during the last five years.”

For Ms von der Leyen, set for another five years as president of the European Commission, there were two messages: “First. There remains a majority in the center for a strong Europe. And that is crucial for stability. In other words, the center is holding. But it is also true that the extremes on the left and on the right have gained support. And this is why the result comes with great responsibility for the parties in the center. We may differ on individual points. But we all have an interest in stability.”

“With those who are pro European, pro Ukraine, pro rule of law. And as of tomorrow, this work starts again.”

Source: EUbusiness

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