Shaping the Future Insights Into the 2024 European Parliament – OVERVIEW

On June 4, 2024, AmCham Bulgaria together with our member Rud Pedersen Public Affairs organized this joint webinar welcoming the analysis of the status-quo and the potential distribution of the seats in the European Parliament and the future philosophy and politicizes of the future European Parliament and the European Commission that was delivered by Jason Nielsen, Chief Business Officer, RPPA and Gergana Aneva, GM for Bulgaria. The event was opened for both members and to the AmChams in Europe Network as well.

Jacob discussed the current state of European politics, highlighting the sustained dominance of pragmatic, pro-European parties, despite a noticeable rise in support for far-right movements. He explained that while this rise is concerning, it is not unprecedented, noting that historically, the European Parliament has always included a significant presence of non-establishment parties, with around 25-30% of its MEPs coming from fringe or extreme groups. Jacob emphasized the need to understand the nature of these far-right movements and their potential impact on European unity and policy.

Gergana cited a survey by the European Council on Foreign Relations involving 11 European countries, illustrating how five major crises have reshaped European political identities. European politics is not simply divided between left and right, and between pro- and anti-European integration attitudes – but between different ‘crisis tribes’ whose members have been traumatised by key events. In the last decade, Europe has undergone crises in the economy, security, health, climate, and migration. These crises have several things in common: they were felt across Europe; they were experienced as an existential threat by many Europeans; they dramatically affected government policies and they are by no means over. But these five crises are not the same – they triggered different fears – each of these five problems has its own significant “constituency”, people for whom this is precisely the Crisis.

As Emmanuel Macron has pointed out there is a difference between people who worry about the end of the month (from the economic crisis) and those who worry about the end of the world (from the climate crisis).

The survey results in the upcoming European Parliament election show that Covid-19, economic turbulence, and the war in Ukraine are unlikely to be key mobilising issues. The climate and migration crises are dominating headlines and will be especially influential in how people vote.

Jacob and Gergana also discussed the structural aspects of the European Parliament elections, noting their importance in forming the next European Commission. Typically, the European Parliament sees a coalition of center-right, socialist, and liberal parties coming together to support the Commission President, a trend expected to continue, both speakers agreed.

The discussion highlighted the complexity of #Europeanpolitics, shaped by diverse crises and evolving voter priorities, and emphasized the importance of coalition-building and effective communication in navigating this multifaceted political environment. But both speakers shared the notion that regardless of typical and historical trends, it always matters who represents you and how good they are at negotiating.

Full Video

Moments from the webinar