Green parties have swept to their strongest ever showing in European elections, boosting their tally of MEPs to a projected 71 compared with 52 last time. The result gives them every chance of becoming kingmakers in a newly fragmented parliament.
“Thank you so much for your trust in us Greens,” a delighted Ska Keller, one of the European Greens’ two lead candidates for the post of European commission president, told a press conference in Brussels.
“This is a mandate for real change: for climate protection, a social Europe, more democracy and stronger rule of law.” Above all, Keller said, the Greens “want to achieve climate action now – because if we wait any longer, it will be a disaster”.
Any parliamentary group that wanted Green support would have to “deliver on our three key principles: climate action, civil liberties and social justice”, she said. “For us it’s clear: this is all about content.”
With the European parliament’s main centre-right and centre-left groups both losing seats and their historic joint majority, and populist Eurosceptic parties returning in larger numbers than before, Green MEPs’ votes could well prove critical to a broad pro-EU alliance in the 751-seat assembly.
The Greens’ surge was strongest in Germany, where Die Grünen finished second behind Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU with 21% of the vote, according to provisional estimates – nearly double their 2014 total. [Continue reading…]