Negotiations for New EU Summit Continue: Meloni Brings ECR Results to Heart of Council

Building a Conservative Europe - June 19, 2024

Negotiations on the election of the new President of the European Commission are still ongoing. The meeting of the 27 heads of state and government on Monday evening ended in a deadlock: everything is still up in the air. Almost two weeks after the European elections that took place in all member states between 7 and 9 June, nothing has been decided about the future of Europe and the choice of the new EU leaders. But one message is clear. The rise of the right-wing parties, and in particular the ECR party, is an unequivocal signal of the will of the EU electorate: the peoples of Europe are demanding more and more right-wing, they want to overcome decades of oppressive policies that have damaged the economy by following the most ideological drifts. It is a message that cannot be ignored.

The right is expanding

At the same time, the victory of the European right has been accompanied by a real debacle for the left. In particular, the socialists of the S&D, the Greens and the liberals of Renew Europe have lost the most seats: the socialists have lost 3 seats in the European Parliament, Renew Europe has lost 22 and the Greens have lost 19. The vivid example of what has been said so far can easily be seen in France, Germany and Italy. In Paris, President Emmanuel Macron, founder and leader of Renew Europe, suffered an unprecedented electoral defeat, beaten by the right-wing Rassemblement National party. Similarly, in Germany, Socialist Chancellor Olaf Scholz saw his party succumb to the rise of right-wing parties. In Italy, however, things are different: Fratelli d’Italia, the ruling party led by Giorgia Meloni, won a landslide victory over the left-wing opposition, winning almost 30% of the vote. When this result is added to that of the other Italian right-wing parties, the governing majority has increased its preferences to 47% of the total. The growth of Fratelli d’Italia at home is unprecedented: after two years in government, Giorgia Meloni has managed to increase her votes (+3% compared to the 2022 elections), proving that her party and the right wing are in excellent health.
This is the political situation in Europe: the right is growing, the left is shrinking. The ECR party has increased its representation in the European Parliament by 7 MEPs, but probably several more will be added in the coming hours. The conservatives have thus increased their specific weight within the EU assembly: a weight that cannot be ignored. Indeed, this is Giorgia Meloni’s intention: as leader of the group, she wants to strengthen the Ecr party more and more in order to overtake Renew Europe and make it the third group in the European Parliament. In short, to listen to the clear message of the European peoples behind the ballot box. This is why Giorgia Meloni was described as one of the most determined and strongest leaders at Monday’s European Council meeting. According to Politico.eu, the Socialist and Liberal leaders were prepared to see the axis that supported the so-called ‘Ursula majority’ during the last legislature reaffirmed. The coalition of Socialists, People’s Party and Liberals was about to be confirmed. The possible names for the four most important posts in the Union would have been those of Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed as President of the Commission; Antonio Costa in the European Council; Roberta Metsola as President of the European Parliament; Kaja Kallas as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. In other words, the European Left wanted to confirm in a short period of time the assets that have governed until now.

The defeated left wants to defend the status quo

Things turned out differently, however, as the Socialists met with firm opposition from Giorgia Meloni and a section of the People’s Party, which was convinced that the government majority should be based on the results of the vote and not on the power relations that preceded it. The Popular Party, which is now the largest group in the European Parliament, directly addressed the conservative right-wing ECR party: “It is a centre-right Europe that the European citizens voted for. The Liberals, Socialists and Greens are the big losers in these elections. And this is something that all those who are standing for election must reflect on. It is not possible to carry on as if nothing had happened’. These are the words of Manfred Weber, the German leader of the EPP group. In other words, it is clear to everyone that Europe has finally turned to the right and that the voice of the people must be heard. However, the left is doing everything it can to stay in power for another five years: according to unofficial sources, many of the leaders at the negotiating table were indeed “shocked” by Macron and Scholz’s willingness to support a confirmation of the first “Ursula majority”: their demand even included the entry of the Greens, also losers in the elections, into the new centre-left coalition. Their strategy was based above all on the delegitimisation of the role of the right in the new European Parliament, especially with regard to Giorgia Meloni, despite the fact that she was the only leader to emerge from the elections and that she had just chaired one of the most important and best attended G7 meetings in recent years.

Meloni brings the weight of the Ecr to the centre

The weight of the right-wing, Giorgia Meloni and the Ecr party within the European institutions has thus grown to the point where it deserves the support of the popular EPP. According to Politico’s rumours, it is mainly thanks to Giorgia Meloni that the Left has found a strong obstacle to re-confirming itself as the leader of the European Union. According to the newspaper’s source, the Italian premier “objected to the way in which the discussion was being conducted”, starting from the “assumption that today’s informal meeting should have been the time to discuss what to do in the light of the signals from the European elections and then, from this point of departure, to start discussing the names of the top posts, and not the other way round”. And again: ‘The strongest reaction was probably the one expressed by Giorgia Meloni; very firm, very hard, criticising these negotiations between the political families. With these clear positions, in line with the will of the electorate, Giorgia Meloni managed to win the support of many other colleagues within the European Council.
Thus, despite the fact that the meeting of the Heads of State and Government ended in a virtual nullity, Giorgia Meloni managed to keep at bay the spectre of a reaffirmation of the left at the helm of Europe. The aim must now be to increase the numbers of the Ecr party so that it has an even stronger presence at the next European Council, which will be held in Brussels at the end of the month, on 27 and 28 June. One of the fundamental needs is to listen more and more to the will of the people and the needs of the citizens, in the laborious attempt to transform the Europe of bureaucrats and green trends into the Europe of culture, traditions and peoples. The Franco-German left leadership of Europe has been seriously challenged by the decision of the citizens behind the voting booths: Giorgia Meloni now wants to claim these results within the European Council.