Jean-Claude Juncker heads the largest voting block in the new European Parliament
Politics: The make up of Luxembourg’s six European Parliament seats remained unchanged following Sunday’s election.
Luxembourg did not experience the sort of political earthquake that has temporarily shaken up France and the UK at the European Parliament elections. The Grand Duchy’s six seats in Strasbourg remain unchanged, with the centre-right CSV retaining its three seats and the centre-left LSAP, liberal DP and green party Déi Gréng all keeping their one seat.
However, the CSV can be pleased with its percentage share of the vote, which increased by over 6% to 37.65%, with head of list candidate Viviane Reding polling 126,888 votes. Reding, who has been Luxembourg’s European commissioner since 1999, is joined in the parliament by incumbent CSV MEPs Georges Bach and Frank Engel who easily retained their mandates finishing fourth and fifth respectively in the polls in Luxemburg.
DP candidate Charles Goerens placed second but was some 44,000 votes behind Reding. Déi Gréng MEP Claude Turmes also retained his seat in third place, while for the LSAP former education minister Mady Delvaux-Stehres won the sixth Luxembourg seat.
Coalition parties suffer
But the LSAP suffered significant losses in its share of the vote, falling 7.74% to 11.75%. The other two coalition partners also saw a drop in their vote, the DP slipping to 14.77% (down 3.88% on the 2009 European Parliament election) and Déi Gréng down 1.81% to 15.01% leaving it the second most popular party behind the CSV.
As in many other European countries, the Eurosceptic vote enjoyed a resurgence in Luxembourg, with the ADR gaining 0.15% to land a 7.53% share of the vote--a result that belies its damaging defeat at the national election last autumn.
The Piraten Partei, in its first European Parliament election in Luxembourg, polled 4.23%, a result that will have delighted party leader Sven Clement as it means the Pirates can now receive public funding.
Meanwhile, despite the huge gains made by Eurosceptic and nationalist parties such as UKIP in the UK and the Front National in France, Jean-Claude Juncker’s European People’s Party looks set to have the largest voting block in the new European Parliament. Its associate parties polled just over 28% of the vote across Europe and estimates translate this into 212 seats in the 751-seat parliament.
If it can form an alliance with other centre-right blocs, then parliament could formally propose former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker for the post of European Commission president. Juncker said as leader of the EPP he would hold talks with the next largest block in the parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats led by German politician Martin Schulz, but added that he would also be prepared to talk with the Green and liberal blocks.
The former prime minister and head of the euro group said that he hoped the Council of Europe would respect that Treaty of Lisbon. “So, I assume that I will be charged with forming the next European Commission.”