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European Centrist Parties Retain Majority in New EU Parliament Session

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According to preliminary results from the European Parliament elections, the European People’s Party (EPP), Social Democrats (S&D), and Liberals (Renew) will maintain a majority in the new session. Collectively, these three groups will have 404 seats, slightly down from 417 in the previous session.

While EPP, S&D, and Renew have maintained similar levels of strength, right-wing parties have gained ground. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) will have 72 members, up by three, while Identity and Democracy (ID) will increase by nine to 58 members.

In contrast, the Greens have weakened from 71 to 52 seats, and the far left now holds 36 seats, down by one from the last session.

Ursula von der Leyen, European Elections Night 2024, Photo: European Union 2024 EP/Denis LOMME

There will also be 52 members from groups that have yet to decide their affiliation, including members of Germany’s AfD. The number of independent members will decrease from 62 to 46.

The new European Parliament will consist of 720 members. Electing the President of the European Commission requires a majority of 361 votes.

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Incumbent Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has begun attempts to form a coalition following a surge in the far right in the European Parliament elections, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to call for snap parliamentary elections.

“These elections have sent us two messages. The first is that there remains a centrist majority for a strong Europe, which is crucial for stability. But it is also true that the extremes on both the left and right have gained support, and this result calls for even greater responsibility from the centrist parties,” von der Leyen stated.

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