Renew Europe leader in coalition overtures to Greens and Socialists

Written by Martin Banks on 5 July 2019 in News
News

The leader of the new Renew Europe (RE) group in Parliament says he wants to work with the Greens and Socialists in building a working coalition in Parliament.

Dacian Cioloș  | Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual


Dacian Cioloș said that his group, formerly ALDE, believes a governing majority will be possible between RE, the Socialists and Greens.

Talks are currently being held between various political groups in Parliament in a bid to form a working majority for the next legislative term.

Speaking at a news briefing in Strasbourg, Cioloș said, “They, the Greens, are an important part of this. We have a lot in common with them and without them there will be no stability here.”


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“We want to be in a position to work with them,” he said, adding, “But this is also about values, not just numbers. That is important.”

On Thursday, Council President Donald Tusk said, “I am fully confident that cooperating with the Greens will benefit both the Parliament’s governing coalition and the EU generally.”

Cioloș pointed out that it was "the first time in a long time that the two biggest groups do not have a majority here.”

“It means they have to be more and more open and involve others. We want to play a role in this. And why not the Greens too? We have a lot in common with them, after all.”

FUTURE OF EUROPE CONFERENCE

Cioloș, a former Romanian Prime Minister, also called for a major inter-institutional conference to be convened on the future of Europe.

“They, the Greens, are an important part of this. We have a lot in common with them and without them there will be no stability here”

The conference would last for at least two years, starting from 2020, and deal with a range of issues, including revision of the Spitzenkandidat process, which has been controversially cast aside in this week’s share-out of the EU’s top jobs.

It would be “led” by Parliament and involve civil society as well as the EU institutions and would also look at introducing transnational lists for the next EU elections, Cioloș told reporters.

He said, “Everyone must be represented and only then will we be able to slowly build a new EU political class. This can then give us fresh ideas and leave time in the second half of our mandate to adopt any legislative proposals for the next elections.”

“I will put this idea to the new presidents of the Commission and Parliament. I hope Charles Michel will be open to this proposal, he added.”

A WIDE REACH

By the end of the current mandate the aim, Cioloș said, is to have RE representation in all Member States.

He said, “The group is a mixture of those MEPs with experience and the new blood from new political parties. This is an advantage though I do admit it could also be seen as a difficulty as it brings new expectations.”

“It means they [EPP and S&D] have to be more and more open and involve others. We want to play a role in this. And why not the Greens too? We have a lot in common with them, after all”

“The first challenge for our group is to act in a coordinated and cohesive way. We have already started on this. But, again, it is not just about personalities but how to improve the system, including the Spitzen tradition.”

“This process will only be credible if all citizens vote for a Spitzenkandidat. That is why we need to find a new mechanism so people in future can vote on a leading candidate. We need to start this review now although we cannot avoid the fact that the council also has the right to propose candidates.”

He said that his group’s priorities are “clear” and include fighting for the rule of law and human rights - both “non-negotiable” - as well as social protection.

“The EU must also be a leader on climate action; this should be the number one concern for us,” he added.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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