I thought it may be of interest for readers to be aware of events taking place around the actual electoral process, the latter occurring in this country on 22nd May.
An important event will be, on 15 May, a full presidential debate with the five leading candidates for the presidency of the European Commission due to be held in Parliament’s Brussels Chamber, organized by the European Broadcasting Union (Eurovision). The debate, scheduled to last from 9 pm to 10.30 pm, will feature Jean-Claude Juncker for the European People’s Party, Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Ska Keller for the Green Party and Alexis Tsipras for the Party of the European Left.
It is from this one event that we will begin to get some idea of the future direction in which the EU may travel. For what it is worth methinks the contest for President of the Commission is a three-horse race twixt Juncker, Schulz and Verhofstadt, with Juncker presently being the favourite. Those of us who want cessation of our country’s membership of the European Union must hope that Verhofstadt (who must be the ‘dark horse in the race) ‘comes through on the rails’ because federalism (ever closer union) will then be ‘let loose’.
That Verhofstadt scenario will also promote a most interesting situation wherein much Cameron ‘wriggling’ will no doubt be observed – not forgetting of course the ‘wriggling’ that will be seen within Open Europe. What will be obsrved from Ukip and Farage – bearing in mind that due do the ‘Times’ in which we live, the latter has not been forced out of the picture – is but another intriguing factor.
The debate is to be covered on line by Eurovision, for those sufficiently interested and who would like to watch it.
The next event of note occurs on27 May,when the Conference of Presidents – the EP president and leaders of the political groups – will convene at 11.30am in order to give a first assessment of the election results. EP President Martin Schulz will then inform European Council President Herman Van Rompuy of the Conference of Presidents’ findings; with the European Council – heads of state or government – meeting later that day.
On 25 May, Parliament will hold its election night during which projections and results at European level will be presented to the media.
The last event in the schedule is for the newly elected MEPs to meet over the month of June to form their political groups. All notifications of groups constituted must be handed in to the President of the European Parliament by 24 June.
The ‘month of Theresa’ will, therefore, be one to watch!