EU elections: MR gains Belgian MEP to match far-right, EPP largest group again

brussels times​​​

By Ellen O'Regan

    As more than 99% of votes have been counted in the competition for 22 Belgian seats in the European Parliament elections, results show that there are set be three seats each for Vlaams Belang (ID) and N-VA (ECR), as well as Mouvement Réformateur (Renew Europe).

    Vlaams Belang and N-VA have retained the three seats they both held in the current European Parliament, while MR have gained a seat with former Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès. MR won more than 320,000 votes, boosting their delegate count to three, with Olivier Chastel and Benoît Cassart also elected.

    Level on two MEP seats each are PS (S&D), Les Engagés (EPP), PTB-PVDA (The Left), Vooruit (S&D), and CD&V (EPP). PTB-PVDA already held two seats in the current European Parliament, the other four parties have doubled their headcount from one.

    Results are showing that there will be one seat for Open VLD (Renew Europe), Ecolo (Greens/EFA) and Groen (Greens/EFA). Open VLD and Ecolo have both lost one seat (taken by MR), while Groen held steady.

    Organised by European political party, the Belgian seats in the next European parliament are as follows: EPP (4), Renew Europe (4), S&D (4), ECR (3), ID (3), The Left (2), Greens/EFA (2).

  1.     EPP takes biggest share of seats, Greens biggest losers

    As the last polling boxes were closed in Italy at 23:00, a second seat projection was published shortly afterwards for the composition of the next European Parliament.

    This time the projection included the first provisional results from 17 EU Member States.

    For other Member States the seat projection is still using national estimates, based on available exit polls, estimations or similar non-official data.

    The latest projection confirms again that the European People’s Party (EPP) will remain the largest party in the European Parliament, support for the Greens/EFA has waned, and Europe’s far-right parties have seen a lift in support (albeit not as significant a surge as some may have expected).

    Of the 720 seats available, it is expected that the EPP will remain the largest party in the Parliament with 189 seats (26.25%), followed by the Socialists and Democrats with 135 seats (18.75%), and Renew Europe with 80 seats (11.11%), both retaining their positions as second and third largest political groups respectively.

    Europe’s two far right parties have surpassed the Greens/EFA group in size, as the European Conservatives and Reformists Group are projected to take 72 seats (10.00%), while the Identity and Democracy group are projected to win 58 seats (8.06%).

    Meanwhile the Greens/EFA are expected to win 52 seats (7.22%), and The Left are projected to take 36 seats (5.00%).

    Among members not affiliated with a political group, it is projected that there will be 46 seats for re-elected members and 52 seats for new members.

    The European Parliament will continue to publish updated seat projections until around 1am, as more polling data rolls in from Member States.

    Speaking just after the second projection for the European Parliament was announced, current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged the win for her party. Von der Leyen is the lead candidate for EPP as she vies for a second term despite not having run as an MEP.

  1.     'A good day for the EPP' - Von der Leyen

    "Today is a good day for the EPP. We won the European elections. We are by far the strongest party. We are the anchor of stability, and voters recognised our leadership during the last five years," she said.

    President Von der Leyen said that tomorrow she will be reaching out to the "big political families" that formed the governing coalition in the current European Parliament, S&D and Renew Europe.

    "We have worked well together over the last five years," she said, adding that the parties could build on a "constructive and proven relationship."

    However, President Von der Leyen added that wants to "build a broad majority for a strong Europe". She reiterated the principles she has outlined previously as terms for working with any MEP or European political group, being "pro-European, pro-Ukraine, and pro-rule-of-law."

    Speaking on Sunday evening, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said European political group leaders will come together on Tuesday to "take stock" of the election results, with a view to electing the next European Commission President and setting out the "roadmap" for the constitution of the next European Parliament.

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