A European Council divided in four blocking minorities

 (B2) The latest developments in the European Council are interesting. There is no longer a clear majority. Which may explain some current blockages

The last elections in Denmark and Finland led to a victory for the Social Democrats, at the expense of the Liberals, while the Christian Democrats (EPP) of Sebastian Kurz had to hand over power in Austria to a technical government (independent). Latvia has moved in the opposite direction, from the center left to the EPP. And this evolution is not about to stop.

In the end, there is no longer a truly dominant party, but an almost perfect rebalancing between the three main forces… and the minority ones. The European People’s Party (EPP) holds nine seats (with the independent Lithuanian D. Grybauskaite), the Social Democrats eight seats, the liberal centrists seven seats, and Austria is represented by a technical government (independent). None of these parties, even in alliance with one another, has a majority. The three groups are condemned to agree, especially since they each have a large leader country (Spain for the Socialists, France for the liberal center, Germany for the Christian Democrats).

The situation is further complicated by the presence of Eurosceptic conservatives in three countries (and three ‘large countries’) and the reaffirmed unity of the Visegrad group. The four Eastern countries (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia), despite their affiliations to different political parties, no longer intend to be dictated their position over a consensus decided by others. Allied with the Conservatives, they hold a blocking minority. Britain’s Theresa May has recently said she does not want to interfere in the choice of 27, but cannot approve a candidate who would not look out for the interests of the United Kingdom.


Nicolas Gros-Verheyde

Rédacteur en chef du site B2. Diplômé en droit européen de l'université Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne et auditeur 65e session IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale. Journaliste depuis 1989, fonde B2 - Bruxelles2 en 2008. Correspondant UE/OTAN à Bruxelles pour Sud-Ouest (auparavant Ouest-France et France-Soir).