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The big return to the European Parliament

In the European Parliament, July 14 is not really a holiday. On the contrary, it is the effervescence of the great days. A bit like at school, satchel under their arm, practical recommendations from the elders in their pockets or in their minds, the 370 or so “newbies” MEPs have made their comeback. Like the young Finnish Riikka Manner, 27, who admitted to being a little " stressed » by this new life of five years that opens everyone has signed, for the first time, the attendance sheet, carried out the final formalities and received the keys to his office, before entering the hemicycle. This first day was devoted to setting up the structures of Parliament. Starting with the appointment of its president.

There was no suspense. The main parties – Christian Democrats of the EPP, Socialists and Liberals – had concluded a “technical agreement” to support the candidacy of the Pole Jerzy Buzek of the Civic Platform (PO/PPE), for the first two and a half years in office . With 555 votes out of 713 voters, he obtained a large absolute majority without a fight. All that was missing were the voices of the communists who had presented their candidate, of certain European Greens and... of the French Socialists who thus chose to express their bad humor against an agreement described as unnatural.

“It's a great symbolic day for our ten Eastern European countries,” explained Jerzy Buzek just after his appointment. “There is no longer you and us but a shared Europe”. And to add quoting the French triptych "Liberty equality fraternity, words that resonate in the hearts of Europeans as well". Very cautious, too even, the former Solidarnosc activist was however disappointed during his first press conference, evading all the difficult questions, such as enlargement, the seat of Strasbourg… Too bad.

(Nicolas GROS-VERHEYDE) Published in Ouest-France, July 2009

• The French should obtain the presidency of three or four parliamentary committees. Pervenche Bérès (PS), close to Fabius in Employment and Social Affairs, Alain Lamassoure (UMP) in the Budget, the green elected Eva Joly, head of the "Development" Commission, and Arnaud Danjean (UMP ), a former intelligence officer on the “Defence and Security” subcommittee.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).