The European election campaign has only just kicked off here in Ireland, but the battle for power across Europe has been in full play for some time. The projections show both the EPP and the PES very close in the number of MEPs which they will return after the election. Their lead candidates, Schulz and Junker are fighting hard to become the President of the Commission. This job is expected to go to the candidate of the party with the highest number of MEPs returned. The Parliament must vote on the appointment and the smaller groupings may join forces with either the EPP or PES, to decide the issue or cause both Junker and Schulz to do a deal. Both candidates are campaigning across Europe and appearing in televised debates setting out their vision for Europe.
Parliament has taken the unusual step of passing a vote of censure on Martin Schulz, the Parliament’s President, for using his office to push through the appointment of close aides to civil service positions and of using his office improperly in his campaign. Junker is moving to a position of embracing reform and says he will find a way to keep the UK within the union and deal with their concerns.
This bigger picture does not appear to be a feature of the election here at home. There seems little or no interest among the voters in respect of the management of Europe. So it seems the election will be fought just on home issues. One way or the other, MEPs will be elected on the 23rd and your vote can help decide who they are.