The election of Dublin’s MEPs takes place this Friday. There is little or no appreciation of what people are now asked to vote on, other than elect three members to attend a distant and perceived irrelevant parliament.
Those elected will decide the next President of the EU Commission and should therefore be chosen wisely. The position is central to the direction which the EU takes over the coming five years. The President will assign the portfolios to the new Commissioners nominated by the Governments of the 28 member states. Their decision will impact on the social and economic policy of the union.
The two leading contenders are evenly matched. It would seem on the face of it that Junker of the EPP (Fine Gael) or Schulz the Socialist (Lab) will command in or about the same number of MEPS. In which case, will either be capable of reaching a coalition agreement with enough of the other MEPs to form a majority. Or will the two groups again find a common understanding to allow either candidate assume the office of President with key concessions made to the candidate in terms of what role they would play within Europe and what policy objectives would they influence?
The EU has traditionally operated under this grand coalition style agreement. We, the voters, can on Friday have our say, but it is still quite unclear what we are asked to vote on. So most people will ignore the bigger EU picture and those who cast their vote will, it seems, vote for the candidate who is best known to them here at home. But if you don’t vote, somebody else will elect your representatives in the parliament. So do take the time to go out and vote next Friday.