Edition: International | Greek
MENU

Home » Europe

EPP, Socialists, Liberals finalise wishlists for von der Leyen’s second term

The three EU Parliament groups of the centrist majority diverge on some key policy issues for the next mandate, according to draft action plans

By: EBR - Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2024

The centre-right EPP, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the liberal Renew Europe group are drafting their own wish lists for the 2024-2019 EU term this week
The centre-right EPP, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the liberal Renew Europe group are drafting their own wish lists for the 2024-2019 EU term this week

The three EU Parliament groups of the centrist majority diverge on some key policy issues for the next mandate, according to draft action plans seen by Euractiv, the basis for their talks with Ursula von der Leyen as she seeks support to win a second mandate as Commission president.

The centre-right EPP, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the liberal Renew Europe group are drafting their own wish lists for the 2024-2019 EU term this week, with the final versions expected to come out on Thursday (4 July).

These wish lists will be the basis for the three groups to negotiate with von der Leyen, and among themselves starting next week, once the EPP group comes back from a retreat in Cascais, Portugal.

These priorities reflect what each political group expects from the next European Commission’s term and — more specifically — its future president, most likely Ursula von der Leyen.

Some of the groups’ priorities are close on farmers’ rights and the next moves to develop the bloc’s defence industry, but diverging on key issues around how to bring more financial resources to the EU, or the fate of the combustion engine ban, according to the draft priorities seen by Euractiv.

Even though EPP-affiliated Ursula von de Leyen counts on the three-group platform for her re-election, she will still have to take into account their policy requests and balance them out. The same will matter when presenting draft legislation over the next five years.

Drawing from her own party priorities, the demands of Socialists and Liberals, and other potential partners, von der Leyen will develop a policy programme — the so-called “political guidelines” — ahead of her confirmation vote, expected during the first plenary in Strasbourg on 18 July.

She is also currently reaching out to other political groups, including the Greens – as Euractiv reported – and will continue to do so in a bid to secure the required 361 votes in the European Parliament.

Von der Leyen will be visiting The Left group on 15-16 July, according to sources, but the group’s co-chair Manon Aubry told reporters on Wednesday they will “vote against” and “fight against” von der Leyen and her coalition.

Agriculture: all in against large buyers

While the three groups have divergent interests in agricultural policy, particularly regarding sustainability ambitions, they all advocate for fair remuneration for farmers and addressing unfair trading practices.

The EPP, S&D, and Renew Europe are calling for a revision of unfair trading practices directive (UTP), which bans certain abusive behaviours by large buyers against farmers.

The Commission had previously admitted that the rules do not protect farmers from the few large companies dominating the food and retail industry.

On the sustainability front, Renew and S&D are seeking to revive the contentious proposals to reduce pesticide use and create a legislative framework for sustainable food systems – a goal absent from the EPP’s priorities.

Energy, Environment, Transport

The three groups all want a greater focus on energy security of supply, and all reaffirm their commitment to the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets. However, the EPP and Renew emphasise the industrial opportunities of the energy transition, while S&D focus on mitigating associated social costs.

Conflict points remain: The EPP wishes to revisit the de facto 2035 ban on new combustion engine cars, while S&D says car CO2 standards should remain in place. Similarly, the EPP wants the Deforestation Regulation to be postponed, while S&D describe the law as an achievement “that must remain in place”.

Economy

The S&D action plan, as expected, differs widely from its centre-right counterpart, as it steps up calls for guaranteeing a central role for public EU-level investments and a tax on the wealthy. In particular, it calls for a “social clause” to be attached to all EU spending, in stark contrast with the competitiveness “conditionality” called for by the EPP.

Like the EPP, Renew places competitiveness front and centre of their draft action plan, with a strong emphasis on cutting red tape and harmonising rules across the EU. Like the S&D, however, Renew calls for the EU to introduce new “own resources” to finance spending at the European level.

Foreign policy and defence

While the three groups clearly emphasise the importance of security and defence for the next term, they differ on how to fund such endeavours and the EU’s role in joint procurement, with the Liberals pushing for a ‘buy European first’ principle.

All three emphasise the support to Ukraine as a key element of their foreign policy agenda and more multilateralism on the global stage.

On the EU’s institutional set-up, Renew spells out the clearest expectations by asking that “all EU competences in the field of foreign affairs should be fully aligned to support our global priorities” and for the EU’s top diplomat to be able to “coordinate the work of (…) relevant Commissioners”.

The Socialists, on the other hand, stress that “Eastern border regions need support”, in a reference to recent proposals to beef up security in Europe’s East.

Almost absent Technology

Tech doesn’t feature prominently in any of the party manifestos, in line with what institutions have been saying for the past few months. After a flurry of legislation in the previous mandate, the focus for tech policy should now be on implementation.

EPP and Renew’s calls for better enforcement and simplifying regulation are particularly relevant in this area.

Migration: in or out third countries?

On the question of migration, both Renew and S&D underscore a humane approach to the EU’s migration policy, with new legal pathways to ensure that skilled labour reaches the continent and reject any externalisation of asylum processes.

Conversely, the EPP seeks new migration deals with Mali, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, as well as new legislation to bump up returns. Both Renew and EPP call for the strengthening of Frontex, the EU’s border agency.

*first published in: Euractiv.com

READ ALSO

EU Actually

Meloni eyes EU comeback

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

After being isolated in EU top jobs talks, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is now on track for a comeback in Brussels

View 04/2021 2021 Digital edition

Magazine

Current Issue

04/2021 2021

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

Europe

EU hard-right parties to back von der Leyen after ‘intense’ meeting

EU hard-right parties to back von der Leyen after ‘intense’ meeting

On Tuesday morning, the ECR group met with von der Leyen two days before a crucial vote in the EU House that will determine whether she will be re-elected at the EU Commission’s helm

Business

Family businesses might come to dominate the business world

Family businesses might come to dominate the business world

In the ever-evolving economic landscape, family businesses may often be seen as standing as unassuming beacons of resilience and endurance

MARKET INDICES

Powered by Investing.com
All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2024. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron