2014 European elections

From 22 to 25 May the European elections were held. In Belgium it were very important elections on Sunday the 25th of May because they would be a turning point for the country itself and for it stance in the European Union.

Euroscepticism

Election results since 1979

Election results since 1979 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The elections would also give a picture how the Euroscepticism has gained foot in Europe. Those elections were also going to show how EESC members and the ones who think we have to come to a real European Union would have  made it clear to the population, what importance the EU has and that ultimately they want the European Union to be the concern of the people and not solely of governments.

The Committee was appointed by the Council of the European Union to assist the other institutions and, as the representative of millions of citizens involved in civil society organisations, it bears a unifying message to re-launch the European project on the basis of three simple priorities: growth, employment and security.

Civil Society and Consumers’ Days

It seems to be very difficult to get the citizens of Europe to comprehend that Europe needs more solidarity, a human economy and greater civil society involvement. This has been also the main conclusion of Civil Society Day 2014, which took place on 18 March and focused on the public’s expectations from Europe after the elections. Four days earlier on the European Consumers’ Day it was made clear that the crisis cannot be used as an excuse to dump consumer rights and flout the law. Organised by the EESC and the Greek Consumer Protection Centre (KEPKA) in Thessaloniki, the conference brought together policymakers and consumers from EU Member States to discuss how the current crisis jeopardises consumer rights. The call came for action: consumer rights cannot be marginalised. The most essential sectors for consumer well-being are often the most troublesome, where costs are rising. Market liberalisation has often led to increasingly powerful oligopolies and concentrated markets. More than ever, consumers need official support to protect them against market failures and business malpractice.

“We must make sure [consumers]are not exploited and that they get the best deal possible,”

said Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Consumer Policy.

In times of crisis consumers still have their rights. These rights are legally binding. Even a prolonged crisis cannot be used as an excuse for a lack of enforcement. The EU already has a wealth of legislation on consumer protection, but EU laws are only as effective as their implementation at national level.

Therefore it is also very important the different countries are behind the EU and not fighting against it like it seems to be in certain countries.

“Consumer protection policy is a growth driver and not a burden on the competitiveness of the European economy and it must be seen by policymakers as one of the key drivers of economic recovery in the EU”

stated Evangelia Kekeleki, secretary-general of KEPKA and a member of the EESC.

Crisis in Euromarket and solidarity

Before the crisis, predatory lending practices, outrageous debt collector practices, risky investment products and hidden or very complex fees were normal practice. Since the crisis burst upon us, consumers have been left with serious concerns about the soundness of their loans, savings and pensions.

“People need to learn to control their consumption. But fighting over-indebtedness and financial exclusion also requires responsible behaviour on the part of professionals, regarding both their products and their advertising,”

said Martin Siecker, president of the EESC’s Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT Section).

Clear messages needed

According to me the media did not help much to get across the very important message of the use of the European Union on social and economical level.

People need clear messages and a predictable policy. To avoid another equally dreadful outcome in five years’ time, the EESC is drafting an action plan for Europe, giving the European Commission recommendations on what has to be changed for Europe to regain its status as the driver of a sustainable economy,social justice and solidarity.

That solidarity does not seem to be there in the different countries where many people are much more concerned with their own well-being and not as much with the welfare of all who are living around them.

EU Parliament for 2014

Nationalist and Eurosceptic parties

At the moment it looks like only 43.09% of the European population came to bring out their vote. It is a shame that in several countries we could see so many anti-Europe parties trying to get down the institution where for centuries many tried to bring unity in this region.

Across the EU, nationalist and Eurosceptic parties made big gains amid predictions that they would double their strength in the European Parliament. Though the turnout in Britain was 36%, higher than at the last European elections in 2009 it was not for the better of Europe. Four days of elections across 28 countries returned a record number of MEPs opposed to the EU project.
Voters delivered a string of sensational outcomes, according to exit polls, with radical and nationalist anti-EU forces scoring major victories both on the far right and the hard left.

Nigel Farage not the voice any-more to to take up the eyebrows with a smile on the cheeks
In England the anti-EU party Ukip of Nigel Farage, dramatically built on its success in the local elections last Thursday when the results of the Euro poll on the same day were announced. A jubilant Mr Farage hailed the outcome as “an earthquake” because

“never before in the history of British politics has a party seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election”.

The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats conceded that Ukip had come first, with just Scotland and Northern Ireland left to declare on Monday morning.

Location of France within Europe and the Europ...

Location of France within Europe and the European Union on the 1st of January 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In France it is the worst of all. It can even demand an overturn of the governing members in the country itself. The Front National leader declaring that yesterday the people have demonstrated that they clearly want their own say in their own country and do not want others to have a say in their own free libertine country.

Marine Le Pen in the traditional Jeanne d’Arc march, 1 May 2011.

Marine Le Pen, youngest daughter of longtime FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, has successfully led  Front National to top a nationwide poll for the first time in its history, with the anti-immigrant party predicted to take 25 per cent of the vote and win as many as 24 seats in the European Parliament.

The governing socialists of President François Hollande collapsed to 14%, according. For the leader of the extreme right wing party it is clear that:

“The people have spoken. Our people demand one type of politics: they want French politics by the French, for the French, with the French. They don’t want to be led any more from outside, to submit to laws.”

Nigel Farage on a video link at the European Parliament in Brussels

I do agree with le Pen that Germany has become the economic heart of Europe and that it well can be that many parliamentarians have become a puppet-string of Angela Merkel. To say it is because of “the incompetence and weakness of our leaders” is doing them injustice and shows how much people do not know what hard work is done by those people working for the union.

Manuel Valls, France’s Socialist Prime Minister, said the victory was

“more than a shock, it’s an earthquake”.

and I would agree with him, because this is a real loss for those (like me) who are for a united region where people of all sorts can live together in peace and unity, no matter which race, colour, culture or mother-tongue.

Also in in Austria, the far right Freedom Party was forecast to win a fifth of the votes.

For Greece it is no surprise after the strong measures the EU had to take for that country. Most of the fraudulent people where already not happy their lucrative business was un-mantled. The Syriza movement of Alexis Tsipras got a victory for the left over the country’s two traditional ruling parties – currently governing in coalition – the New Democracy conservatives and the Pasok social democrats. The neo-fascists of Golden Dawn took about 10%.

The good surprise

The biggest surprise for us all, also showing that the Netherlands have still enough people with common sense, who understand the danger of such people like Geert Wilders and his PVV or Dutch Freedom Party. His party has seen a drop two seats in the Parliament, after a xenophobic outburst in which he asked his supporters if they would like “fewer Moroccans” in the Netherlands. I also think, him cutting out a star of the EU-flag was an other step to far.

“From five to three seats; it is quiet at the PVV,”

tweeted NOS’s political journalist Michiel Breedveld yesterday evening.

While the Dutch eurosceptic Geert Wilders dominated media and the public debate throughout the campaign, his PVV party lost two seats in the next EU Parliament, giving right to claim victory for the left-liberal D66 and the centre-right CDA.

The socialist PvdA dropped by 2.6 percentage points, it is set to keep its three seats in the EU Parliament. The centre-right liberal VVD gains 1.1 points but remains at three seats as well.

Other surprises the Dutch people could bring are the two newcomers amongst the Dutch parties in the EU Parliament, the Party for the Animals (PvdD), focusing on animal welfare and ecological issues, and the 50PLUS party, targeting seniors. Both ending up with one seat.

Geert Wilders wanted Europe to believe that the Dutch people did not like Europe at all, but today we may say they showed that they want to go ahead with Europe. but:

“65% of PVV-voters stayed home,”

Wilders reacted late on Thursday.

“Therefore, I can’t conclude that The Netherlands suddenly become more europhile.”

Growing bigotry

Migration and other cultures have been part of concern for a lot of Western European citizens.

That the extreme-right wants to have their say again in Europe was also brought forward by the killing of four people at the Brussels Jewish museum.

The bodies of the two Israeli citizens – Emmanuel and Mira Riva, a couple in their 50s who reside in Tel Aviv- will be flown to Israel once the Belgian investigators permit it. At 11:00 AM Belgium time (12 P.M. Israel time) the Belgian Justice Ministry is set to hold a press conference in which it will provide details about the investigation.The two others were a Belgian citizen and also an employee who died this morning in the hospital.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders of the liberal party, who was billing in the neighbourhood and was one of the first officials to arrive at the scene, said he was “shocked by the murders at the Jewish Museum.”He said that

“there were a lot of witnesses and the investigation is moving fast.”

Two years after Toulouse this despicable attack is yet another terrible reminder of the kind of threats Europe’s Jews are currently facing with the growing bigotry.

The radical far right German National Democratic Party with neo-Nazi traits may also join the Golden Dawn supporters performing Nazi salutes and having been already arrested for assaulting migrants.

Viviane Teitelbaum, a member of the Brussels legislature, said anti-Semitic attacks reached a peak in the early 1980s but had dropped off before a recent rise in anti-Jewish sentiment.

“It has been a very difficult place to live” for Jews, she said, adding that many young people are leaving the country.

I would not say their is a real anti-Semitic movement going on in Belgium, however, over the last calendar year, Belgian authorities reported a 30 percent rise in complaints related to anti-Semitism.

Further, a European Union survey carried out last year asked Jews about their feelings regarding anti-Semitism. Belgium, Hungary and France fared the worst of all member states.

Dominators

I am pleased to announce that how much certain groups tried to kill the European spirit, pro-European parties will still dominate the Parliament.

The European People’s Party – the alliance of centre-right parties from across the 28 EU member states – retained the most MEPs in the 751-seat assembly, with early projections giving the bloc 211 seats, compared to 193 for the Socialists and  Democrats. Early projections showed that protest parties could win around 129 seats.

The pro-European parties will have to make clear to the population that the EU’s only elected institution, which works with the European Commission and the 28 governments to debate and pass laws will be the only solution to stand strong  in the future, facing the growing Eastern powers like China and India. They shall have to become battling a stronger dissenting bloc than ever before, especially if Ms Le Pen succeeds in her goal to form a new political group specifically aimed at curbing the EU’s powers.

I am curious how the extreme right-wing people are going to bring their so called sovereignty without destroying what is build up for the last forty years, taking back their destiny into their own hands though still building another Europe. How do they figure  a Europe of free and sovereign nations and freely decided cooperation now they proclaim Sunday night the Europeans may have seen a massive rejection of the European Union?

The European Union may not ignore the anxiety and should make a lot of work to gain trust again by taking care not taxing to much the people and by using the taxpayers money in the right way.

Europe had to face the worst crisis since World War II. After this election it has to make sure the  right turning point is made to gain public approval and regain the approval from the young Europeans’ distaste for their elected officials.

The European Union has never confronted a crisis of legitimacy like the one that erupted in the polling booths of Europe this weekend. From Aberdeen to Athens and from Lisbon to Leipzig, and irrespective of whether the nation is in or out of the eurozone, the 2014 European elections were an uncoordinated but common revolt against national governments and a revolt against the post-crash priorities of the European project.

writes Australia based Rebel Media Group in: Britain joins anti-European Union tune

This election wasn’t a revolt of Britain against the EU. It was a revolt of European voters against the EU and against national governing parties. And British voters were simply one part of it.

That’s not to say that the popular uprising at the ballot box swept the board. It didn’t, and it is extremely important not to exaggerate it. In most EU member states, even in traditionally Eurosceptic Britain, the majority of voters in another pitiful turnout voted for parties that support the EU and that want to see the European project survive, whether reformed or unreformed.

Even today, and even in Britain, voters believe Europe is better off together. That will not be much consolation to the Liberal Democrats as they survey the wreckage. But the anti-EU forces, even if you add the anti-EU left and the anti-EU right, remain dwarfed by those who support the project. {Britain joins anti-European Union tune}

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Additional reading:

  1. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  2. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  3. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  4. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia

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Also of interest:

  1. What Are The Sources Of Anti-Semitism? or Why do people hate Jews?
  2. European election results 2014: Far-right parties flourish across Europe
  3. Video shows Jewish Museum killer
    Images from the Jewish Museum of Belgium show the gunman behind Saturday’s deadly attack approaching the building, opening fire, and walking away.
    +
    Kantor described the attack as “horrific but not surprising” and urged action by European governments to tackle extremism and hate speech.
    “Attacks on Jewish targets in Europe do not exist in a vacuum, but are part and parcel of an overall climate of hate and incitement against Jewish communities,” he said, according to the statement.
    “Anti-Semitism begins in the public domain, it gains international legitimacy and becomes normative even in our national parliaments but it always ends in killing Jews.”
  4. Jewish museum killing: Gunman in Belgian shooting was caught on film
    On Sunday, the authorities published three video clips and two stills from security footage of the incident. They showed a man wearing a blue shirt and baseball cap and carrying two bags walking on a cobbled street near the museum entrance. Another clip showed him entering the foyer, opening a door, then firing into a room with a Kalashnikov assault rifle before calmly walking away.
    +
    World leaders also sent condolences to the Belgian victims, with David Cameron telling Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo: “We join you in condemning this dreadful attack and will work with you to confront such bigotry across Europe.”
  5. Shocking moment suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shootings gunned down tourists as death toll in attack rises to four + video
    Police also issued a photograph of the kinds of weapons used in the attack. MailOnline has not yet managed to identify the weapons in the photograph.
    Once the killer entered the museum, he immediately targeted staff and visitors, firing bullets into their faces and necks. None of the victims have yet been named.
  6. Four dead in shooting at Jewish museum in Brussels
    The attack is being approached as racially motivated by Belgian authorities, who posited that it was motivated by anti-Semitism.
  7. BrusselsPolice personnel are seen at the site of a shooting in central Brussels, May 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters
    Speaking with the Jerusalem Post, Consistoire head Baron Julien Klener said that he had met with the Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and other senior officials and that authorities are “trying to find the suspects.”Maurice Sosnowski, president of the CCOJB, compared the incident to the 2012 shooting of four Jews in a school in France by an Qaeda-inspired gunman, Mohamed Merah.
    +
    “Incidents such as this do not occur in a vacuum, and are the direct result of a systematic culture of hate and anti-Semitism against the Jewish community and the State of Israel in so many parts of Europe, including Belgium,” the Israeli Jewish Congress asserted.
  8. Belgium ramps up security for lone suspect in Jewish Museum attack
    “We call on the whole population to help identify this person,” deputy prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said Sunday before three separate videos and still photos of the attack were posted on the federal police website. None has a clear view of the man’s face.
    +
    On the heels of the Brussels attack, two Jewish men were attacked as they left a synagogue in the Paris area late Saturday. One of them was severely injured after being struck in the eye with brass knuckles. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve ordered police around France to increase security at Jewish houses of worship and other Jewish establishments.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the shooting on European incitement against Israel and criticized what he called the continent’s “weak condemnation” of anti-Semitic acts.
    “There are those in Europe that are quick to condemn every building of an apartment in Jerusalem, but do not rush to condemn, or condemn with weak condemnations, the murder of Jews here or in Europe itself,” Mr. Netanyahu said at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting.
    Mr. Di Rupo called Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday “to express the deep solidarity of Belgium with the Israeli population.”
    At the airport in Tel Aviv, Pope Francis deplored the deadly shooting as a “criminal act of anti-Semitic hatred.”
  9. French far right seeks Ukip support in Europe but is snubbed by Nigel Farage
    The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has threatened to block all new EU legislation if she leads a powerful nationalist block in Strasbourg after the European elections this month.
    “We are going to prevent all further construction of Europe,” Ms Le Pen said.
    In alliance with Austrian, Belgian and Dutch nationalists, she said that she expected to have a “blocking minority” which could reject “further austerity” and “further loss of power for France”.
  10. Europhiles take the lead in Dutch EU elections, exit polls show
    The Netherlands, together with the United Kingdom, were the first to open the polling stations for the 2014 EU elections. Contrary to other member states, media reported on the exit polls. Apart from the NOS results, other small-scale polls showed similar outcomes.
    Results in the UK, which held its elections on Thursday as well, are unknown until Sunday night. The European Commission said yesterday that the publication of exit polls posed no problem, but warned against announcing official results until 23.00pm on Sunday.
    Putting out such exit polls is a risk, the Dutch experience shows. In the local elections, last March, media reported distorted figures that showed a record loss for the CDA party but appeared untruthful in the final result.
    “We emphasise consistently that this is not the actual result,” the editor-in-chief of NOS, Marcel Gelauff, told De Volkskrant. “But with just 26 seats to divide [amongst the Dutch parties], chances are more slim that we make mistakes.”
    A citizen initiative organised by the populist news website GeenStijl.nl also called on Dutch citizens to head out to the polling stations and demand the results from the presidents of these stations, a method justified by Dutch electoral law.
  11. UK and the Netherlands votes close for EU elections with surprise for Dutch eurosceptic party
    At the party’s HQ Wilders remained philosophical about the poor showing.
    “The situation right now is that we have fallen back from five seats to three (…) I still hope that on Sunday with the final results, we can still get the fourth seat, so that we can finish, just as five years ago, with four seats,” he said.
    The news may also put a dent in Wilders’ ambitions of a strong alliance of eurosceptic parties in the Brussels parliament.
    Euronews correspondent Olaf Bruns reported from the Netherlands: “For Geert Wilders it’s personally a bad result, but it’s also a bad start for the voting for his eurosceptic partners in other countries who, this time, promised a landslide.”

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 A projection shows an estimation of seats in the European parliament on giant screen at EU parliament during elections evening in Brussels this evening.  Photograph: EPA

  • Eurosceptics and far right surge in Euro elections (irishtimes.com)

    After four days of voting by an electorate with more than 330 million eligible voters in 28 countries, efforts by the European Union to rally sagging public support and give new momentum to a stalled six-decade push for unity appeared to stumble Sunday amid signs that voter turnout in parts of Europe had hit record lows.

    Official results and turnout figures in the election for the European Parliament will not be available until tonight but preliminary reports from several countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Malta, suggested voter interest has slumped.

    In France the nationalist extreme right has turned European politics upside down on by trouncing the governing Socialists and the mainstream conservatives in the European parliamentary elections which across the continent returned an unprecedented number of MEPs hostile to, or sceptical about, the European Union in a huge vote of no confidence in Europe’s political elite.

  • Eurosceptic ‘earthquake’ rocks EU elections (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
    Hard-left gains
    Across the board, the centre-right European People’s Party was set to win 211 out of the 751 seats, with 28.1% across the bloc, according to estimated results issued by the European Parliament. That would make it the biggest group – but with more than 60 seats fewer than before.That put it ahead of the Socialist group with 193 seats (25.7%), Liberals with 74 (9.9%) and Greens 58 (7.7%).
  • The Eurosceptic Union (economist.com)
    There are, of course, many caveats to the picture of rampant eruoscepticism. Even though pro-European mainstream parties have been weakened, they still have a two-thirds majority in the European Parliament. In Italy, where politics has been more badly fragmented than in most countries, the Democratic Party has been re-energised under the reformist Matteo Renzi and is on track to win more than 40% of the vote. And even though anti-EU parties have greatly raised their number, they appear to have done badly in the Netherlands and disappointed in Finland.
    +
    For pro-Europeans, the relief is that Eurosceptics are split between left and right. Even on the right, they are divided among themselves, ranging from the euro-critical European Conservatives and Reformists, led by Britain’s Tories; to the anti-EU Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), led by UKIP; and a more radical far-right alliance led by Ms Le Pen. Whether there are enough votes and parties on this part of the spectrum for all three to form parliamentary groups (requiring at least 25 seats from seven countries) remains to be seen. Mr Farage, for one, has refused to join forces with Ms Le Pen, citing the racism that he thinks present in the National Front’s DNA. Meanwhile, Ms Le Pen’s main ally, Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party, appears to have come fourth in the Netherlands, perhaps in part because of revulsion at Mr Le Pen’s Ebola comment. The Danish People’s Party, which came first, also distanced itself from Ms Le Pen, hinting it preferred an alliance with Britain’s Tories.
  • European elections 2014: This is one peasants’ revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside (telegraph.co.uk)
    It may not feel like it this morning, but there is an important sense in which the Euro-elections of 2014 have been a triumphant vindication of David Cameron and the Conservatives.
    +
    There is a kind of peasants’ revolt going on, a jacquerie. From Dublin to Lublin, from Portugal to Pomerania, the pitchfork-wielding populists are converging on the Breydel building in Brussels – drunk on local hooch and chanting nationalist slogans and preparing to give the federalist machinery a good old kicking with their authentically folkloric clogs. There are Greek anti-capitalists and Hungarian neo-fascists and polite German professors who want to bring back the Deutschemark. They are making common cause with Left-wing Italian comedians and Right-wing Dutch firebrands and the general slogan is simple: down with technocracy, down with bureaucracy, and give power back to the people!
    +
    This European election is an expression of revulsion and discontent and it is a mandate for reform. Across the EU, mainstream politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy are now saying what we Conservatives have been saying for years: that the EU needs to do less, to cost less, and to be less intrusive in the way it does it. There is only one government in Europe that has been campaigning solidly for the renegotiation that is needed, and that is David Cameron and the Conservative-led Coalition.Now is the time for France, Germany and others to listen to Mr Sarkozy, and recognise that he is right. It isn’t good enough just to circle the wagons and tell the people of Europe to get stuffed, because next time the frustration of the electorate may be uncontainable. The message of the people to the Euro-nomenklatura is simple: changer ou mourir!
  • European Voters Are Revolting; France Warns “Situation Is Grave For Europe” (zerohedge.com)
    Anti-establishment parties were gaining ground in other parts of the EU too (following UKIP’s lead in the UK).
  • The EU Is Safe For Now, But Its Future Looks Terrible (businessinsider.com)
    European Union parliamentary election results show that centrist, establishment parties will maintain a comfortable majority.But the details of the votes suggest the future of the EU could be in deep trouble.In France, 30% of voters younger than 35 cast their ballots for the National Front, whose founder just suggested the country’s immigrant populations be thinned by Ebola. Only 21% of voters aged 60 and up voted FN.

    Meanwhile, just 15% of voters 30 and younger went to the Socialist party, a brutal defeat for French President Francois Hollande, who’d promised in 2012 to make improving conditions for French youth “a priority.”

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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2 Responses to 2014 European elections

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