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European Parliament election results ABI summary and next steps

Following polling day in the UK on Thursday 22 May, 2014 the European Parliament election results were announced late on Sunday night.

The speculation about UKIP returning with significantly more MEPs and with the largest share of the British vote proved accurate. The number of UKIP MEPs grew from 13 to 24. Labour, who came in second place, increased their numbers to 20 (+7). The Liberal Democrats were hardest hit, only getting 1 of their 11 MEPs back.

In Britain the turnout was 34.19%, slightly down from 34.7% in 2009.

UKIP Labour Conservatives Greens Liberal Democrat Other
24 (+11) 20 (+7) 19 (-7) 3 (+1) 1 (-10)

SNP (2) (=)

Plaid Cymru (1) (=)

Sinn Féin (1) (=)

DUP (1) (=)

Ulster Unionist (1) (=)

BNP (0) (-2)

Leavers:

We have known for some time that certain key MEPs will be retiring from their seat (and therefore will not be returning) – notably Peter Skinner, Sharon Bowles and Malcolm Harbour.

MEPs who had been involved in work related to the financial services industry who were not re-elected include:

  • Sarah Ludford (Lib Dem, London), who worked on data protection proposals
  • Sir Graham Watson (Lib Dem, South West) who worked on anti-money laundering proposals
  • Wolf Klinz (FDP, DE) an active figure in ECON.
  • Jean-Paul Gauzes (FR) European People’s Party ECON coordinator (2009-2014)

Elected:

The Conservative party returned all of its MEPs who had been key figures in financial services issues 2009-2014.

  • Kay Swinburne (Wales)
  • Vicky Ford (Eastern)
  • Ashley Fox (South West)
  • Syed Kamall (London)
  • Timothy Kirkhope (Yorkshire and the Humber) – worked on data protection

Labour also returned Catherine Stihler (Scotland) who has been active on the review of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD2).

Ones to watch:

Neena Gill (Labour, West Midlands) has been re-elected (after losing her seat in 2009). Neena has been tipped as being one of Labour’s MEPs on the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) committee.

Steven Woolfe (UKIP, North West) who is UKIPs economic spokesperson is expected to join ECON (or Legal Affairs committee); and Amjad Bashir (UKIP, Yorkshire and the Humber) may also take a seat in ECON as SME business spokesman.

Key non-UK MEPs

Key non-UK MEPs who have been elected include:

  • Werner Langen (DE) Rapporteur for IMD2 (and has shown interest in becoming ECON chair)
  • Markus Ferber (DE) Rapporteur for MiFID2
  • Pervenche Beres (FR) Former Chair of ECON (2004-2009)
  • Sylvie Goulard (FR) Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) ECON coordinator
  • Othmar Karas (AT) Rapporteur for CRD4
  • Gunnar Hokmark (SW) Rapporteur for Bank Resolution and Recovery
  • Olli Rehn (FI) Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs
  • Sirpa Pietikainen (FI) Active ECON member
  • Sven Giegold (DE) Rapporteur for UCITS, and the Review of the European System of Financial Supervision

Next steps:

Formation of European Parliament political groups:

From 2nd June – 26th June the national political parties will organise themselves into European Political Groups. The formation of a Group requires at least 25 MEPs from a minimum of 7 EU member states.

Although these negotiations are still to take place, the European People’s Party (EPP) generally made up of Conservatives (not UK Conservatives), the Socialist and Democrats Group (S&D) where the Labour MEPs traditionally sit, and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) are well established Groups. Their respective sizes will fluctuate according to the arrival and departure of different national parties – there is often movement of national parties between the Groups at this time (and occasionally renaming).

The UK Conservative MEPs have sat in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, after leaving the EPP, in 2009. The ECR will also remain, and may see the 7 new German Eurosceptics from the Alternative fur Deutschland party (AfD) join.

There are still a lot of discussions that need to take place but based on the previous Group make up, the balance of power in the new European Parliament would see the EPP as the largest Group (214 MEPs), and S&D second (189). Together they hold the majority. Depending on how the other Groups form, this could result in a Parliament working primarily on deals (on legislation) between EPP and S&D. This would not be easy for the UK, where there are no UK MEPs represented in the EPP.

Group balance of power:

Based on the current make-up of the Groups (2009-2014)

European elections 2014 balance of power

Formation of the Committees

As the Groups begin to come together, the different national parties will begin the process of bargaining with each other in that Group for committee positions (including any senior positions such as chairs, vice-chairs, coordinators). The strength of bargaining power usually correlates with the size of each national party in that Group.

26th June – the Conference of Presidents (current EP President and Chairs of the Political groups) will meet to confirm the formation of the Political Groups, their chairs and committee representatives.

1- 3rd July – The new MEPs will start their term, voting on the new EP President, and vice-Presidents

7th July – the new Committees will meet to elect their Chair and vice-chairs.

ABI Action

The ABI is in the process of finalising an MEP briefing pack for the new MEPs. This includes information about insurance, how it works, why it is important, and an outline of some of the key issues that the new MEPs will be looking at in the months to come (including Solvency II delegated acts, IORPs etc).

We intend to meet all relevant UK MEPs - those who will be members of ECON, Legal Affairs committee (JURI), Internal Market and Consumer Committee (IMCO) - in July or September.

We will keep members informed of any developments as they happen.

For more information, see Carol Hall's blog: European Parliament elections: what it means for the insurance industry


Last updated 01/07/2016