French politics / Let's talk about Europe

Ségolène Royal, future chairwoman of the European Parliament?

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Ségolène Royal, current president of the Poitou-Charentes Region, former PS candidate for the 2007 election

According to some French media, Ségolène Royal, ex-PS candidate for the 2007 presidential election, would be interested to be the next European Parliament chairwoman, after being defeated in the French legislative elections six months ago and foreseen as minister in the Ayrault Cabinet.

The former minister and current president of the Poitou-Charentes Region might lead the socialist list in the “Grand Ouest” constituency in June 2014. This hypothesis seems to be credible if it is reported the secret of a close of François Hollande, according to the Europe 1 radio. The French leader would a woman holds the chair of the European Parliament on the behalf of the European left, it would be the first time since the election of Nicole Fontaine in June 1999.

Ségolène Royal for Chairwoman of the European Parliament? Such a hypothesis may be funny even if it is far too be stupid. Indeed, the ex-socialist candidate is a pro-European and often showed it during the previous European elections in 2009. At that period, she already had her say, delivering a speech in which she insisted on the necessity to create the United States of Europe – reminding the call of Robert Schuman, one of the Founding Fathers – during a PS meeting for the European elections at Rezé (near Nantes).

Ségolène Royal during the PS campaign for the 2009 European Elections

Ségolène Royal during the PS campaign for the 2009 European Elections

Nonetheless, a candidacy of Ségolène Royal as chairwoman of the European Parliament (if it is considered she is running for the election and will be elected) would be much less obvious to implement. Indeed, as the French National Assembly, the EP has its logic and its own rules, in particularly the one wanting you can’t chair the institution by political will only, if it is your first legislature especially. Contrary to the French Parliament which works on a logic of discipline, the European Parliament insists on a spirit of consensus and within political groups in the EP, there is a strength relation between national delegations. In other words, the French Socialist Party should have good (not to say excellent) results in the next European elections to impose the candidacy of Ségolène Royal, which it is far, very far to be done. Moreover, in 2014, the EP political majority might be similar to the future European Commission President’s political tendency, elected by the European Parliament, in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon, as Fabien Cazenave, French blogger, reminds.

What is more, in the EP, MEPs who are influent are MEPs who are active – via the obtaining or the redaction of a report or a mission for instance – not on one but two or three legislature, condition sine qua none to hope the chair of a commission, a political group and even the EP. Martin Schulz, German socialist and current EP president, climbed all the steps since its first election in June 1989 and patiently waited for his time before conquering the EP chair on January 2012, waiting for better!

In other words, seeing Ségolène Royal as chairwoman of the European Parliament might be face with a lot of obstacles within the European socialists for instance who would not understand and accept why the ex-socialist candidate for the French presidency should be backed, especially if it comes from a political and national will. As highlights Fabien Cazenave, this story once again demonstrates the quite special consideration the French political leaders have regarding the European institutions and the EP first, a hemicycle serving as a refuge for politicians having no any perspective at their country and wanting to bounce back, waiting for better and because they have not any other solution. Such a detail is important and this detail annoys our partners which might be problematic for Ségolène Royal if she was to run for the European elections in one year and half.

Ségolène Royal mai 2009 Meeting RezéIn fact, it is not impossible but quite unlikely finally the French socialist leader becomes the third chairwoman of the European Parliament in a near future. To reach this objective, she will have to show her utility and be active if she wants to be credible and considered by her (maybe) future colleagues, contrary to some French MEPs.

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2 thoughts on “Ségolène Royal, future chairwoman of the European Parliament?

  1. Segolene Royal would have been a much better president than Sarkozy! Hollande owes her and should do all to support her if she decides to lead the EP.

  2. Pingback: Bloggingportal.eu » Blog Archive » The Week in Bloggingportal: Leadership and unemployment in Europe

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