Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Volt’s federalists consider joining Renew in EU Parliament, leaving Greens

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Anna Strolenberg, co-lead candidate of Volt Netherlands, told Euractiv on Sunday evening that they are exploring the possibility of joining the ranks of Renew’s liberals at the European Parliament and leaving their current position with the Greens/EFA group.

“We are both in conversation with The Greens and Renew,” she said. “And we are still negotiating in which group we will get the best committees, and then we’ll put that up for a vote with our members,” she added.

Volt, a pro-European federalist party created in 2017 in reaction to Brexit and growing populism, is organised as an umbrella for national parties with the same name and branding across all EU countries. They are set to score five seats, three in Germany and two in the Netherlands, according to the latest results, subject to change.

In 2019, they got their first MEP elected in Germany, Daniel Boeselager, who is currently sitting with the Greens group.

Strolenberg stressed that Volt’s ultimate goal is to start their own EU Parliament group, requiring at least 23 MEPs. “We are not there yet,” she admitted, noting that the positive results signal increasing collaboration among member states.

The party, described as a “movement,” ran in the European elections in 15 EU countries with a unified program and campaign. It has seats in the national parliaments of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and the Netherlands.

Volt’s support has significantly increased compared to 2019, when they won just one seat.

“When you consider that that’s an increase from the 0.68% we had in 2019, that’s an incredible result. And I think it also shows that many people are interested in fact-based, pragmatic politics,” Volt MEP and co-founder Damian Boeselager told Euractiv.

Among their proposals, Volt wants to establish a “federal Europe” with a European government headed by an EU prime minister.

The party also advocates for creating a common EU army under the control of the European Parliament, introducing a minimum corporate tax of 22% across Europe, and ensuring profits are taxed “where they are made.”

Commenting on Volt’s potential departure from the Greens, Boeselager confirmed that negotiations are ongoing. A member of the Greens/EFA group also confirmed this to Euractiv.

For the Greens/EFA, losing Volt’s five MEPs to Renew would further reduce their already diminished numbers. Latest projections indicate they have 21 fewer lawmakers than in the previous mandate, dropping from the fourth to the sixth largest group in Parliament.

The Greens have been surpassed by the hard-right European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID), according to the available election results.

Renew, in turn, would significantly benefit from Volt joining its group, as they have also seen substantial losses during this election. According to preliminary results, the party will record 19 fewer MEPs than the previous mandate.

*Maria Simon Arboleas, Niko Kurmayer and Nathan Canas contributed to reporting.

[Edited by Donagh Cagney/Alice Taylor]

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