Yesterday’s election of party leaders marked another important staging post in the build-up to next month’s first session of the new Parliament.  Unfortunately, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  Frenchman Joseph Daul of the EPP and the German Martin Schulz of the PES were both re-elected comfortably – in the case of Daul, only 3 members out of 239 voted against him.

Joseph Daul - overwhelmingly elected

Joseph Daul - overwhelmingly elected

Martin Schulz - lucky to be elected

Martin Schulz - lucky to be elected

Where are the new faces set to light up the next Parliamentary term?

Both Daul and Schulz are well-respected within the Parliament – Schulz has been mooted in the past as a potential German Commissioner – but it seems a shame that the two largest groups seem happy to retain the status quo and not look for a fresh start, particularly in the face of growing disillusionment – or boredom? – reflected in the record low turnout at the ballot boxes earlier this month.  Schulz in particular can count himself lucky to still be leading a party group which foundered alarmingly in the EU elections.

Where is the backstabbing?  Where is the political intrigue?  The coups?  The veiled threats?  Politics should be more exciting than this…

- Rob

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