Short article from our observer organization in Basque Country "Iratzar" for the European elections and the left candidacies
The 2019 European Election will take place a month after a Spanish General and at the same time as local and provincial elections (Elections for several Autonomous Communities and Provincial authorities). As a result of those two factors the European Election campaign has faded away and is taking very little time on media and public interest. The election on May 26th is being considered as a second round of the General Election which took place on the 28th April 2019, it was a snap election called by Spanish President Pedro Sanchez (PSOE) after a 9 month minority government established as a result of a no-confidence motion against Mariano Rajoy (PP).
The election took place in the midst of a growing polarization (Right-Left) and the threat of a right-wing Government conformed by PP, Ciudadanos and VOX. For the time being, we have avoided a right-wing government, but the ideological backlash in the Spanish State (clearly represented by VOX) hasn’t been overturned and will probably continue. Regarding the Basque Country we must note that VOX got no representation; and the other wing right parties, PP and Ciudadanos, didn’t get representation, although they took part in a coalition with a right-wing regionalist party in Navarre that got two MPs.
European Elections on the Spanish State are held on a “one constituency” scheme which favors Spanish parties. This makes it very hard for parties on Stateless nations to get representatives and forces those parties to establish coalitions to ensure representation. In the Basque case progressive, EH Bildu (GUE/NGL) has built a coalition with Catalan ERC (Greens-EFA), Galician BNG (Greens-EFA) Aragon, Asturias and the Canary Islands. The conservative PNV (ALDE) has established a coalition with Canary Islands CC and other smaller forces in Catalonia and Galicia.
There will be two main progressive lists standing on this election Unidas Podemos (Coalition of Podemos and IU) and Ahora Repúblicas (ERC-EH Bildu-BNG), both lists had MEPs in GUE-NGL on the 2014-2019 term. EH Bildu has publicly stated its intention for its MEP, Pernando Barrena, to join GUE-NGL again although the rest of its list will join the European Free Alliance group, which currently part of the Green group.
Not enough surveys have been published and those as Electomania’s Electopanel have too small samples to be accurate, however there is a tendency that suggests Unidas Podemos could get 8 seats and Ahora Repúblicas 3 (one of which would join GUE-NGL), projections of the General Election results for the European Election show the same tendency.
As we have explained the European Election campaign has been outshined by the General Election and local issues and therefore the topics of discussion have been others such as the Territorial crisis of the state and the possible conformation of the Spanish Government. These two topics are linked because the new conformation of the government faces the territorial crisis. Other topics of European debate are the involution of rights in terms of social cares as well as political and cultural rights. The migration issue has got an important notoriety because of the presentation of “share” program launched by Basque government. On the other hand, it may be interesting to note the presence of other political subjects such as feminists and pensioners.