EWEA's Opinion, News
Wind power and other renewables will be a key foundation of the new European Parliament
Many post mortems will be conducted into the recent European elections in the coming days but it is clear that the centre right EPP-ED group defeated the PES in voting for the 736 members representing citizens in the European Parliament for the next five years.
While all three of the main groups – the European People’s Party and the European Democrats; the Party of European Socialists; and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats – suffered numerical setbacks, the EPP-ED still won the greatest number of seats. Only two groups actually gained seats: the Greens and the non-affiliated.
The voting results suggest a more diverse and fractured Parliament, with a weaker Socialist group. The amount of jockeying for power and blocks of votes on individual issues is likely to be even greater in the next Parliament than the last.
Regionally, dissatisfaction with the moribund economy no doubt played a significant role for the 43% of the voters, the lowest turnout ever, who actually took the time to cast a ballot.
Yet European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso said the vote was a victory for parties and candidates who support the European Union.
“From today onwards, Europe owes it to the voters to show once again it can deliver. It must continue to pave the way through the economic and financial crisis. It must do all it can to support those most vulnerable in society, especially those facing unemployment,” Barroso said.
“And Europe must grasp the opportunity to build a new social market economy that puts a smarter, greener growth at its core, so as to decisively address climate change.”
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) agrees with Barroso and urges the newly-elected MEPs to continue supporting key measures involving diminishing energy supplies, the beleaguered economy and an environment ravaged by greenhouse gases from 150 years of burning fossil fuels.
EWEA sees little change in the direction the new Parliament takes with regard to climate change and energy issues. Indeed, legislation on renewable energies approved by the outgoing MEPs has now become the envy of the world. We encourage the new crop of policy makers to build on this legislative inheritance.
After all, wind power and other renewables are already creating a new green economy that features a surge in high-technology jobs. Wind is also increasing supplies of affordable and local electricity for a growing population. Lastly, because it is non-polluting, dependable and sustainable, wind power is helping mitigate global warming.