November 14, 2018
Latest News

Alain Lamassoure: Transnational lists – a crazy idea

 European MP Alain Lamassoure attends a French right wing UMP's party day focused on defence in Paris, Wednesday 7 March 2007. (File photo: Melanie Frey/EPA)

European MP Alain Lamassoure attends a French right wing UMP's party day focused on defence in Paris, Wednesday 7 March 2007. (File photo: Melanie Frey/EPA)

The European conservatives are opposed to the project of transnational lists for the European elections, but risk losing during the vote on the matter on 6 February. Alain Lamassoure said in an interview with EPA's partner EURACTIV.fr

Alain Lamassoure is a European People’s Party (EPP) MEP. Having supported Alain Juppé during The Republicans’ primary elections, he left the right-wing party last October. He spoke with EURACTIV France Editor-in-Chief Aline Robert. 

Does the European People’s Party support Macron’s project of transnational lists for the next European elections in 2019?

No, the EPP is against it and will vote against it during the plenary session on 6 February. However, this will not stop the project as most of the other parties are for it. Ironically, even eurosceptics, who usually defend their nation, are for transnational lists. Because the more broader the lists, the more chances there are of having elected representatives.

Where does the idea of transnational lists come from?

It is quite a crazy idea, those transitional lists. It’s the mad idea of federalists who brought it forward 40 years ago at the European Parliament, the Parliament has since then, voted dozens of times on the subject. At the time, the European Parliament had no power, it was a way of making it visible. However, ever since the Lisbon Treaty, it now has real powers, especially when it comes to law-making, which reinforces the need for democratic control, and proximity to the elector.

Does this type of list exist elsewhere?

No other country, not even federal, has applied such a system, not the U.S, not Germany. The proportional voting system already alienates voters and their representatives in regards to local constituencies. Democratic logic wants that representatives are accountable to the voters who know them.  Therefore, having a national list, such as the one adopted in France for the European elections, that’s already a mistake. A transnational list that’s even worse.

Why is a national list a mistake according to you?

Well, because the potential candidates are already starting to lick the boots of party leaders in order to be on the 2019 lists. However, they should be campaigning locally, and be accountable to their voters and not to their party leaders. On a national list, taking right-wing parties, for example, we know that the first 20 candidates on the list will be elected.

What would work well is allowing the preferential vote to voters: so that they can rank their elected representatives as they please. This would force candidates to campaign harder in their region rather than to Laurent Wauquiez (leader of The Republicans) or Emmanuel Macron.

Do you think that transnational lists could see the day for the 2019 elections?

I think there is little chance! The European Parliament gives a non-binding advisory opinion, but then the electoral system needs to be changed, and this has to be done unanimously across the member states. I know that nowadays France is trying to convince smaller countries who are completely unfavourable to the idea, as they will never get any representatives elected on such lists seeing as their policies are hardly known.  Therefore, we would need to make concessions to Slovenia or Hungary in other areas, all for this fancy list? I find that inappropriate.

Realistically, there are no chances of making all the national parliaments vote on the subject, in such a short length of time.

Alain Juppé, who you supported during the presidential elections, is now siding with Macron for the European elections. What about you?

The idea of gathering people that support his European policies beyond party positions, for the European elections, seems very appropriate to me. And it is politically smart: these elections will happen in the middle of his mandate, the reforms that he will have implemented by then won’t be very popular. So, this Europe-wide recruitment is logical.

If so will you be a candidate?

I could have been, but I am turning 75 next year, so no. What is certain though is that I left The Republicans, and I am proud of it, it is from now on a moderate Eurosceptic party. Macron’s list makes more sense to the pro-European French right wing.

News history
ALDE: “we have to win over nationalists and populists across Europe,”

Madrid (EuroEFE).- Ahead of the European Parliament elections next year, over 1,000 liberals from all across the European Union last week gathered in Madrid...

S&D chief: ‘Political suicide’ for Europe to ignore Africa

Europe has to tackle the root causes of migration and better manage population flows by investing in people rather than walls, Udo Bullmann told EPA 's...

Weber: EPP has answers to populism and extremism

European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber, a potential candidate for the top Commission job, says his party is loyal to its Christian Democratic...

Stubb: No room for populism in EPP, European values are under threat

After serving his country as a minister and prime minister, and gaining first-hand experience in dealing with some of the EU’s biggest crises, Alexander...

Navracsics: I am ‘deeply interested’ in keeping the CEU in Hungary

Viktor Orbán’s offensive against the Central European University is at the core of the worsening relationship between Hungary and the EU institutions. But...

Hogan: EU member states will decide on agriculture innovation after 2020, not Brussels

Member states and not the European Commission will direct the precise support and funding for innovation and digitisation of farming in the post-2020...

Filip Grzegorczyk, PKEE vicepresident: "We would like to achieve some derogations to make capacity market work"

Filip Grzegorczyk, vice president of the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE) , participated recently in Madrid in a EFEfórum Energy debate about “The...

Italian region shows two sides to the immigration story

Images of distressed refugees arriving on Italian shores have become increasingly familiar in recent years. EURACTIV reports on the situation on the...

Refugees at the EU borders – status update from Romania

How prepared is the EU to receive people in need of protection? How can the integration programmes be improved? Those are two important case files for...

The EU’s refugee crisis: Effective handling or botched up policy?

Dealing with the refugee crisis has proved to be an insurmountable task for Europe, due to the apparent lack of a coherent immigration policy and political...

‘Kitchen of Conflict’: Through the stomach towards tolerance

Poland and Hungary are the only two EU countries that have not accepted any refugees under the EU relocation and resettlement programme. Politicians who...

Integration through language

Five years ago, the founders of ‘Teachers on the Road’ started visiting fifty refugee homes in the German states Rhineland-Palatine and Hesse. A lot has...

Névache and Briançon – left to deal with migrants on their own

Following the closure of other roads, migrants embark on a clandestine Italian-French crossing in the Alps by the Col de l’Echelle. Local residents, haunted...

Bullmann: Macron must decide if he is a ‘real progressive’ or not

French President Emmanuel Macron has to make his political identity clear and clarify whether he is a “real progressive” who wants to contribute to a...

Copernicus chief defends role of satellites in CAP’s ‘control’ system

The EU will launch a new satellite this week as part of the ‘Copernicus’ initiative. The earth observation programme has proved to be useful in dealing...

Faria MEP: Offshore Safety Directive is ripe for reform

The Portuguese lawmaker behind the most recent European Parliament resolution on the safety of offshore drilling explained to EPA 's partner EURACTIV...

UN Arctic chief: ‘Climate change isn’t linear – it’s accelerating’

Climate change is most evident in the Polar Regions and its impact will serve as a litmus test for what happens to the rest of the planet, the UN’s chief...

Nathalie Loiseau: Proactive policies needed to promote women’s talents

France’s European affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau, talks about women and their place in Europe in an interview with EPA' s partner EURACTIV.fr.

Ansip: Europe must switch immediately to 5G

Europe must switch “immediately” to fast 5G mobile networks, EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip told EPA 's partner EURACTIV in an interview.

Minister: Malaysia will retaliate against EU goods in case of palm oil ban

The European Parliament’s decision to ban palm oil, Malaysia’s biggest export item, is “drastic and discriminatory” and Kuala Lumpur is ready to retaliate...

IOM chief: There is no migration crisis but a political emergency

EU leaders need to find the courage of unity to manage migration, which has the potential to help the EU economy grow more than expected. But the window of...

Alain Lamassoure: Transnational lists – a crazy idea

The European conservatives are opposed to the project of transnational lists for the European elections, but risk losing during the vote on the matter on 6...

Moscovici: ‘The credibility of the EU tax haven black list is at stake’

The EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici is determined to table a digital tax proposal at EU level, despite warnings from the OECD. In an...

WEF co-chair: Greed is still the economic engine

In an increasingly fractured world, change will not happen if the current model of corporate greed continues to dominate the future, 2018 World Economic...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.