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EU Parliament elections – most important ever?

By Adrian Hiel on 7 May 2019

The European Parliamentary elections at the end of this month may be the most important ever. It’s not that the Parliament has gained any extraordinary new powers – it is because we live in extraordinary times. Scientists have been clear that we have until 2030 to avoid catastrophic climate change. The next Parliament will sit for the first five of those 11 years. If we don’t make significant progress in that time the window for change becomes very small indeed. We cannot waste time on more discussions. We need action.

That’s why it is heartening to see 75m people have watched the European Parliament’s latest video in just one week. The European election clearly isn’t front page news. But there seems to be a greater awareness about this election than the last few European contests.

From an EU policy and funding perspective there is a lot at stake. EU Commission President Juncker promised Greta Thunberg that 25% of the EU’s next budget from 2021-2027 will be committed to climate change. It will be the parliament’s responsibility to hold the next President to this promise.

The European Parliamentary elections will also have a profound impact on who becomes the next President of the European Commission (through the Spitzenkandidat process).

Regardless of the results (some good projections here), Energy Cities will present our manifesto to incoming MEPs. We need them to hit the ground running in ensuring a shared energy transition.
The manifesto is divided into ‘Quick Wins’ and ‘Legacy Building’. ’Quick Wins’ are simple things that can be done quickly, like a fossil-free EIB and a robust Transition Fund. Longer term projects like mainstreaming carbon budgeting and joint Agriculture and Urban/Regional Development projects are under the ’Legacy Building’ section.

Whether we have the political leaders we need is up to us – so make sure to vote May 23 – May 26!

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