tv Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on European Parliament Election CSPAN May 29, 2019 5:22pm-6:45pm EDT
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next, the carnegie endowment for international peace hosted a discussion on what the european parliament election results mean for issues like migration, trade, and transatlantic relations. this is one hour 20 minutes. >> welcome to carnegie. i run the program at carnegie. i am delighted that you decided to whether the rain in washington -- weather the rain in washington this morning. it shows your interest in the european parliament elections. one of the things that has been striking to me is the interest in this year's elections. it is quite unusual. i think it has to do with some of the late up to this -- lead up to this parliament election. people very much expressing this referendum on the future of europe, people predicted a surge
of far right populists. now, the results from last week are in. what were the main results and how should we interpret them? what will be the immediate but also the long-term impacts for the future of european decision-making but the key issues like migration, trade, and foreign policy? what does it say about the overall direction of the european project? what are the implications for the united states? election results and discuss all of these issues, we assembled a terrific panel for you. the one, he isn a director of the european parliament in washington, a long-term european civil servant and an expert on european -- the european union and the european parliament inside out. we can ask for anyone better to help explain the european parliament. -- can't ask for anyone better
to help explain the european parliament. catherine is the director of the diplomacy project at harvard university kennedy school and the executive director of the project on europe and transatlantic relations and a long-term expert of transatlantic relations. glad to have you here all the way from boston. less than not least, richard young. he is a senior fellow for the democracy program at carnegie -- then carnegie europe carnegie europe center in brussels. he is an expert on european foreign policy and politics. i promise i will not ask him all the questions about brexit today. we will jump straight into the election results and discuss the implications. i want to turn first to want on. antoine. to on-- to what were the key results?
is anything we should pay particular attention to? anything you found surprising about the results? and how do you think the results will impact the position of the european element -- european parliament? >> usually, the first question -- before the elections, we saw that for the first time, these elections are a series of 28 national elections. parliament is not happy with that. it is a series of elections, nationally. these elections are a series of 28 national debates. time,ime for the first
there were preoccupations, migration was a big preoccupation, growth, climate change. for the first time, there were preoccupations for people. always,the main -- as it's a new thing that pulls predictedict -- polls things. the predicted there would be a nationalist majority. we conducted polls in the last month and new that we would be in this situation. us, that was not a big surprise. the big surprise was the turnout. parliament had been elected in 1979, it began with 61%.
the last time, we are at 42.5%. we were hoping there would be a shift, let alone a shift to -- this is probably the most important element in this election. why? because it proves something was at stake. big in theis nothing election at stake, people don't go to vote. in the election here, there is 30%, because there is not much at stake. it looks like the movement was the to the fact that people felt there was something they get sick. -- something big at stake. the elections, the pro-european, style, people really felt something was at stake. hopefully next time we get 60%.
the second thing i would say is we continue to have stability in the sense that we have 70 pro europeans and 30% -- 70% pro europeans and 30% anti-, a more mixed bag. , thewo main parties conservatives and the democrats, they will have to deal with the pro-european parties, the and the other party. it will have to negotiate to gef the commission. everything is to be negotiated. the second thing is the green made a good score. did betterliberals
than planned and it took from the center-right, so that shifts are not where we thought they would be. >> can i ask a question, what are the next steps? can you break it down? the parties will not need to form these new groupings in the european parliament, but there will also be immediate decisions made on the appointment of the next european commission, but also the passing of a new budget, so in the context of these elections, help explain how these things will play out in terms of what role the european parliament will play in the european decision-making? >> the new parliament will be starting, the first plein air a president'sn the parliament is elected. articlety of lisbon, 117 says that the parliament elects the president of the commission.
and upon presentation of the candidate by the council, taking into account the european elections. that is a new process, it was already applied last time. so in the next weeks, it actually begins today, for begin yesterday, we have a very intense negotiations between the heads of parties and groups in parliament, for assessing the results of the election. it is more difficult for me than before, than in the past, and even the council is having a dinner, 6:00 p.m. come early for brussels, but they are having a dinner where they will also ponder the results. we are not yet sure whether the -- of the parliament and the council will coincide, so that will be the interesting moment when we see if they agree on what happened, i predict they will not agree immediately.
but there will be weeks of negotiations. if all goes well in the same, in july, the parliament will elect the president of the commission. if the council is able to propose a candidate. and the parliament said clearly it would not accept any candidate that would not be one of the special candidates. >> this is -- explain that concept. >> if parliament is, we do not have a majority or whatever, minority, we have a coalition. this time it is a coalition in the center. toin order to, in order decide, or in order to say who won the election -- you could say the group that came first, so this time it is the center-right. the center-right says, i came first, mr. weber should be president of the commission, but
you also need a qualified majority to elect the president, so if the other part of the coalition do not agree that it should be mr. weber, or whoever, then they have to negotiate. so that is when it becomes interesting. during the campaign, all political families, apart from the liberals who may not be in agreement with the system, most said we will have one candidate who will do a european campaign and who will say, if you are .lected, it will be mr. weber so it makes it more interesting. >> that will be the next battle. >> and then the budget. >> let me turn to you, catherine. one thing that is interesting was also the result in the two most important countries, germany and france. in france, the european parliament election was described as a referendum between macron and my down the pen.
she came out first, but narrowly. in germany, the right party, they actually did not do as well, at least according to the previous polls, only receiving 10% while the green party became the second biggest party. how do you interpret the elections in france and germany, both in terms of what they mean for domestic politics in those countries, but also what that translates into further european agenda? >> let me comment on a couple things, because i am partially up here and you may not hear it in my idaho accent, but i am half german, so i have one of those three meter long ballots for this election to choose from 43 parties. it was, we are losing -- using a lot of german technology -- terminology appear, so i think the way the election was for germans is it was a -- an election of fake. this is -- fate. this is interesting, because
what he said is right. these elections have been fought by the elections on the government of the day, as a result of the electoral participation has been low, few people have understood what the european parliament is. and what we are seeing now, since the 2014 introduction of some of these more politicizing elements, but also the commodes of -- a camilla to the effect of the crises the european union has been through, if you think about the gratian crisis and banking crisis, we could be here for a number of minutes more to name all of them, and then pressures from the outside like russia, china and the united states, that really made this in the narrative, particularly in germany, but to be certain extent in france, because president macron has been the motor of a a lot of new ideas on sort of the more federalist agenda in terms of how he reformed the european union from the inside. this election of fate.
that explains why so many people turned out in many of these key countries over the past three days leading up to the big election day on sunday. and i think that generally, it is worth pointing out that certain divisions still hold. the young and older division holds, the east-west division holds, despite the fact that says incredibly politicized, it does not necessarily mean, and he pointed to that, to how difficult some of these negotiations will be within the european parliament and between the parliament and the council going forward, there will be a lot of divisions to heal, or policy to make, and a lot of politicalization around it, to say that there will be a lot of negotiation around a lot of the key issues. now, it is worth probing what happened in the individual countries, because the german example is sort of mirrored in
the pan-european example, which is to say the center did not hold. that is a big problem for internal politics, because it has exposed, or domestic politics, and exposed how complacent the people's parties, the christian democratic union, merkel'sy akk, angela hand chosen successor. and at the social democrats no longer speak to some of the more right issues that have come up in the political debate. i have never seen in my country as many successful demonstrations and around what other people might think about as fringe issues, the climate change piece has been the always component, but as linked to questions of economic progress, the creation of jobs. germany's decision to really invest on what they call the -- really holding a government
accountable that has become too complacent for too long. so the story in germany, and in part as echoed in europe, is one of swing voters, because this is something to watch in the future. people are more and more making their minds up around issues, which is a fascinating thing, l,cause here we were, wel bemoaning the death of democracy. i think that is not true, this election shows people are willing to invest in issues if you have parties that speak to concerns. unfortunately, in some cases they also speak to fair, because this was based around a narrative of fear. there have been a number of issues that have driven germans to the streets, and also drove them to the ballot box. what does this mean for the center in terms of domestic politics? i think that this will be very difficult, the head of the social democratic party, who has
already offered her, or symbolically has offered her sacrificial head, she has offered her resignation as the party leader of the social democratic party, because the situation is so volatile -- and because the situation is so volatile, we had elections for local offices in the east and also in the federal state of --, and because there were some political flips there the germans are still cautious, or too cautious, i do not think there will be a vote of no-confidence at the heart of the german buddhist dog that would german -- trigger a new election, because now they see there is volatility at the center. but i think this will forecast what happens in some of the federal elections as we move into the fall. so very clearly, angela merkel's coalition government is weakening, they do not have enough moral fiber to make a lot of political arguments they need to be making as they enter the second half of her final
reign. and you have the greens, who are the second starkest force in the country, in this case 20%. they pulled in a lot of that swing vote. and so if they swing vote was a split between the far right and the greens, and how that is navigated and played out in the landscape is going to be something to watch, because that will then also center power within the european union. a couple thoughts on france. france has technically, just by the way this system has set up, has tolerated for a long time the split between party leadership that you would have like a president from one party, parliament from another, so they are more comfortable negotiating every election, if you will, on its own merits or on its own sort of situation. so we thought this was going to be given the -- movement that has a squeezed macron's domestic
politics, that this would be a vote on his ability to bring the country together, it turns out it likely was not as much as we expected. only 38% of the voters who came out in this election on sunday were really there to slap him on the face. yes, as eric mentioned, of french], marine le pen's party came out on top, but not as strong. what is different is the party landscape and the way we do politics now is drastically changing. partyabout how macron's came together, how they pushed now within the negotiations with the liberal group, even within the european parliament there are different ways of pushing party politics now. and his party borrowed tactics that present macron used earlier, to really listen to the people, to start local, come up from above, push specific issues
on the agenda. so for those of us who are political science junkies, this is the time to really want a shift in party political landscape, because that is true in both of these traditional motor countries of the european union. france and germany. and what will be fascinating to see how this plays out, of course, macron did not do as well as he would've wanted, but he will be, i think personally a kingmaker in this run on who will be the european commission president. we already know his chosen candidate in his back pocket is michelle --, the -- that speaks to the national -- the current brexit negotiator. so that is a another thing to watch. he has some wind in his a sales with this result and i think that he feels now he can still continue to push back domestically. and so i think it would be
really critical to watch what happens this evening. we already know that there are bilateral negotiations going on between the heads of state, but it will also be interesting to see what his group does at the heart of the european parliament when it comes to really negotiating and asserting power within the parliament. >> not altogether bad news for him, despite ending up in second place. richard, i want to bring you in on the broader principle of europe, but i want to ask about spain, because i think that spain was an interesting, it had interesting results in this year's elections, bucking some broader trends we saw in europe. the social democrats did exceedingly well, whereas the which caughtty -- the attention before the in the end.only -- what does this tell us about
spain and more broadly in europe? >> let me start with the bigger question. the key thing is the point about this being framed as an election of fate. and pro-europeans anti-europeans are framed in this election and have already decided on the future of the eu and european politics, macron repeatedly suggested that this was an existential moment of choice for europe between pro-european and anti-european choices. i think of that was the case, the outcome is actually not that decisive. it is actually hard to read. in spain, as in other countries, i do not think that these results will push europe decisively in one direction or another. for me, it is actually really difficult to read any kind of single-story from the elections. in some countries, the far right gained ground, and others it
lost territory. in some countries, the mainstream parties almost disappeared, in others they held their ground quite well, with spain being one example. in some countries, the story was the rise of the greens, but in large parts of europe the greens are completely absent, so -- with pan-european trends, so to me it is almost impossible to read any kind of single trend. whether it is spain or other countries, the results have more to do with national specificities than any kind of pan-european trend. what does that mean for the future of europe? obviously, it is a relief that the far right parties did not gain more ground than what was expected. however, it was probably the case that the press here and in europe probably overstated a bit of the danger of a far right takeover in the parliament, so it is built up as a little bit
of a strawman. it is good the far right parties have been contained two more or less the level that they were at, but they were probably never going to make a significant breakthrough. it is good the eu is not about to collapse or unravel. the eu could enter another cycle of crisis, but i think the significant thing is if there is another crisis, it would not be because of the elections, it would be something else, an economic crisis or other factors, not because the distribution of seats in the parliament has changed a little bit because of these elections. i think that conversely, conversely it probably means block,e euro skeptic although it is divided, probably has enough of a consolidated presence now in parliament to make it a little bit more unlikely that there will be any major leap forward in european integration. i am not sure that that is a game changer, because i think before the elections took place
there was quite an ambitious set of reforms on the table for quite some time and there have been governments who have not been able to agree amongst themselves on the way forward, so the new parliament may push things a little bit more in that direction, but i do not think it is a game changer. i think that the key thing will be how this new fragmentation in the parliament is handled. you know a lot of the headlines have been that the two main parties have lost their natural majority. and fragmentation, many people see this fragmentation as a negative development in parliament and it could make european politics a lot messier, make majorities harder to form. i think that is true, so it could slow things down a little bit, but on the other hand you could say that fragmentation has a positive side, which is it may open up a little bit more, it could make debate more dynamic, open ended, it will bring
possibly, possibly a wider range of policy alternatives to the table, which i would say is what the parliament needs. and i want to say, it is very understandable for the pro-european parties now to get together and even try to form a coalition, because they feel like they have to defend against the far right euro skeptic's. anyway, that could have a downside in that it could actually end up further fueling the frustrations that have driven the populism in the first place, if the coalition seems to be working in an exclusionary way. it will be a difficult balance to get right into their needs to be coordination between the pro-european forces, but if it is done in a way that actually st toof adds further gi the populism, that could be a negative impact. >> can i add, because i think that this brings, what richard
says brings in nicely together, because either we could be entering this sort of wonderful rejuvenation where everything is so interesting and ripe and people pay attention to the accountability functions the european parliament has, and we have an increase in voter bridges the patient and engagement, or we have the scenario that richard talked about, which this is the zenith of it all. and because all of these political issues, the coalition building, what might just be ad hoc coalitions around the different issues become so difficult and entrenched that we are right back to this understanding of it as a technocratic, nondemocratic, hard to understand institution. and in fact, in the next european election we see a sharp cut right back down to the sort of baseline. so it is this really interesting moment to figure out how this ultimately plays out and how
intense the european population is in pushing on these accountability mechanisms and realizing that there are issues that are greater at stake, or at stake that cannot be managed on a national level anymore and that they remain engaged in that way. i think that will be really difficult to navigate, both on the national level and on the eu level. -- distinguish the political sciences, but you inw, every time -p- political situations there is a risk we do things wrong. with brexit, we could have fallen into the trap of being divided into we are not. after the berlin wall fell, we could have said, these countries can wait before they join nato, and we did not. the euro, we could have said we are not ready for it, and if so we did not -- we got the euro.
my point is, the observers, i understand why they do it because it is interesting to tell this story, but the observers always say there is a risk we will do wrong, and it is true, but at the same time i want to point out that in reality, if you look at the reality, we have been waiting for parliament for 30 years and we have done a number of things wrong, but if you look at the big picture, the big picture is not the series of failings. it is rather a series of successes. and they want to -- >> what are those? >> those that i mentioned, the euro, the creation of a common market that is gaining power. and if so, you know, the measurement of the states holding ourselves together. these are things that the migration crisis, the euro crisis, all these things will overcome and every time that we
-- every six years, when we talked about the euro crisis the euro was about to fall apart, but not really. migration, europe is about to fall apart, we have not, we are getting stronger and stronger. so we have to be careful when we predict catastrophes, yes, they could happen. but they have not happened so far and we are stronger. >> richard? taken asot mean to be predicting catastrophes, i agree there are positives, but it is just where these translate now into something like kind of longer-term structural change in politics, we have the opportunity to take advantage, but it is note guarantee that this will -- no guarantee that this will actually become a longer-term process of change. but i agree that there are positives, particularly for people looking at this from the u.s. despite the president's constant criticisms of the european project, it is clearly good that
the anti-european forces did not gain more ground, which could have led to instability that could have been hard for the u.s. to deal with in its foreign policy. in terms of what it means for the u.s., therefore i think it is basically good, that outcome is fairly benign. i think it means and there will be differences, sharper differences between the u.s. and eu on certain policy, certain policy differences. i think that the rise of the greens will mean that new policy on climate issues will become stronger. we all know that they're already differences between the eu and this administration on climate change issues and i think they will become sharper. also, many parties that gained ground in the elections are not really supportive of free-trade. the far right parties are protectionist, the greens have said that they only want trade agreements if they come with, if they come with -- yes, if they accept climate change obligations.
so that could mean that the trade agenda between the u.s. and of the eu becomes even more fraught than it already is. so i think there will be policy afterations for the u.s. these elections, but i do not think there will be any kind of dramatic change in transatlantic relations. >> put could there be internal consequences for europe -- he mentioned the migration policy, what about rule of law and the so-called article seven, the fact that you now have greater representation and the fact that victor or vince'party won over 50% in hungary, shouldn't this reduce the likelihood that the european parliament would seek to go after countries within the european union that backslide on democracy and rule of law? richard? thatrd: so people know
measures have been triggered against hungary and poland further rule of law infringements, but those measures have not made much headway because of the parliamentary arithmetic, also because of the level of counsel governments blocking measures taken against other states. so i think that in a way the eu had already had to look for a different way of tackling these rule of law issues, a bit more oblique, a bit more preventative. i think it is a question of taking action earlier on, so we do not get to a situation where these very punitive measures have to be triggered in a way that now the governments are blocked. so again, the new arithmetic in parliament may make it slightly more difficult to take measures against governments that are not respecting the rule of law principles, but those problems were already there before the elections, and i think already kind of engendering the debate
amongst governments about how they can actually frame a different kind of approach to protecting democracy within the eu. >> in terms of foreign policy that richard mentioned, you have thought a lot about transatlantic relations and foreign policy, at a time in your office, you mentioned the pressure from russia and china, but also from the trump administration. there is perhaps a danger or a risk that these internal divisions within european countries, but now increasingly within brussels itself into european parliament, could undermine europe's ability to assert itself in this increasingly competitive global landscape. do you see the risk for that or a silver lining in terms of sort of the centrist pro-european countries now coming together and wanting to assert european power or sovereignty, others call it strategic autonomy, at a time with rising competition in the global inscape? >> right now, we have a table of
riches, or a tableau of riches. for a long time we had atrophy, we had atrophy within the european union and if you think about macron's series of speeches, angela merkel has given pronouncements, and others came out with their own visions, the german foreign minister with his alliance of multilateral lists, you have this tableau that everybody has powder upon in terms of what we might -- piled upon in terms of what the european union can do in the world. at some of these things, some of these new ideas have already found their way into institutional arrangements, so permanent cooperation on defense issues, this idea that the european union, and in fact this assists with the trumpet narrative, if you will, this is a new way of thinking about transatlantic security, that europe would take care of its own house a little bit more. that it would forge a new
relationship with africa, something that the parliament has pushed very strongly. and i think they can actually do something about that, whereas other issues the parliament really only has supervisory powers or accountability powers where they can bring the high representative in, and although they have pushed for that to be a larger goal, it is a supervisory role more than anything. now you have four or five big ideas on the table and whether it is the early intervention force that macron put on the table, or some version of what might be, i will put the air quotes around it, "the european army," what you see is a lot of good divisions. and i think that you need that to bring a political project along. i think that is generally a positive thing. but i think the next five years will really be where you need to figure out how these ideas come together in an institutional, functional way.
and i think that we are still far away from bringing that together. this is where you really see the critical divisions that still exist. this is what i meant with the north and south divide, east and west divide, the greater aperture behind all of this is that europe is not as united as theseght think, given election results, because there are big differences about what the european project is for. and i think that you see that -- because in poland, you know, again they won those elections outright. what does that say about how we did not grow together and how to how did we not put forth a common purpose that it did not resonate across the board? if we had the italians throwing out one anchor point of really the belt and wrote initiative, saying this is for our good,
this is what we want. countries are going off in some respects on their own in some of these critical foreign policy antitrade issues. and i think there is danger who need to look critically at these various issues and ideas that have been put on the table. that is the institutional hallmark and external action service led by a new foreign minister. another critical post that is up for grabs. we will have to do it in a strategic fashion that is communicable to the european voting public. that is an opportunity we have missed over and over again. people don't understand what strategic autonomy or pragmatism means for our daily lives and how we advance economically or how we advance our physical security and economic security.
is one of the most important things to europeans. nobody understands how those things come together. what an important moment for the institutions to work out how this will function for the big member states that can invest and politically in making these things are reality. i think the next five years are important. that's my opening statement, this has to happen at a time when internally, domestic politics and domestic democracies are going through a democratic turn process. i'm not fully optimistic. i want to be. i am a european federalist. i am not sure that we will get response or in advance of these incredible challenges coming at us. china, the united states and russia. erik: what your remarks also point to is characterizing this
european aspect as anti-european against pro-european, it might be about different parties having different competing ambitions about the direction the european union should take. i want to open this up for questions and comments. a questiono direct to anyone of the panelists. let's start with the gentleman in the back. please wait for the microphone. if you can introduce yourself and your affiliation. antoine. with now, in the coming weeks we will be seeing a fascinating power-play between counsel and european parliament. constitutional matters, this might be a question that does not interested that much. what do you think would be the effect on the voters should the european parliament let go of candidates becoming
european commission president? do you think this would be negative or would they not care about it? how much importance would you give to a question like this? erik: let's pick up one more while we're at it. let's go to the middle. >> i have a question. -- do anyone of you anyone of you want to venture some guesses as to how europe will reach parliament? about thefirst one is described antoine which party will nominate the
next european commission president. i wonder if we can start with antoine. antoine: i don't live that not many europeans would notice. it happened once. we have to take into account elections. we are only in the second set. i always say give europe another 60 years. we will talk. america, we take for granted that it took many wars and many fights. we are in this long-term story. i would say that if we don't have a candidate elected in july or september, i don't believe many europeans would notice. fail, doing that this time, this process is dead. in 20 years time, if we managed to do at this time for the second time, it is not
as easy as last time. , it will be more normal. in 30 years time, it will be more normal. -- in 30 years time it will be more normal. -- next time, it will be more normal. in 30 years time it will be more normal. we have to think about the steps. currency,reate this we realized we are missing important to us to make it functional and work and sustainable. we need to do it. ways that do it in will work. the french president put a lot of strength in that. it has to be a franco german initiative that is very well supported. then it can become something. i think it will be one of the
most difficult things to be done if it gets done. i'm not sure that we will have the political force to do it. erik: i saw a poll in germany before the european election that asked german voters if you know who the paper is. that is the european people -- michael is. he is the european people's party candidate. only 23% of germans recognize this name. it is like an artificial debate among brussels insiders. it doesn't really resonate with people across europe. pick a: the epp should better candidate. they did try to -- after that buy that model of in germany, specifically. -- after that poll, they tried
that model in germany, specifically. i think there is a credibility problem there. i were a betting person and had to put money on it, i think the next commission president would be one of these two. that is who they put forth as candidates. erik: she was a danish commissioner. cathryn: they did not put forth one candidate, they put forth a lineup of people and ran them in different debates in different countries. this is a time, people are paying attention. -- if you're going to be a credible medical entity, understand that now is not the time to continue jerking the european voters around. a maturation of
if we are seeing european voters that are invested, they sure -- make sure that when which counts. you can't continue to disappoint european voters on that issue. -- those issues. make a promise and stick to it. people will not notice as much. it will all come out in a wash. that is going to leave a very ofr taste in the mouths people. my point is they can't keep this up. if you're going to politicize the process, pick a good candidate, run them, do it properly. people will pay attention. reform on the eurozone question, i think that is fascinating. you see a lot of change in the populace parties.
motor has to come from germany and france. none of the populace parties in the running, if they are part of the eurozone are advocating in the deutschland. nobody wants to leave the euro anymore. erik: is this a result of brexit ? cathryn: it is a part of that but also a part of realities. how it will come out in a wash specifically between germany and france will be a lot around the issues of how you secure transfers. it will be a lot about solidarity and how solidarity works out. i think that in these political negotiations, it is difficult to understand some of the brooding routing of people's views.
to 1923. back this is something that is died in the wall -- wool for germans. this makes it a volatile situation for europe. for germany, internally, , the entirere country is coming apart. this is a cultural marker. this is an identity marker. i think that is something to understand. obama did not understand that. the french president does not understand that. it is hard to grasp rationally. these are the kinds of things in european politics that play a role and make a difference. understand and bring empathy to the negotiating table for people's redlines. that is where we will have to work. looking ahead, the negotiation process will be very interesting. the eurozone needs that change. the far right is no longer
pushing to break the entire thing apart. erik: richard, splitting candidates up properly, it fails. but without due to democratic legitimacy in the european union? richard: i don't think that it would be good. i think in the bars and pubs of europe, they are talking about the change ship -- championship finals. all the polls show that the citizens show of slight frustration. they want more voice in european affairs. i'm not sure that this power battle over the top post is the way they are going to feel a connection. it isve to remember that great, everybody got excited about the ep elections this time. the parliament does have a structural weakness because of the way the e.u. is set up. the ep does not playing in the
world that the congress plays, in holding an executive to an account. it is important what has happened in the elections. of the wayural issue that european democracy works, the european parliament is really comparable to parliament or a national congress. that democratic legitimacy needs to be found through a whole range of other issues and other reforms. not just what happens in the parliament. that would be my view. i think macron comes out of this a little weakened. he was already struggling to push this. for eurozone reform may struggle to gain traction. if there is eurozone reform, it will come from the markets
because of what happens in the economy. it will be an external shock in the future. not because of a slight change reform.amentary erik: on the eurozone reform bay, a lot of this seems focused seemsdebate, a lot of it to be focused on the franco german area. he also had the scandinavian countries, together and acting as more of a unified block. they are trying to block some of these southern european partners. let's pick up a few more questions and comments. let's go in the back. >> i may have listed this at the beginning but i will ask it anyway. i am indy. wondering, this ambiguous
that is not really definitive, there have been changes and modifications, what implications if any are there to the whole immigration dispute? different positions, openness, narrowing the opportunity, does this play out in anyway? i understand that nationally there are different positions wide, are there any consequences? erik: i believe there is another on this end. with my question has to do what we are looking at right now for our next election. that is the role of russia. was there a role in these elections? did you see the impact? are they getting more sophisticated in their approaches? that everyone realizes
this is what is happening and they disregard? erik: two questions, the first about migration policy, the second about russian interference in the european elections. i think i can turn to richard on immigration. this has been facing europe since the 2015-2016 height of immigration crisis. internalbout the asylum processes in europe remaining very divisive. do you see any impact on the european parliament elections? richard: it is placed on the policy agenda what is there to stay. there is an important issue. the survey suggests it is not citizens' most pressing issue today. it is not ranked as the number one issue.
it is because the numbers coming in have dramatically fallen 2016 and 2017. a lot of the mainstream non-populace parties have exposed the concerns. the social democrats may be winning in denmark but they have a fairly strong line against migration. area where there is great consensus about populace and non-populace is the priority for the eu to extend its borders. russia, you're much more of thatpert but it struck me in a rangeup a gear of efforts to protect the integrity of the election.
from what one hears, the situation was contained. the interference was not nearly as systemic as it could have been. i think the debate is more about whether the e.u.'s court of conduct wasode of good or not. whether or not the e.u. will need to regulate in the more formal sense, tech companies. one should not underestimate how big the concern is to citizens and also political parties. erik: that is an important issue. it has a big impact on american technology companies. this is where the most significant power could be on the international stage. the ability to regulate technology companies. we have seen european parliament
moving to google and microsoft. how would you think the elections might impact his ability to play a role? we have already seen privacy law, will we see more on that side of things? cathryn: one of the many protests going on in germany, we are on -- they were on data protection law. really the thing that moves and gets under the skin of europeans. it is interesting. what we are seeing there is on thisne hand, you see technological innovation battle between china and the united states. this is the third way internet. it is regulatory capacity. it can't keep up with the and identify its own innovation champions. acceptedbecome reality. we can't play that catch-up
game. but we will find a way, we will infuse our european values. this is a critical component. how we understand and look into the world. we will infuse that into our laws, regulatory capacity and our taxation policies. into the way that we structure the way money flows here. to have anlso begin impact on foreign policy. also, the relationship with the united states. the 5g debate. the europeans don't understand why huawei needs to come off the agenda or the list as a possible supplier if you regulate and monitor them closely. using everything in your toolkit. we are already seeing issues come to a head. ity to getat inabil ahead of this technological
piece. we can all them on that there is no reason for the europeans to be so far behind -- the mont that there is no reason for the anropeans -- we can all bemo that there is no reason for europeans to be this far behind. that will be the way that they will manage this brave new world. every person running for the european parliament said they were committed to doing that. the only way that you are going to achieve any semblance of economic growth across a stagnant region right now, comparatively is by pushing into these areas. figuring out how that all comes together will be critical over the next few years. just a few words on immigration and parliament, i think that parliament possibles are so limited. when it comes to
security and border issues is firmly in the hands of the council. that being said, on the margins, when it comes to integration pieces and the relationship with africa and questions of development policy with respect to funding, the component within the multi annual financial framework, european parliament can do a number of things with the margin. the question becomes how actors within the parliament begin to tell that story. whether they are -- their people understand that impact and connection. russia, they figured out that a fair amount of people had seen fake news that was emanating from russia. and from a more tactical side, russia continues to happily the states. lot of serbia is a prime example.
when it comes to thinking about eu enlargement and how the european union values growth, there is still that had conflict. whole, the cause this was so rife, i don't think it had as much of an impact as it could have. i migration, i would say the same as they said on the euro. we open our borders. the member states, we keep our sovereignty on migration policy. i don't believe it really works. and you have a crisis, if you open the borders, you have to have some convergence on the great areas of you except and how you manage. ccept and how you manage. one of the main topics of interest is immigration.
there is food for thought for the member states after the elections when you think about what the main topics of interest are for europeans. where europeans want europe to be more effective, it is immigration. it is marginal but it is still in member state issue. that frustrates people. they say they want to see some progress but i don't see any, so what is the e.u. doing? about acron is talking common european border agency. do you see that being impacted by these collections? you have a more fragmented european parliament but a somewhat stronger far right influence on european parliament, will they push this issue?
antoine: they will oblige politicians to move on it. externally tense and difficult subjects because it goes back to the sense of identity. if i want to know how i accept others in my community, i want to know who i am. we are in this age of big transformation. there is a huge question of what does it mean to be a german, a european? if we had issues with who we are? it becomes good week except into our community. -- who do we accept into our community? these elections, this is not policy. as much about it does not change much, we are friends with america. we have our issues but we have a
strong relationship. it is not at risk. these elections are very much about domestic issues. it is good anyway because we need these debates internally. if europeans want to be an actor in the world of tomorrow, they have to think if they want to be an actor in the world in the next 20 years, what do we have to do to get there? we can't just spent all of our time looking at ourselves. of our time looking at ourselves. we had to look at how we situate ourselves in the world. erik: a few more questions. let's jump to the back. i work in the european parliament office. this could be other propagandists -- this could be a little probpaganda. of law about the eu rule
issue. there has to be an agreement on the next seven-year budgetary plan that would begin in 2021. they have to reach an agreement by the end of next year. the way it works is that member states have to reach any unanimous agreement and the council. the pilots can only accept or reject this deal. -- theliament has parliament can only accept or reject this deal. they have huge influence. it could be interesting this round. there is proposal to link receipt of regional development funds, that makes up a third of the eu development budget. between that issue and the budgetary issue, you will need to hurry up. it would be hard to get that through the council. you can expect poland and it.ary to try and lock i wonder if the parliament might try to insist on this?
erik: we have one more question here. physician and interested observer. you said that immigration was no longer the number one issue for people. what is the number one issue for europeans now? questions?inal let's go over here. i am chloe rice. i work at the british embassy. i was wondering if you could say how you think the job administration might interpret the headlines of the elections and the backlash against also, some of the criticisms that the administration has had. what with the results be? -- thehirst question
first question is about the links to rule of law. the second is what is the number one european concern. the third is about the trump administration and their reaction to headlines. thatesults clearly show there is a populist wave in europe that is surging and that the elites have it wrong. have thought a lot about populism and also, its underpinnings. is that really the right interpretation of these results? i assume, based on your previous comments that it is not. richard: it could be one element but it is a lot more complicated. there are so many different things going on in these elections. i would agree that that would be the interpretation that this administration is likely to extract from these results.
it is very self-serving for that administration. bad in the eu. for all of the criticisms of the eu, if it were to unravel in a dramatic way, that would release so much instability in a time when the u.s. itself needs international allies. at the same time, i don't think the eu is really going to make dramatic progress into creating a single european identity. even less, a single european army. what we have known for many years, the u.s. has been uneasy about this. i would say the elections provide a degree of us really -- of stability and predictability. the administration is playing on
divide and rule. anybody will do that, especially with the u.k. on the security side. not an entirely uncomfortable place for the u.s. to be. notwithstanding what the trump administration's narrative is about populism. erik: on this question of linking funding to rule of law and democratic performance within the eu, is that an option that can fly? richard: it has been in the system for a long time. it is basically the suggestion in the future, the big amounts of money that a company the eu budget. -- nd and hungary this idea has been in the system for quite some time. the germans are pushing it very strongly. i would favor how it gets through the system seems to be a lot more complicated. there are legal debate about
whether it is legitimate. one has to be very careful. it would make the budget a lot more politicized. you have to define very carefully what these political criteria are. you would not just be penalizing hungary and poland. there are so many member states with rule of law problems. you have to be very careful about whether you could objectively draw a line between those countries that have problems that should be punished . also, whether those problems are less so, you can see it losing a lot of tension in parliament. very good idea but we have to be careful about how this is implement it. erik: what lessons are the trump administration drawing on the european parliament elections? to the extent that it is? steve bannon was campaigning
across europe, try to support populist candidates. we have seen president trump seemingly offering support for the likes of these candidates. earlier that at a time of greater international competition, having a european union that is able to take common positions on the russia sanctions or investment screening against china should be in the u.s. interest. how do you think washington is this -- reacting to what we have been discussing about the parliament elections? cathryn: they would love to continue this game of them holding the string of the sweater and europe walking away and it unravels. i don't think that worked. i think bannon is trying to build this campaign on the
inside. you have the ambassador of said i, richard brunel am here to support right-wing parties across europe. i caused a huge outrage in germany. that did not fly. the suppose a coalition that they were building, it also did not work. it likely will not work. we will see how that plays out in parliament as it is constituted. togoes to show that understand the european union, you need to understand the european union. just bringing over what you saw work in this country does not necessarily work in a union of 28 with all of the differentiation and all the granularity's across these countries that we discussed earlier. internationally, this campaign that we are
supposedly putting together, the united states is putting together against iran. , therespect to china different ways that the business administration needs europe to sit down and go away. whether you agree with what the arguments the administration are mounting are about iran. , in order to get some of the objections through that mr. bolton has, right at the heart of the white house, you need europe to stay calm. i think as we are nearing the timeof the original brexit and as we move toward october, it is not for the markets. it is not good for the american economy to have that kind of discombobulated within the system when you are trying to slide what you are doing elsewhere in foreign policy. could bey, while that
an idea, that you like european nationstates, it ultimately does not play right now into the priorities that this administration has. on the multi annual framework, i do think that at least we -- there are more political issues at stake. i think that is fascinating. you saw that at the debates. in terms of what the european parliament may limit. at least put forward as ideas. beyond pushing those things, the european parliament has been the institution that has pushed , againsthe contraction cutting down cohesion funds. against cutting down the financial estimates within the eu budget. good news is we are seeing a maturing of the european political system. it also means that if you are
going to pay close attention to what happens in the parliament, the arguments and negotiations and things put forward in the committee processes around how we end up negotiating the budget, i think it will be interesting. they can avenge and put new issues on the table. creativity that is renewed. that deserves to be lauded. -- thaterves to be deserves a light shone on it. the european party are pushing their issues when it comes to the budget. organizationsbout that we won. that is the ultimate. you statement, how you really need. certain parts of the european parliament have really understood that. push a lot of these issues, whether that is true or not, that is for us to see in the next few months. you lookckly, antoine,
at the polls. it is not migration that is dominant, what is the number one issue? antoine: it is migration. migration, the economy and climate change. question, itr depends on where you live and where you sit. and centraln east europe, the main issue for you is your security. if you're somebody from the south is struggling with unemployment, you want to see better innovation growth. if you are somebody with a border that is threatened, you need to see action on migration. it depends where you sit. seriously, ifake has theon of europe
feeling that they are not being taken to account, they will say this is not for me. thatve to take seriously this is not one central issue. depending on where you are, you have big issues that have to be taken seriously. erik: we are out of time. one quick final question. if there are one or two issues that you are really watching carefully in the next six months when it comes to the impact of these elections, shaping the future direction of europe, what are you looking at? antoine: if there is one thing that is important, it is that for the first time in 40 years, there is participation. there must be a signal from thisels and the eu that
motivation has been taken into account. present, youu were voted more, we take that into account. that, we have to make use of this. cathryn: speed is always the issue. we need to say how quickly can you retain some of this narrative as we move through the negotiation process. how quick and you be and how can you communicate some of these issues? they are switched on and up in a way that they have arguably and historically never been. if you waste this opportunity, this is a right moment. have known european institutions to be mature. if we waste this opportunity to go back to being technocratic, complacent and slow, europe receives are designed to slow things down and a deliberative.
especially at this level. that is the fundamental tension. you have to be responsive to these issues that people went to the ballot box for. you have to prove that you can do it quickly. you have to do it around these critical issues. change, migration and the very basic question of how you in short european economic security going forth and to their physical security. if you don't develop a clear narrative that is responsive and quick, you'll see everything come back down and crashback down to the original level. erik: final word, richard? richard: a couple of weeks ago, the european leaders met in a summit, they were supposed to define a common vision for the future, they did not do it. one of the reasons was because they were waiting to see what happened in the elections. they were waiting to see how brexit turned out. they agreed that there were a lot of unresolved issues that in au is muddling through very expedient fashion.
at some stage, the leaders do have to sit down and agree on a basic common vision. the election should feed into that. people rethinking about europe. the question for me is whether that actually happens or not. erik: we'll have to watch and see. i think this has been a very illuminating conversation. thank me -- help me in thanking our terrific panel. [applause] >> here is a look at our primetime schedule on the c-span networks. 8:00 pm eastern on c-span: investment addresses -- commencement addresses that include stacey abrams and mark walker.
withspan2, it is book tv looks and authors on navigating health care. on c-span3, american history tv, with programs looking at the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad. c-span's washington journal, live, everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, we will discuss special counsel robert mueller's statement on the russian probe and then afghanistan's special general, john will talk about u.s. reconstruction efforts in afghanistan. the short watch c-span's wasn't a journal. join the discussion. -- washington journal, join the discussion. president trump delivers the commencement address at the air force academy commencement
.eremony in colorado springs see that here on c-span. after that, a discussion on the middleible in east. looking at economic, political and security issues. the event is hosted by the atlantic council. also, on c-span. was simply three giant edwards and a government supported service called pbs. 1970 nine, a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers decide what was important to them. c-span opened the doors to washington policymaking for all to see, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. power to the people, this was true people power. the landscape has clearly changed. there is no monolithic media, broadcasting has given away to narrowcasting. youtube stars are a thing. c-span's idea is they are today.
it's nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded as a public cable or salad provider. on television or online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government. you can make up your own mind. with graduation ceremonies taking place on many college campuses, it is a good day to talk to richard better and he is also the author of the new book, restoring the promise of higher education in america. mr. vedder, remind viewers what the instan independent institutd how you are funded. guest: well, the independent institute is, i guess you could call it, a think tank, which is located in oakland, california. it has been in operation for several decades. it publishes books and other monographs, journals. it has a very fine journal