Spain has come out as a major winner in the EU Parliamentary elections and now appears ready to cash in, so to speak. The Socialist Party (PSOE) won European elections in Spain with 33% of the vote. With socialist and leftist parties in France, Germany, and Great Britain suffering massive losses in the elections, PSOE’s strong showing places Spain in a position to potentially lead the European left. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is wasting little time in attempting to cement a leadership role for Spain and expand its influence in the European Union over the coming months, and years. Sanchez has stated Spain will now push for a position on the European Commission (EC) where it can influence policy, legislation, and day-to-day business of the EU.
As neither of the European parliament’s major groups achieved a clear cut majority in the elections, Sanchez was able to take a leading role in negotiations at the summit in Brussels this past week to nominate new heads for the EC, European Central Bank, Representatives for Foreign Policy, and Security Affairs, as well as other high-ranking positions in the Union. Sanchez and Spain are certainly positioned well for the time being. Whether or not Spain will fill the vacuum left by Great Britain’s impending departure, and Italy’s diminishing influence remains to be seen.
Author’s Note: I had planned on including Greece and Italy as well in this post. However, given the local election results in Greece, and the effect it is having on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his party, I’ve decided to give Greece its own entry tomorrow evening. I’ll get to Italy later in the week.