DEPECHE from Serge Turbin, European Parliament, follow-up of OPINION on M5S joining ALDE party:
The shocking prospect of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) joining the ALDE group in the European Parliament did not materialise as the ALDE group’s executive committee bureau rejected the deal. The national delegations of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Sweden) as well as of France and Germany voted down the proposal. The result of the vote was met with a sigh of relief by the broader ALDE membership and, especially, French MEP Sylvie Goulard, who previously rivaled Guy Verhofstadt as a candidate for the European Parliament president, and has been a vocal against the marriage of convenience between ALDE and M5S.
Visibly saddened, Guy Verhofstadt acknowledge defeat in a 38 second video clip published on his social media profile. “I have come to the conclusion that there are not enough guarantees to push forward a common agenda to reform Europe. There is insufficient common ground to proceed with the request of the Five Star Movement to join the ALDE Group”. While acknowledging fundamental differences between two political forces, the liberal leader hinted at enhanced ad-hoc collaboration with M5S outside of the ALDE Group: “However, on the issues of shared interest, such as the environment, transparency and direct democracy, the ALDE Group and the Five Star Movement will continue to work closely together”. It is yet to be seen how ALDE and M5S would work closely together on bringing “direct democracy” into the European project.
Serge Turbin, 9/01/2017, Brussels