European elections 2024: predictions and implications for European businesses

Between 6 and 9 June 2024, citizens across the continent will exercise their democratic rights to shape the future of the European Union. The European Parliament elections will be a significant moment as the new Members of the European Parliament (now 705 but growing to 720 after the elections) will play a crucial role in formulating policies, legislation, and the overall direction of the European Union for the coming years, or at least until their mandate ends in 2029.

Since 2009, European citizens directly vote for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that are representatives of national political parties, and the number of MEPs elected is directly representative of the size of a country’s population. Most national parties are also affiliated to European-wide political groups, which in the end sit in the European Parliament.

In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the upcoming elections, the potential implications, and the issues at stake for European businesses and organisations.


Economic recovery and sustainable growth right on sight, climate change playing second fiddle?

The European Parliament elections in 2024 are once again set to take place in a time of significant political shifts and challenges. Since the previous elections in 2019, Europe has witnessed substantial changes, including the global COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery efforts, climate change concerns, and the EU’s renewed efforts to become energy independent.

These circumstances have shaped political narratives and public opinion, making the upcoming elections an opportunity for companies and organisations to shape the new agenda of the institutions. Both the political parties at national level as well as the European Commission have commenced its activities to define the directions for the next legislative term. While the aftermath of the pandemic remains a top concern, the political parties are focussing on the post-pandemic economic recovery, job creation, sustainable growth, and the reinforcement of the EU’s single market.

These issues seem to be more and more in the spotlight, in contrast with climate change and decarbonisation efforts that previously dominated the institutional agenda. This has been also confirmed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her State of the Union address on 14 September, where she highlighted industrial policy, competitiveness and the addressing of digital risks as main priorities for the last year of this European Commission term.

While several Members States heavily lobby for it, the European Commission also seems to acknowledge the need for a ‘regulatory pause’ to assess the impact of current climate legislation on businesses, consumer prices, employment and the competitiveness of EU industries. Even more, recent elections – such as the regional elections in Germany showed that citizens are getting more worried about climate policies becoming overly expensive and political parties at the (far) right of the spectrum seem to benefit from this.

Facilitating the green transition with financial support should be prioritised rather than introducing additional green policies into the existing framework. The digital revolution, however, continues to transform societies and economies and data protection, privacy rights, and responsible artificial intelligence will certainly remain priorities.

2019 European Parliament elections

2019 European Parliament elections

Seats distribution

How would political groups score if European elections were to be held today?

It has been approved that as of 2024, more seats will be available in the European Parliament. The total number of MEPs in the 10th legislature will increase from 705 to 720.

If elections would take place today, it is likely that the European People’s Party (EPP) would win the most number of seats, followed by the Socialist and Democrats (S&D). The current third-biggest party, the Renew Europe group, is expected to lose seats, with the right-wing populist Identity and Democracy group (ID) currently projected in third place. The conservative nationalist ECR group, currently the sixth force in the European Parliament, also still has a chance to be the third-largest group. The Greens/European Free Alliance is projected to lose the most seats.

European Parliament elections 2024

European Parliament elections 2024

January 2024 projection of seats distribution

Source: Politico

National elections: A look into domestic political arenas

While the official elections campaign is still to start, national elections give a good indication about trends.



After the Slovakian presidential elections on 30 September, the centre-left SMER-SSD (Direction) signed a coalition agreement with the centre-left HLAS and nationalist SNS, which pledges to keep the country’s basic foreign policy stance as a member of NATO and the EU. On 12 October, the Party of European Socialists suspended SMER-SSD and HLAS for their coalition with SNS.



The general elections of Poland on 15 October brought some interesting results: the victory of the centrist opposition parties signals a radical change both in Poland and in the EU. Following eight years of governing with a strong anti-EU stance by the Law and Justice Party (PiS), the wings of change could be decisive for the balance of power in the EU. The new government, led by Donald Tusk, prioritises restoring the rule of law and intends to put Poland on a path of decarbonisation, having already called for an ambitious EU-wide CO2-emissions reduction target for 2040 of 90%.


The Netherlands

The Dutch elections on 22 November marked a historic shift in the political landscape. Prime Minister Rutte’s decision not to seek another term set the stage for change. The campaign, which focused on migration, healthcare and social security, saw Geert Wilders’ right-populist PVV secure an unlikely victory. The coalition formation process is underway, with a right-wing coalition including the PVV, liberal VVD, centrist NSC and centre-right BBB currently most likely. This shift could lead to a more Eurosceptic stance, potentially aligning the Netherlands with right-wing governments such as that of Italy. The PVV’s success reflects a wider trend of right-wing parties gaining traction across Europe, as reflected by the rise of ID in the polls.


USA, UK and India

Of course, several important elections are also scheduled to take place outside of the EU for 2024. In November, the US elections will take place, with Donald Trump now expected to challenge Joe Biden in a rematch of the 2020 Presidential elections. The next UK general election will also most likely take place in the second half of 2024. Finally, the World’s largest democracy in terms of population, India, will take to the polls in April and May.


European elections 2024: what happens next?

The outcome of the European Parliament elections in 2024 will have profound implications for the future of Europe. The balance of power within the European Parliament will determine the ability of political groups to advance their agendas and influence policy decisions. The election results may impact the selection of the next European Commission president, leading to potential shifts in the EU’s strategic priorities.

European political groups are still in the process of nominating their lead candidates – also called Spitzenkandidaten – to head their campaigns and potentially become the next President of the European Commission. If Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will be confirmed as the official candidate of the European People’s Party and the polls tighten, the outcome of the election may turn into a battle between the EPP incumbent and the socialist challenger, Luxembourg’s European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit.


What can you do to take advantage of this big momentum?

The European Parliament elections in 2024 will be a pivotal moment for the European Union. The issues at stake, including economic recovery, competitiveness, climate change, migration, digital transformation, and institutional reforms, will be at the forefront of electoral campaigns.

Hence, the run-up to the European Parliament elections will open a window of opportunity for your organisation to shape the EU’s future agenda.

The political groups are already hard at work developing their electoral vision. While the official campaigning period is yet to kick off, organisations that would like to proactively contribute to the policy priorities, should not wait much longer to engage with the relevant decision-makers, both at national and EU level.

At the same time, the European Commission’s legislating activities are also winding down and preliminary discussions about the priorities for the next term begin behind closed doors of the Directorate Generals. This presents an opportunity to proactively share your ideas and solutions.

Publyon’s Beyond the Ballot series of webinars and reports will help your organisation to be well-informed about the political developments in Brussels and provide you with guidance on how to effectively take advantage of opportunities stemming from the elections. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about what we can do for you.

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