No matter what conventional parties claim, this election signified a significant defeat to the European establishment, giving a strong message as to what may follow. This depends on how the message of the electorate was interpreted and how ready the ruling elite is to trigger the changes societies of Europe expect.
The naïve interpretation that pro-EU forces suffered a small loss giving emphasis that the traditional Christian Democrats of Europe expressed by EPP maintained the lead, is fake-news. indeed, among others, the party of Viktor Orban is counted among the pro-Europe forces!
Therefore, a serious reading of the result is the first prerequisite
The first matter to settle is to decide on the next President of the European Commission. There is no doubt the next President will originate from EPP as Christian-Democrats are the leading force in the new Parliament and parties representing the establishment can still form the necessary majority.
Ruling out the appointment of Weber, a party apparatchik with no records of serving in any political position, two visible options remain.
Request Jean-Claude Juncker to remain President of the Commission for the next term, in view of an early resignation to be replaced by Angela Merkel. This is the optimum scenario for Europe as Merkel, would be the best to lead Europe through turbulent, unchartered waters. In this case the entire cabinet of Juncker should be replaced by political professionals and Merkel could play a role on that.
However, not always political developments move for the best-case scenarios. Utopia is an old story.
The likely scenario for the next President of the Commission, which is not bad at all, is Michel Barnier.
Merkel and Barnier, both prime class “political animals”, unfortunately, in this historical moment they are the only European leaders who can successfully ignite and impose the changes we need.
The European Union must change so to survive the next European election. In our extraordinary times, politically, five years is just a short time-slot.