After the elections, the hard work really starts…

So the results are in and weeks of fevered speculation and variable opinion polls now give way to the post European election analysis.

In the UK, the voters have delivered a bloody nose to Labour, which may or may not turn out to be a fatal blow for Gordon Brown. The rise of the far right gives all of us serious pause for thought and emphasises that there has never been a more important time for progressive politics to stand-up against racial extremism.

Across Europe, a not dissimilar picture has emerged with the right doing well and the left in many countries having performed poorly. The exception to these trends has been the strong showing of the Greens in the UK and across Europe. Europe-wide, the Green-bloc has picked up some new seats, and in the UK their vote share was up, although they did not add to their existing two seats.

As for the World Development Movement’s campaign to ask candidates to commit to taking action to ‘stop Europe's unfair trade deals’ in the new parliament, the hard work really begins.

For those 18 elected UK MEPs who have signed the pledge to be a trade hero and raise the issue that unfair trade deals do not work for poor people, supporters will now be following up with them to make sure that their commitments are turned into practical action: letters sent to the trade commissioner, committee investigations into trade and development policies, scrutiny of the new commission, strong demands for a mandatory register for lobbyists.

And of course, we will be knocking on the door of those MEPs who haven't signed up to ask them to reconsider the pledge and to make a commitment to stop Europe's unfair trade deals.

European politics in Brussels and Strasbourg can seem very remote from the day-to-day interests of UK citizens, let alone citizens in Africa, Asia and Latin America. But the EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world and an enormous emitter of greenhouse gases. Decisions taken there have fundamental implications for people all around the world.

The European parliament is the only democratically-accountable European institution and over the coming months, we will make sure that our MEPs hear our voices loudly.

ENDS

Kate Blagojevic
Press officer, World Development Movement
0207 820 4900/4913, 07711 875 345, Email: kate.blagojevic@wdm.org.uk