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Europawahl 2024, European elections 2024

European elections 2024

winners and losers

After counting all constituencies, the CDU achieved 30% of the vote. The AfD becomes the second strongest party and is even the strongest force in the eastern German states. For the Greens, the election evening ends in disaster.

Union wins clearly

The CDU/CSU has clearly won the European elections in Germany and is well ahead of the AfD, which is in second place. According to the Federal Election Commissioner, the CDU and CSU together achieved 30 percent of the vote, as she announced on her website early Monday morning after all 400 districts had been counted. The AfD improved significantly to 15.9 percent.

The governing coalition parties in Berlin have suffered significant losses in the election. The SPD fell to 13.9%, its worst result in a nationwide election. The Greens suffered an even greater fall to 11.9%. The FDP lost slightly to 5.2 percent. The newly founded left-wing alliance Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW) achieved 6.2 percent from a standing start, while the Left reached 2.7 percent. Smaller parties such as the Freie Wähler, Volt, Die Partei, ÖDP, Tierschutzpartei and Familienpartei also gained seats.

“It’s a disappointing evening for us,” said SPD lead candidate Katarina Barley on ZDF television. “It is clear that we had no tailwind from federal politics.” Similar tones were heard from the Greens: “We have to put more emphasis on the good policies we sometimes make,” said the party’s co-chairman Omid Nouripour on ZDF. “We have to deliver results.”

Major defeat for the traffic light coalition

CDU Chairman Friedrich Merz described the election result as a “disaster” for the coalition parties. “We need a change of policy in Germany,” he said in Berlin. “Things cannot go on as they have for the last two and a half years.” According to Merz, the traffic light coalition is damaging the country, particularly in terms of economic and migration policy, and a course correction is needed. CDU Secretary General Carsten Linnemann called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to call a vote of confidence.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warmly congratulated the Union parties on their success. “We are delighted with your result,” she said on Sunday evening. “Now we have to repeat this in Europe.” She expressed confidence that this would succeed.

Von der Leyen ran as the lead candidate for the Conservatives in the European elections and wants a second term as President of the EU Commission. During the election campaign, she was criticized for not clearly ruling out cooperation with ultra-right parties.

Europawahl 2024, European elections 2024

AfD Gewinner in Ostdeutschland

Nationwide, the AfD becomes the second strongest party behind the CDU/CSU. At just under 16%, its result is significantly higher than five years ago. Surveys before the European elections had at times put it at up to 20 percent. Recently, the party leadership banned its top candidate Maximilian Krah from appearing in the election campaign due to trivializing statements about the SS.

In mehreren ostdeutschen Bundesländern wurde die AfD bei der Europawahl zur stärksten Kraft. Der Co-Vorsitzende der AfD, Tino Chrupalla, nannte das starke Abschneiden seiner Partei im Osten in der ARD einen „Rückenwind für die Landtagswahlen im Osten“. Auch die Co-Vorsitzende Alice Weidel erklärte, dass der Erfolg darauf zurückzuführen sei, dass die Menschen insgesamt kritischer gegenüber Europa geworden sind.

Auch Sahra Wagenknecht zeigte sich erfreut über den Erfolg ihrer neu gegründeten Partei BSW. „Ich bin so erleichtert und freue mich riesig über dieses Ergebnis. Dass eine Partei aus dem Stand so schnell tatsächlich bei einer bundesweiten Wahl über fünf Prozent erreicht, gab es überhaupt noch nie in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik“, sagte Wagenknecht in der ARD.

Her former party, the Left, on the other hand, suffered losses and achieved less than three percent. “What particularly shocks me this evening is this historic shift to the right that we are experiencing,” said Carola Rackete, the Left’s lead candidate for the European elections, on ARD television. Politicians from the SPD and the Greens expressed similar dismay at the AfD’s strong performance.

There is no blocking clause in the European Parliament elections, so smaller parties can also hope to win seats in the European Parliament alongside the Left Party. These include the Free Voters, Volt, the satirical party Die Partei, the Animal Protection Party, the Family Party and the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP).

Voter turnout

Around 65 million eligible voters in Germany were called upon to elect a new European Parliament – including around four million citizens of other EU member states who live here. For the first time, young people aged 16 and over were also allowed to vote.

The turnout in the European elections in Germany may have been higher than at any time since reunification. According to projections, it was between 64 and 65 percent. In the first all-German EU election in 1994, the turnout was exactly 60 percent, in subsequent votes it was only between 40 and 50 percent. Five years ago, 61.4 percent of eligible voters cast their vote.