The 17 MEPs elected by Bulgaria in the country’s May 25 European Parliament elections have taken their places in the EU-wide political groupings of which their parties are – or have become, in the case of newcomers – members.
The largest single group is the seven who will sit with the centre-right European People’s Party – six from GERB and one from the Reformist Bloc.
In the case of the Reformist Bloc, its MEP is listed on the EPP website as one of theirs, although the Reformist Bloc technically is not a member. However, two of the Reformist Bloc’s constituent parties, the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (DSB) and the Union of Democratic Forces, are EPP members. Svetoslav Malinov, elected as the bloc’s MEP, is a member of the DSB.
The four MEPs who will sit for the Bulgarian Socialist Party will be part of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. Sergei Stanishev, leader of the BSP and the Party of European Socialists, was among the four BSP candidates elected (through preferential voting pushed him down from the number one spot on the list).
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the party led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of ethnic Turkish descent, and which is a key partner in the current ruling axis in Bulgaria, continues as part of the liberal ALDE group. Its four MEPs elected included controversial figure Delyan Peevski, although on election night in Bulgaria he said that he would not be occupying his seat.
Two of Bulgaria’s seats were won by the populist newcomer Bulgaria Without Censorship (BWC). According to BWC, it has become part of the European Conservatives and Reformists group. Its statement on June 12 made it the last Bulgarian political party about which there was clarity which group had accepted it.
However, separate media reports said that while the ECR had accepted BWC chief Nikolai Barekov, it had postponed a decision on the other MEP elected on the ticket, Angel Dzhambazki, a member of the nationalist VMRO party.
The new 751-member European Parliament elected in the 28 member states of the EU will have its constitutive meeting on July 1 to 3, when the new European Parliament President will be elected. For further details, please see sofiaglobe.com’s factfile on the European Parliament 2014 elections.