The influential political adviser to the French head of state Emmanuel Macron, Stéphane Séjourné, announced that he will run for the presidency of the liberal group Renew Europe, the third political force in the European Parliament, being a counter-candidate of the Dutch Sophia In’t Veld, reports AFP.
“I made this decision after talking to all the delegations in my group,” Séjourné told MEPs on Wednesday, according to their statements to AFP.
Stéphane Séjourné is already leading the French delegation in the Renew Europe group, which brings together MEPs from the presidential party La République en Marche (LREM), the MoDem (Democratic Movement) and Agir.
This political group often has a pivotal role in the European Parliament in that it is the third largest, after the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Social Democrats (S&D).
The position of president of the Renew group will become vacant after Dacian Cioloş, former Romanian prime minister, decided to return to the field of national politics.
The candidacy of the Frenchman Stéphane Séjourné appears a few days after that of the Dutchwoman from the social-liberal party Democraten 66, Sophia In’t Veld, member of the EP since 2004.
It announces a clash between the old liberal guard of the former ALDE group and the newcomers macronists, who merged into the same group after the 2019 elections, according to Agerpres.ro.
“My candidacy is European, as far as I am concerned, it is not about nationality but about a collective political project with new methods for Renew to increase its influence in the European Parliament and in all European institutions,” Stéphane Séjourné told them. members of the Renew group.
For her part, Sophia In’t Veld told AFP that she has “27 years of experience in European politics, of which 17 as a Member of Parliament”.
“I obviously can’t guess the reasons why the French delegation put forward Stéphane Séjourné’s candidacy, but ‘contradicting my ambitions’ seems to me a little limited motivation, and not very relevant to major European issues,” he said. Dutch MEP.
The election of the President of the EP Renew Europe Group is scheduled for 19 October. The election will take place three months before the one for the election of the President of the European Parliament, the Italian socialist David Sassoli ending his half-term term in January.