Forecasting the European Parliament Elections

2009 is an important year for the European political process. In addition to the Lisbon II referendum, we also have European Parliament elections.  Michael Marsh of TCD and Simon Hix of LSE will be providing regular forecasts of the likely electoral outcome, with the first set of predictions released today.

The Irish forecast is here.

The full forecast is here.

It gets worse

It was always obvious that the crisis would put global economic multilateralism under pressure. But today’s roundup from Eurointelligence makes grim reading. Incredibly, the crisis seems to be threatening economic openness within the European Union itself, as a result of President Sarkozy’s comments on French car companies operating in eastern Europe.

I don’t believe that the future of the European project will depend on what happens in a couple of peripheral economies of marginal significance. Rather, it will depend on the answer to two fundamental questions. How much do the Germans really want the Single Currency? And how much do the French really want the Single Market?

While I remain optimistic, we are only a year into this crisis. By the time we are through with it, the answer could yet turn out to be: ‘not enough’.