It’s the season for black sheep, a year before the European Parliament elections.
Politicians who fear their chances of re-election are evaporating, or see their own party shifting beneath their feet, are tempted to jump ship in hopes of a brighter future.
Nowhere is the itch to strike out on new political ground while sticking firmly to their seat in the EU legislature greater than in the liberal Renew group, where no fewer than four defections in recent months have raised awkward questions about party discipline in Europe’s most libertarian political family. While each case is different, they have one point in common: the resigning MEP puts his or her own career and/or principles above the collective decisions of the group.
Given the broad ideological spectrum within several of the big European parties, the political borders are sometimes fuzzy on issues ranging from privacy and internet regulation to green energy transition regulations.