The recent elections to the European Parliament produced some dramatic results across the European Union as far-right parties made tremendous gains in Denmark, France, the United Kingdom and other member states. In Ireland the elections saw significant advances made by Sinn Fein and losses for the government parties. The significance of this lies in the fact that the European Parliament is now a very powerful actor in EU politics, acting as it does as a ‘co-legislator’ with the Council of the EU, and the outcome of the elections will have a significant bearing on EU politics in the months and years ahead.
Dr. John O’ Brennan was prominent in analysing the campaign and the outcome of the elections for national media, including appearances on RTE Six One News, the Late Debate on RTE Radio One and The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM. John also presented analysis of the results in Central and Eastern Europe at a special event at the Royal Irish Academy organized by the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information office. Other Maynooth University colleagues involved in the election coverage included Dr. Claire McGing and Dr. Adrian P. Kavanagh of the Department of Geography. The university has deep expertise on Europe across a range of faculty boundaries and this expertise is now making a considerable contribution to public debate on European integration.