“Politically, I am in the middle, I am independent and see myself as a future-oriented bridge builder,” Karas told journalists on Tuesday about his candidacy in the parliamentary group of the European People’s Party (EPP), which also includes the VP. He informed his group colleagues by letter about his plans and his program.
The VP delegation in the EU Parliament has already given him support and will “nominate him unanimously for the election of President of the European Parliament”, reported Karas. With seven members, the VP represents the eighth largest national delegation within the largest group in the European Parliament with 179 members. How the other delegations feel about Karas’s candidacy was unclear.
It is also unclear how it will continue. “To the best of my knowledge, the group has not yet taken a decision on how to proceed or on the timetable, and I’m sorry about that too, so I decided to get the ball rolling,” he said. Karas assumes that the parliamentary group’s decision on the nomination will be made by the end of the month and that there will be a vote.
“My aim is not to run against someone, but to strengthen the parliamentarianism of European democracy,” affirmed the Lower Austrian. In order to overcome tendencies of division within Europe, “a thorough examination of our common and different history” is needed, demanded Karas in his program. He also wants to work out a “charter of modern and self-confident parliamentarism” with the EU and national parliaments until the EP elections in 2024 and to continue the debate on the future of Europe beyond the conference.
The EPP, the group with the largest number of votes in the EU Parliament, will provide the EU Parliament President from the beginning of January. For the first two years in office, the Social Democrat David Sassoli sat in the executive chair.