Here’s a funny fact for you - did you know how the European elections could be used to serve the short-term strategies of political parties? I don’t mean the conventional pursuit of seats, representation and results for boosting the morals of party supporters.
In the country I know best, which also happens to be the poorest and officially most corrupt in the EU, parties are currently bargaining on the exact election date and the possible setting of national and European Parliament elections at the same time. Holding two different elections at the same date is not unfamiliar to the European political practice but in this case it would not be possible without a change in the Bulgarian Constitution. That requires a two-third majority in the National Assembly so the table is open for bargaining.
The thing is that the Bulgarian liberals believe they are perceived by the public as a strong pro-European party and holding the two elections at the same date will boost their national result two. On the contrary, their coalition partners - the socialists and the Turkish-minority party would like to avoid that option. They count on a low turnout (should the European elections are held separetely) and on their disciplined electorate to carry the majority of the European Parliament mandates. It seems that in this situation the European policies and EU-wide issues are the last thing that will decide the outcome of the European elections in Bulgaria. Any similar experiences in the other member-states?