Skopje, 10 June 2033. Voters here in Macedonia today took part in the primaries deciding who will be the candidates for president of the European Union for the European People’s Party and the Party of European Socialists.
Slovenia is also organising primaries today, and as in past election years, there are complaints from other member states that Macedonia and Slovenia get too much influence from being the two first countries to hold primaries. However, it is seen as healthy for the democratic process to start out with two small member states where the candidates actually get a chance to get out and meet the voters.
The main candidates for the EPP are Dominik Stoiber (Bavaria), Gunnel Bildt (Sweden) and Anita Aznar Botella (Spain). Gunnel Bildt knows the Balkan region much better than her rivals and is therefore expected to do well in the primaries today. The big question is whether this will give her enough of a boost to get past the primary in France next week, where Aznar as a Romance-speaker is the favourite. Stoiber is not given many chances outwith Bavaria, Austria and Germany, but those three states have so many votes in the electoral college that a few surprise victories could give him the victory.
For the EPS the top candidates are Euan Blair (England), Mazarine Pingeot (France) and Rolandas Brazauskas (Lithuania). None of these know the Balkans well, so the decision will here be made more on a political basis, with Blair being seen as being significantly to the right of the others. Religion is not going to play a role, given that all three candidates are Roman catholics.
According to polls across the Union, it is most likely the eventual presidential candidates will be Bildt and Blair. If this is the outcome, Bildt is expected to secure an easy victory, given how peripheral to the EU England is seen, especially after Scotland became independent 15 years ago.