Polling Change

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Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, June 2024, Volume 48, Issue 6

The political landscapes of both the EU and UK are set to change after the latest elections, which could affect the bio/pharma industry.

Voting season is upon us, as Europe has undergone its parliamentary elections across the 27 European Union Member States between 6 and 9 June, and the United Kingdom prepares for its general election on 4 July. These elections are expected to result in a change in a political landscape, which may impact the bio/pharmaceutical industry across the region.

In the EU, there was much speculation prior to the elections about far-right gains, which became reality once the votes had been counted. It was the more ecological and liberal focused groups that suffered most in this latest election, with the Greens losing 20 seats and the liberal Renew Europe group losing 23 seats (1).

However, despite the gains by the far-right parties—the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group and the Identity and Democracy group—it was, in fact, the more centre-right party, the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP), that made the most ground. Therefore, the EPP, which covers around a quarter of the parliamentary seats, now stands to have the greatest chance of swaying the bloc’s political agenda (2).

With a more right-leaning parliament, there is a general view that health will be of much lower priority than in previous years. “The tendency really with centralized and radical right parties is that they feel that health is not a topic for the EU to deal with at all,” said Elizabeth Kuiper, head of the social Europe and wellbeing programme at the European Policy Centre think tank (3).

Despite the potentially rocky future for health ahead, there may be support for the generics sector, particularly to help reduce drug shortages that have increasingly been impacting the bloc. “[The ECR] believe[s] that the Union can play an active role in supporting the manufacturing of medicines and the supply chain management, the shortage of medicines, of active ingredients,” said Michael Strauss, a spokesperson for ECR (3).


For the UK, it appears as though almost the opposite of what is happening in Europe will occur, and a Labour government will be the result of the impending general election in July (4). With a Labour government, there could be a drive to reignite relations with the EU; although, whether that will be welcomed by the new European Parliament is another matter altogether.


1. Gutiérrez, P.; Leach, A.; de Hoog, N.; et al. European Election Results 2024: Live from Across the EU. The Guardian, 9 June 2024.
2. Hernández-Morales, A.; Cokelaere, H. 5 Things to Know About the EU Election Results. Politico, 10 June 2024.
3. Peseckyte, G. With Europe Facing Right Turn, How Will Public Health be Affected? Politico, 4 June 2024.
4. Clyde & Co. The UK Life Sciences Sector in an Election Year. Market Insight, 1 Feb. 2024. PTE

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the Associate Editorial Director for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 36, No. 6
June 2024
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as Thomas, F. Polling Change. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 2024 36 (6) 6.