Monitor: The European press on the results of last week's European Parliament elections

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The Independent Culture
FAR TOO many people are disappointed with what the parties are offering. The public appears to be interested in security, for instance in domestic and social policy. The weak euro made more of an impact than the peace agreement in Yugoslavia. The low turnout and Edmund Stoiber's 64 per cent success in Bavaria show that the public wants a Europe which is strong as a community in defending itself against foreign elements. Europe with closed borders and a common fight against crime is not a nightmare for the majority. What is not wanted is a Europe which prevents the people from self-realisation: there is agreement on this from the Bavarians right through to the British.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

IN EACH of the four previous Euro polls, Ian Paisley finished first, with John Hume in second place and the Ulster Unionists coming third. The same pattern was repeated, although the gap between the two leading figures has shrunk. Mr Paisley can take comfort from his narrow success but his attempts to portray the result as a vindication of his opposition to the Good Friday agreement were unconvincing. Mr Hume insisted on promoting European issues throughout his campaign, and, unlike Mr Paisley, resolutely refused to be drawn into any form of sectarian headcount. He was rewarded with the largest vote ever received by his party, and deserves enormous credit for one of the crowning achievements of his career.

The Irish News

OVER HIS past two years in power, President Jacques Chirac has achieved a somewhat dismal hat trick: first there was the failed dissolution in 1997, which was followed by some uncertain allegiances taken up during last year's regional elections; these in turn accompanied a fresh decline for the right. And this time the destructive pressure for one sole list for the opposition has ended in explosion during the European elections and its subsequent shipwreck.