Green Setback, Right Surge: EU Elections Shake Political Establishment

EU | June 10, 2024, Monday // 11:42|  views

The European Parliament elections on Sunday revealed a significant shift towards the right, with far-right and nationalist parties making substantial gains across the continent. In France, Marine Le Pen's National Rally more than doubled its share of the vote, delivering a humiliating defeat to President Emmanuel Macron. The result prompted Macron to call early parliamentary elections on June 30, acknowledging that the far-right's advance across Europe could not be ignored.

Similarly, in Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats suffered their worst-ever European election result, while the Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) secured second place. The AfD and Le Pen's party campaigned against net-zero emissions policies, stricter immigration controls, and reduced aid to Ukraine. Italy's far-right leader Giorgia Meloni also triumphed, with her "Brothers of Italy" party expected to send the most MEPs to Brussels and Strasbourg.

Despite these gains, centrist parties are likely to retain a majority in the European Parliament. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that the political center has held, providing stability against the extremes. The European People's Party, Socialists and Democrats, Renew Europe, and the Greens are projected to win 64.1% of the seats, slightly down from 69.2% in the previous parliament.

However, the rise of the far-right has unsettled mainstream political forces. In Austria, the Freedom Party won 27% of the vote, while in Germany, the AfD's 16% seemed modest in comparison. The New York Times suggests that the far-right could become a destructive force, challenging leaders like Macron and Scholz. The Greens, who suffered a heavy blow, admitted they need to better communicate their achievements.

The "Daily Telegraph" notes that the double blow to Macron and Scholz, the EU's most important leaders, raises questions about their ability to lead continental politics. Meanwhile, Meloni is likely to use her growing influence to push Europe further right, with her Rwanda-style migrant deal with Albania potentially becoming a model for the EU.

Friedrich Merz, chairman of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, called the election result a "catastrophe" for the ruling coalition, demanding a change in policy. Von der Leyen, seeking re-election as Commission President, must now navigate these results to secure a majority. The "Guardian" notes that while the Socialists won in Malta, Romania, and Sweden, they are far weaker than in the 1990s.

In summary, while centrist parties may retain control, the European Parliament is undeniably tilting to the right. The far-right's significant gains, particularly in France, Italy, and Austria, have shaken political establishments and could profoundly impact EU policy on issues like immigration, climate change, and foreign aid.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: right, europe, elections


» Related Articles: