EU Election results taking a turn

Scritto da in data Giugno 14, 2024

by ToniAnn Izzo

Leggi in italiano

Over the past weekend, nearly 200 million Europeans exercised their voting rights. The European electorate has pulled the Parliament further to the right than ever before in history.

Parties like France’s National Rally, Germany’s AFD , and Italy’s Brothers of Italy, with known neo-fascist roots, have significantly influenced this shift.

While the impact is not solely attributed to these parties, Germany, France, and Italy collectively represent the top three economies within the EU, boosting their influence over the course of events.

Europe’s focus shifts to France: why?

What were the driving forces behind this shift?

European voters are increasingly prioritizing issues that directly affect their lives over broader concerns, which is where we can see the start of this nationalist mentality.

Many who lean towards the right have become fed up with large-scale immigration, both legal and illegal, and are therefore more likely to support right-wing parties that promise a resurgence of their cultural identity, even if it is in an extreme manner.

There is also a growing feeling that Europeans are becoming more focused on their own countries’ needs rather than the needs of the entire EU. This has contributed to the Green Party losing nearly 20 seats in parliament.

Many Europeans are timid to continue funding initiatives such as electric vehicles or carbon emission policies that don’t immediately impact them.

Another major factor that is giving support to right-wing parties is the ongoing war in Ukraine. Due to the EU’s huge aid efforts of $155 billion, some voters are tired of paying for a war that is unrelated to their own interests.

Right-wing politicians are aware of this and capitalize on this feeling by promising to take that money and use it for national improvements rather than international aid efforts, which of course is agreeable with the voters that want to see the benefits within their own countries.

On the opposing side

While the right performed well in some of the country’s holding the most seats in the EU, the right underperformed in Belgium, Poland and Sweden.

In fact, the green and far left parties outperform the projected polls in a handful of countries such as; the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The French and German green votes however, collapsed. French president Emanuel Macron called for a snap election in response to the far right party of France gaining double the votes of his own party in the election.

Concerns

The rise of right-wing parties in Europe has produced concerns over the comeback of ideologies such as fascism and nationalism, which historically has bred intense division and major conflict.

Many of the right wing European Parties are anti-immigration so the fear of refugees being turned away and migrants and immigrants facing uncertainty about their future in countries they once viewed as safe havens is all too real.

Additionally, these parties have no desire to support other countries in conflicts, such as the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, leaving one  to question their willingness to be a part of international solidarity and cooperation for a better world as opposed to just a better nation.

These groups also tend to disregard environmental issues and policies aimed at combating climate change.

Of all of the concerns, the one people are most worried about is the instability of democracy in itself.

Democracy is at the cornerstone of any thriving society and when one party gets too much power, it can silence other viewpoints, making democracy less fair.

Democracy is vital because it includes everyone and holds leaders accountable for their actions.

It is beyond important to pay close attention to when one party has too much power over the other as this threatens the stability of the balance.

Current trajectory

While these results are  preliminary, as only 14 out of 27 countries have completed their vote tallying, these trends are expected to persist in their current trajectory.

On the left side of the political spectrum, the Progressive Alliance of Socialist and Democrats (S&D), a center-left group advocating for social justice and environmental policies, has lost 4 seats.

Renew Europe (RE), a center party promoting liberal values with a pro business attitude and EU integration, has lost 23 seats. The Greens/European Free Alliance Party (Greens/EFA), a center left wing party emphasizing environmental protection and human rights, have lost 18 seats.

The Left Party, a far-left party advocating for social equality and human rights, has lost 1 seat.

On the other hand, on the right side of the spectrum, the European People’s Party (EPP), a center-right group focused on economic stability and a strong national identity, has gained 13 seats.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a right wing group seeking EU reforms that give more power to national parliaments, have gained 4 seats. The Identity and Democracy Group (ID), a far right wing group, prioritizing national sovereignty and is skeptical of the EU, has gained 9 seats.

Finally, the Non-inscrits (NA), members of the European Parliament not aligned with recognized political groups, have lost 17 seats.

In politics, the pendulum always swings back and forth, as history has repeatedly shown us.

We have gone from one extreme to the next, on both sides of the far left and far right parties. The current state of the EU, with its rising nationalist sentiments and backlash against previous liberal policies, is a clear example of this never ending cycle.

All one can do is wait for the pendulum to swing back in their favor and only hope they see it in their lifetime.

Foto di copertina:Christian Lue su Unsplash

Toni Ann Izzo

I am a political science enthusiast from New York City with a passion for global politics.

I aim to spark interest in young people, who are the most impacted by today’s political decisions by  making complex issues understandable and engaging.

I bring a fresh perspective to political discussions to make politics fun and accessible for the next generation.

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