Far-right surge shakes up European Parliament elections

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France - DAVID ILIFF/WIKIPEDIA

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The EU woke up to a grim reality, albeit with few surprises, after the European Parliament elections concluded on 9 June.

As predicted by polls, far-right parties largely emerged victorious. According to preliminary results, combined, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) groups secured only four fewer seats than the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the second-largest group in parliament. Including mandates won by unaffiliated parties close to ECR and ID, the far-right easily overtakes the centre.

The conservative European People’s Party received 186 of the 720 seats, remaining the largest group in parliament. The EPP has led the European policy cycle relying on support from parts of the S&D, the liberal group Renew, and the Greens since 2019.

Early reports indicate that this agreement might hold a majority for another cycle, though the EPP may still decide to shift further right to secure a more stable vote.

Renew and the Greens lost the most seats in the European Parliament. After significant gains in 2019, the Greens are expected to lose some 18 seats. This drop is particularly notable in Germany, where the Green Party is part of the federal coalition government, but got less than 12% of the votes in this election.

In contrast, the far-right Alternative for Germany secured second place in the European election with over 15% of the votes. Liberals fared even worse, losing 23 seats according to preliminary results. French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party suffered losses serious enough to prompt Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and call for a snap election by the end of June. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally secured more than twice as many European seats compared to Renaissance. – Peoples Dispatch/Globetrotter News Service

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