EU elections: Wake-up call for centrists amid euroskepticism, climate inaction

Bernd Riegert, Deutsche Welle, 27.05.2019

Quotes

Link to full article


Europeans have mobilized to vote in numbers not seen for decades. Major parties have seen their power shrink, and with populists and Greens making gains alliances will be crucial.

The biggest surprise this European Union election was the high voter turnout. Nearly 51% of the 400 million eligible voters cast their ballots, 8 percentage points more than the previous election in 2014. Protests against climate policy, school-striking teenagers and the urge to defend the EU against euroskeptic, right-wing populist parties appear to have mobilized voters. [...]

Right-wing populists make gains

Janis Emmanouilidis, a political analyst at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre, points out that pro-EU parties still hold about 80% of the seats. "As a group, the right-wing populists are altogether not as strong as some had previously warned. We already knew that they wouldn't have a majority, but they are perhaps weaker than we had thought."

In Italy, the right-wing League of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini won the most votes, and in France the National Rally party of Marine Le Pen came out on top. "Macron had really tried to use his own political weight, to prevent Le Pen and her party coming out in front. And he hasn't managed to do it," Emmanouilidis said.

In many of the EU's 28 member states, traditionally large parties in the center of the political spectrum struggled, while liberal, environmentalist and right-wing parties grew in strength. Emmanouilidis saw that as a sign of increasing fragmentation. "We see that the large parties have lost ground and that there will need to be a wide coalition to find a majority," he said. In the future European Parliament, the traditional large centrist parties will have to work together with the liberals, and perhaps also the Greens.

Read full article here


Latest media contributions

EU's Von der Leyen to unveil trillion-euro recovery plan
Quotes, France 24, 27.05.2020

De la crise de 2008 à celle du coronavirus en 2020... Comment l'Union européenne a appris de ses erreurs
Quotes, La Libre Belgique, 26.05.2020

EPC Weekly Update – Franco-German proposal for €500bn 'recovery fund'; Single Market; industrial policy
Online Briefing, YouTube, 20.05.2020

Coronavirus : Paris et Berlin espèrent fédérer l’Europe autour de leur projet de relance
Quotes, La Croix, 19.05.2020

French-German Recovery Plan Faces Tough Brussels Test
Quotes, AFP, 19.05.2020

Η Ευρώπη της επόμενης ημέρας
Quotes, Kathimerini (GR), 17.05.2020

EPC Weekly Update EPC Weekly Update – Commission's tourism & transport package; German constitutional court; 'recovery instrument'; migration/asylum & Schengen
Online Briefing, YouTube, 15.05.2020

Debt Crisis, Brexit, Now Virus. Can the EU Survive?
Quotes, Bloomberg, 13.05.2020

Espresso oder Friseur – Europa öffnet nach dem Lockdown
Quotes, Deutsche Welle, 10.05.2020

EPC Weekly Update EPC Weekly Update – German constitutional court; recovery initiative; Brexit
Talkshow, YouTube, 08.05.2020


Media