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European elections: results and commentary
29.5.19
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The European Parliament election results show a clear decline in support for the two main traditional political groupings - the Socialists & Democrats and the European People's Party - and an increase in support for greens, liberals and far-right groups, although the latter have done less well than many expected.

For the latest election results, see: European Parliament: 2019 European election results (link)

Commentary

Populists fall short of expectations in the European elections (The Economist, link):

"THAT RIGHT-WING populism has gained ground in Europe in recent years is a well-established fact. A glance at the continent's recent electoral history shows that much: the Lega dominates Italy’s politics, Marine Le Pen made it to the run-off of the French presidential election in 2017, Law and Justice (PiS) runs Poland and elsewhere smaller parties from Alternative for Germany to the Danish People’s Party and Vox in Spain are shaping their countries’ politics. All of which is a far cry from the settled European party landscape of 15 or 20 years ago. But that much is known. The question now is: in what direction is European politics moving and at what pace?"

EU far-right less impressive than predicted (EUobserver, link):

"The far-right League party stormed to victory in Italy and the National Rally just about won in France in Europe's 2019 election.

But the far-right was less impressive in Germany and further afield, posing questions on its future effectiveness in the European Parliament (EP) and its big-mouthed mission to transform EU values.

Divisions on EP tactics and on issues such as Russia or fiscal discipline also stand in the way of a more powerful anti-EU front."

Salvini and Berlusconi to fight for Orban’s eyes (EurActiv, link):

"Salvini to convince Orban. Italian daily La Stampa reported that Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini will attempt to bring Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on board his nationalists’ group, in order to lead the third biggest political group in the EU hemicycle.

The far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) won only 58 seats in the EU elections, but Lega is willing to open the doors to Hungary’s Fidesz, currently in the EPP, as well as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, Germany’s Alternative fur Deutschland, Spain’s Vox and the Dutch Forum voor Democratie.

But Salvini is not alone in competing for Orbán’s affections."

A fractured European parliament may be just what the EU needs (The Guardian, link):

"Gaining seats are the Liberal Democrats (up 40, thanks mainly to Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche), the Greens (up 20-odd) and the Nationalists (also up 30-odd, thanks mainly to Salvini’s League).

The result will be a parliament fragmented like never before. And the “less EU” camp of nationalists, sovereignists and Eurosceptics itself reflects that fragmentation, divided by profound differences of ideology and policy."

The End of Sovereignty as We Knew It (Political Critique, link):

"...attempts to understand the current conjecture of European politics as a battle between nationalists and Europeanists, or between populists and the elite, between the centre and the radicals, or even between left and right might all be insufficient. All of those oppositions have some pertinence and each will reveal some tendencies. But it seems that politics as normal is no longer sufficient in a moment of technological and civilisational change. Our governments, parliaments and institutions will all struggle to govern, divided internally and unable to count on the unity of the population they are charged with representing. This is the moment of metamorphosis of the political body. The alternative to military force in a moment of such incapacity of politics is civic mobilisation and experimentation, and this implies enlarging our vision of the political scene outside of the institutions."

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