Anti-establishment parties scored big in EU elections since bloc became ‘problem & not solution’
Exit polls show that right-wing and Euroskeptic parties posted significant gains in the European Parliament elections, which ended on Sunday. In France, the UK and Austria, nationalist parties even surged past their pro-EU rivals. The Greens and the Liberals performed well too.
As a result, the pro-European bloc EPP and the Social-Democratic alliance S&D have now lost their combined majority.
The defeat of the bloc’s business-as-usual parties “is really not surprising when we look at the bigger picture,” Uli Brueckner, a professor of European studies at Stanford University in Berlin, told RT.Also on rt.com EU elections over: Exit polls show surge for right-wing & green parties amid high turnout
According to Brueckner, the election results present a serious challenge to Brussels’ narrative of a united, integrated Europe.
“In the past, we had one consensus on the general narrative that European integration as such is good, because it brings peace, stability, prosperity, and we only disagree on certain ideological differences – about whether it’s clean enough, is it fair enough, is it pro-business.”
Euroskeptic parties have shattered this consensus, Brueckner noted, adding that political movements across the continent now see the bloc “not as the solution [for Europe], but the problem.”
The momentum against Europe’s establishment parties was certainly felt in France, where Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party narrowly beat President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist En Marche.Also on rt.com Le Pen calls on Macron to dissolve National Assembly after EU election results
Dennis Franceskin, a National Rally representative based in Washington, said that the success of Euroskeptic parties reveals growing dissatisfaction within the bloc. “The structure of the European Union is a failure,” Franceskin told RT.
Many countries have realized now that the EU is not a solution, it’s actually a problem.
The political rivalry between the growing Euroskeptic movement and the pro-Brussels bloc can be described as “common sense” versus “globalism,” Maximilian Krah, a politician who belongs to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), argued.
Speaking about the electoral gains made by his own party, Krah accused his country’s political establishment of being impervious to the needs of ordinary Germans. “We have our roots in rural areas with ordinary people, and they have mass media and the big corporations,” he said.Also on rt.com ‘Misjudged mood of country’: Farage slams May’s ‘pro-EU instincts’ after resignation announcement
Similar anti-establishment sentiment can be found in the UK, where Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party received 31.6 percent of the votes, defeating the Conservatives by more than 20 points. The party’s electoral success can be attributed to the “highly-polarized” nature of politics in the UK right now, Francesco Rizzuto, a professor of European law at Edge Hill University, told RT. The Brexit Party offered voters an alternative to the traditional status quo, Rizzuto noted.
“I think many people were fed up with the mess of the last two or three years. And especially those who want to leave the European Union, they certainly were very disappointed with the conservatives, Labour floundering around in Never-Never Land, and quite clearly Mr. Farage offered a very simple and straightforward message.”
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