On the eve of the European elections, the Visions of Europe project produced a guide the elections in collaboration with European Alternatives.
Some of the key findings –
• Europe more polarised than ever, as far right on the rise
• European issues now dominate national politics
• Momentum behind progressive proposals for European reform despite common focus on far right
Luke Cooper, an associate researcher at the LSE and senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, said, “Europe is moving through a profound moment of change. The period of bipartisan cooperation between the European centre-right and centre-left is coming to a close. European institutions may experience paralysis – an inability to pass new laws – if no agreements can be struck, but new alignments on the left and right may also take advantage of this fractured landscape to build new coalitions for change”
Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, a researcher at the LSE Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit and fellow at UCL, said: “While much of the media attention is devoted to the rise of the radical right, these elections may well indicate increasingly momentum behind progressive parties on the political centre and centre-left. Also, a key tangible effect of Brexit is that it has led to a reduction in support for further exits across the EU. Far-right parties no longer seek an exit from the EU in the short term, but instead, have orientated towards seeking the radical reform or take-over of European institutions.”
Niccolo Milanese, Director of European Alternatives, said ’The first challenge for the new parliament will be imposing its choice for President of the European Commission on a reticent European council. If it can do that, and its candidate has a vision that can command a strong majority on either the right or the left, then we could see a shift in the balance of power towards the parliament and the most politicised EU for decades.’