Recently, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) published a report that found anti-European parties could be on track to win one-third of seats in the bloc’s May elections.
To understand the implications of the vote, ECFR conducted a study in the 27 member states that will go to the polls in May later this year.
Just published: Our latest report finds that anti-European parties are on course to win the third of seats in @Europarl_EN #EUelections2019 necessary to paralyse
the #EU: https://t.co/0fcQFpSch1@sd270 @PawelZerka @ECFRPower pic.twitter.com/2ZCYXsOGof
— ECFR (@ecfr) February 11, 2019
The report suggests that whilst there is little substantive policy that unites the continent’s eurosceptics, a faction could align for tactical purposes to support a number of ideas: from abolishing sanctions on Russia to blocking the EU’s foreign trade agenda, to reducing migration.
The vote could be a transformative moment; a return to a “Europe of Nations” – whereby anti-European political parties could begin to set the agenda and shape policy in the medium term.
There will also be implications for national governments, who increasingly see their policy under scrutiny from the European Parliament. This has been evident in the case of Hungary, who clashed with Brussels after a vote last September declared the country had breached the EU’s core rules.
Broadly, Eurosceptic parties are on track to win 250 of the Parliament’s 705 seats. The fastest-growing European group is the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedoms, which includes the Italian League and French National Rally.
As each week passes it become more and more obvious that, in the run up to May, Europe is living on borrowed time.