Monday, January 29, 2024 by Belle Carter
A new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has warned “globalists” that the upcoming elections may see a domination of the far-right party, with almost half the seats to be held by members of the parliament outside the “super grand coalition” of the three centrist groups.
The pan-European think tank’s research combined surveys across all the members of the bloc with modeling based on the past performance of national parties. The report, which was reviewed by the independent news site the National Pulse, concluded that nationalist and populist parties are on track to gain in nine EU countries including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia. It further predicted a second- or third-place finish for populist and nationalist parties in another nine EU member states: Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.
Because of the findings, the study authors alerted the “globalist political parties” as the predicted election outcome may affect their policymaking such as the push for open borders and other political standpoints. “These findings should also be set against the expectation that whether or not Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election in autumn 2024 – and the polls currently suggest there is a real possibility he will – Europe will have a less globally engaged United States to rely on,” the study further touched on the former president’s impending reelection.
For the authors, while progressive European leaders cannot and should not tell voters what to do, they can build a credible alternative to a sharp right turn in the political mandate given to the next set of EU institutions. “From the outset of 2024, they need to tell a convincing story about the necessity of reaching outward in a dangerous world,” the forecast concluded.
The authors from ECFR are most worried about the possibility that the winning right-wing coalition could bring about an “anti-climate policy action” to stall the EU’s move to full green transition. “This could have significant implications for the EU Commission and Council’s ability to take forward environmental and foreign policy commitments, including the next phase of the European Green Deal,” said Kevin Cunningham, co-author of the study. (Related: STARVE FOR THE CLIMATE: European Union partners with Dutch government to shut down dairy, cattle, pig and poultry farms across the country.)
Controversial EU environmental bills, such as the Nature Restoration Law that was adopted last July, have been passed only by a razor-thin margin in the current parliament due to fierce opposition campaigns by right-leaning groups. Such contested legislation would be sure to collapse in the projected formation of the new parliament. The bloc has also passed a raft of environmental measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions, curb pollution and protect nature in the last few years. Yet recent environmental laws have met pushback from some governments, lawmakers and industries concerned about cost and red tape. EU is also drafting a 2040 carbon dioxide (CO2) cutting target and considering the measures to achieve it, which will require far deeper CO2 cuts in politically sensitive sectors, including farming.
The report also predicted that, while the parliament has limited ability to shape the bloc’s foreign policy, the election result could shape the national debate in a way that could prompt some member states to adhere more closely to foreign policy decisions which could, for instance, impact financial and military backing to Ukraine. There is also a “strong responsibility” of pro-Russia parties to be represented in the next parliament, the report claimed, with pro-Kremlin Bulgarian party Revival on track to win three seats and enter the parliament for the next time.
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