The Eurocrats are getting nervous. General public dissatisfaction with the state of affairs inflicted on them by the establishment, from the COVID lockdowns to economic malaise, is likely to translate into victories for parties opposed to the EU, and also to the larger leftist agenda.
Here’s the European Council of Foreign Relations claiming that democracy will threaten democracy.
The 2024 European Parliament elections will see a major shift to the right in many countries, with populist radical right parties gaining votes and seats across the EU, and centre-left and green parties losing votes and seats.
Anti-European populists are likely to top the polls in nine member states (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Slovakia) and come second or third in a further nine countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden).
According to our forecast, almost half the seats will be held by MEPs outside the “super grand coalition” of the three centrist groups.
Inside the European Parliament, a populist right coalition of Christian democrats, conservatives, and radical right MEPs could emerge with a majority for the first time.
And the ECFR is worried that some countries may actually act on immigration and end support for repressive eco-fascist measures.
Far-right parties are becoming increasingly dominant in national settings across many EU capitals. Whether in election results, such as the success of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) in the Dutch general election in November, or in their ability to set the agenda from the opposition – such as the National Rally’s support for France’s regressive immigration bill in December – the far right played an important role in shaping European politics in 2023. 2024 is likely to see a continuation of this trend not only in national politics, but also at the European level, with early polls suggesting a more right-leaning European Parliament will emerge after the June 2024 European Parliament elections.
And that might end the invasion and the repression.
On civil liberties and justice and home affairs, this could have major implications for EU migration and asylum policies, where there is likely to be a majority in the European Parliament that supports very restrictive immigration policies and will seek to push the commission to reform the EU’s asylum policy framework to allow more discretion for member states and to limit any sharing of refugee allocations.
But the biggest policy implications of the 2024 European Parliament elections are likely to concern environmental policy. In the current parliament, a centre-left coalition (of S&D, RE, G/EFA, and the Left) has tended to win on environmental policy issues, but many of these votes have been won by very small margins. The significant shift to the right in the new parliament will mean that an ‘anti-climate policy action’ coalition is likely to dominate. This would significantly undermine the EU’s Green Deal framework and the adoption and enforcement of common policies to meet the EU’s net zero targets.
Most horrifyingly of all, freedom might prevail.
Given the Euroscepticism of the ECR and ID, and some national parties in the EPP, we could therefore see majorities in the next parliament in support of more economic, fiscal, and regulatory freedom for member states. This bloc would be likely to vote against proposals from the commission to enforce common rules and instead side with the growing group of national governments – such as those in Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden – which are pushing for less interference from Brussels in national economic, fiscal, and regulatory policies.
A European Spring could be coming. And the last thing that the Eurocrats want is… freedom.