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Towards a right-wing Europe?

Between 6 and 9 June, EU citizens will vote for the next European Parliament. The elected members will legislate on a wide, and ever-growing range of topics until 2029.

Since the first European elections in 1979, the main leading political groups have been the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D). Until 2019, they held an absolute majority at the Parliament, meaning that main decisions, including top positions in European institutions, were normally decided between the two. Five years ago, these groups lost their majority, and had to add to their decision-taking duo the liberals of Renew Europe.

Even if the majority was dwindling, it generally meant that all relevant votes had to go through this ideologically heterogenous coalition, to which they sometimes added the leftist and regionalist Greens/EFA group. This ideological wide agreement has compelled all participants to reach practical compromises if they aimed at passing legislation.

Nonetheless, during the past legislature, some initiatives have been passed only with the support of the left side of the political spectrum, if an important part of the liberals were onboard.

For the upcoming elections, all polls indicate that conservative and far-right parties will grow significantly. For instance, they will most likely win a plurality of votes in important countries such as France (with Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national) and Italy (with Prime Minister Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia). This will undoubtedly increase their weight and influence in European legislation.

In fact, since several representatives of these parties are already in national governments (Italy, Hungary), they have been participating for some time in the legislative process in the Council, the other colegislator, where governments of the Member States are represented. Nevertheless, it will be a first for the European Parliament and it is yet to be seen how it will affect the legislative process.

This switch in the European electorate can give, in principle, room to an alternative right-wing majority, particularly if we add some right-wing liberals, mirroring, for example, the new government majority in the Netherlands. This eventual right-wing majority will be very heterogenous and, thus, it is rather unlikely that they reach common policy agreements. Nonetheless, they can always work as a blocking faction.

Therefore, it is safe to forecast that no agreements will be reached in the next European Parliament without the EPP. In turn, they will try to attract part of the parties to its right to increase its weight as a political actor in the EU. However, these negotiations will only take place after the elections, once there is a clearer picture about all forces.

At Alonso & Associates, we have long been working with the European Parliament, its MEPs and European institutions at large. In this changing scenario, we can help you better navigate this complex network of political actors and advance your interests before them. Contact us for more information.


Josep Monrabà

Attorney & EU Affairs Director at Alonso & Associates

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