Last week, from the 24th to the 26th of May, European citizens voted for the Members of the European Parliament, for their future for the next five years. This year, the participation in the elections went up to 51%, which is considered a win for the European Union. Regardless of that, the level of participation, for instance in Portugal, was substantially low (69.3%), lower even than in 2014.
As for the results, some were less shocking than others. Most of the predictions were right but we witnessed a rise of the environmentalist parties (not by much but still more significantly than in the past years). The growth of the far-right and Eurosceptic parties was also perceptible in the European Parliament – it is estimated about 57 seats for the far-right parties. Whilst it is not much comparing to the other 694 seats “pro-EU”, it is still something worth stressing. For some surprising results (or not), we can note that Nigel Farage’s new party ‘Brexit’ won, even after all the marches against Brexit; unexpected (for some) were the results from Northern Ireland which, despite the general results in the UK, pushed up Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, a pro-EU party.
Furthermore, in Southern Europe, we observed a discrepancy within the region as well. Whilst the right-wing party won in Italy (right-wing to far-right) and Greece, the right-wing parties lost in Portugal, with a major win for the left – 33,38% of the votes, the Socialist Party (focused on strengthening the EU) won one more MEP than in the previous years, like the Left Bloc (focused on environment and human rights) also managed a major win comparing to the years before, gaining one more MEP. In Spain, regardless of the win of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (a centre-left and pro-European party like the Socialist Party in Portugal), VOX, a right-wing to far-right party, won 3 MEPs, with more 4,63% votes than before. This party is noticeably becoming more popular in Spain.
Herewith, it was made clear that a divergence of thoughts exists within the Member states and it is unclear what the result of the newly diverse European Parliament will be.
FOR MORE UPDATES