Sunday, May 25, 2014

Eurosceptic Parties Gain Seats in the European Parliament

Anti-European Union parties made large gains in elections for the European Parliament, coming in first in France, the United Kingdom and Denmark, while increasing their number of seats in several other European states.  Although the large majority of voters across Europe voted for pro-European parties, the winning of the plurality in France and the U.K. by right-wing Eurosceptic parties was particularly stunning, especially given a setback for the Netherlands’ anti-European party led by Geert Wilders. 

Eurosceptic parties spanned from the nationalist right to anti-establishment populism to the anti-austerity left.  In the first European parliamentary election since the debt crisis of the last few years, voters casting ballots for anti-E.U. parties were united in opposing the loss of national sovereignty to unelected European bureaucrats and objection to the arrogance and incompetence of the E.U.  Those on the right objected particularly to E.U. policies of loose immigration.  The magnetic welfare system of many European states was a related concern. 

In Italy, the anti-establishment populist Eurosceptics came in second behind the center-left party that is leading the grand coalition Government, although if the votes of right and left-wing anti-E.U. parties were added to their total, then together these parties won a slight plurality, although one of the parties failed to qualify for a parliamentary seat.  Greek voters favored the anti-European and anti-austerity leftwing party.  Meanwhile, the center-right, pro-E.U. party of Germany’s Angela Merkel won a plurality of seats in the European Parliament, which is a vote of confidence in her policy of domestic austerity and insistence of austerity in exchange for fiscal support for weaker European states.  Voter turnout across the E.U. was only slightly ahead of the previous election.  

These elections are a warning to center-right, center-left or socialist parties either in government or as the main loyal opposition that many Europeans want a return of national sovereignty from the European Union and reforms of domestic policies that the ruling parties have been unable to accomplish or have even dismissed insultingly.  I have posted repeatedly about the folly of the European Union and the Monetary Union in particular and how it is based upon a meaningless foundation of “European-ness” while ignoring the core values of Europe, and Western Europe in particular, namely Christianity.  

No comments: