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EU Elections Reveal Shift In Landscape

Elections in 21 countries could change the future of the EU…

A European Union flag covers a voting booth in Romania on Sunday..
A European Union flag covers a voting booth in Romania on Sunday. Photo Credit: Andrea Alexandru/AP. Taken from NPR.

A European Union flag covers a voting booth in Romania on Sunday. Photo Credit: Andrea Alexandru/AP. Taken from NPR.

On Sunday, May 26, voters from 21 countries across the European Union (EU) voted in the EU elections in the world’s largest democratic exercise.

The results of the EU elections showed a major shift from the traditional parties that had dominated politics in the EU. Instead, voters shifted to smaller parties like the Greens, nationalists, and liberals. The projected voter turnout was over 50%, the highest in 25 years.

Green Party Gets a Boost

The results are not unexpected, according to The Guardian. Polling indicated that the two center-right and center-left parties would lose their joint majority for the first time. Perhaps the most notable gains were from the green party, which boosted their total to 71 members of European Parliament (MEPs). This is a significant boost from their 52 MEPs from the last elections.

German Green MEP Sven Giegold celebrates a successful showing of the Green Party in the EU elections.
The German Green MEP Sven Giegold, second from right, celebrates success after the EU elections. Photo: Felipe Trueba/EPA. Taken from The Guardian.

The success of the Green Party indicates that climate change is a very important issue for voters in the EU. Overall, the elections were good news for pro-EU voters, as nationalist groups did not perform as well as expected.

Nationalists Not to be Ignored

However, nationalist groups did make significant gains in Italy and France. Speaking to CNN, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned not to take the growing nationalist movements lightly.

“We have to tell our young people what history has brought over us and others,” Merkel said.

Prior to the elections, French President Emmanuel Macron told the Guardian that these elections come at “the most perilous moment for Europe since the second world war.” Unfortunately for Macron, his pro-EU centrist-liberal bloc was narrowly edged into second by Marine Le Pen’s far-right Nationalist Rally.

Far-right National Party leader Marine Le Pen picked up ground in the EU elections. Photo taken from CNN.

Tumultuous Times for the EU Elections

The elections come at a time of unrest in the EU. Just last week, another vote in the UK on the Brexit agreement failed to pass parliament. This prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to announce her resignation. As many in parliament seek a more favorable exit deal, the EU announced it will not renegotiate the deal it reached with May. Consequently, Britain may be forced to exit the EU without a deal, a result many believe could be economically disastrous.

While Brexit seems to be inevitable, we highlighted how many Britains do not want it.

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