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CER - EU Elections special

Dear CER follower,

The European Parliament elections have been of an exceptional nature with a turnout of 51%. Fringe parties have appeared as the 'kingmakers' of future coalitions in the European Parliament with big shares for the Greens and the Liberals. The populists have also gained a lot of votes, particularly in Italy and France, although this was not the anticipated wave of far-right sweep that pollsters had predicted. 
 
What are the consequences of this election? Which coalitions will be formed in the European Parliament? Will it impact Brexit? What will be the future issues prioritised by Members of the European Parliament?

Please scroll down to read CER members' expert contributions in the media this week.

 
Dr Sarah Wolff, Director of CER

Forget the Brexit Party surge in the UK, the rest of Europe has delivered a far more important message - The Independent

by Dr Sarah Wolff

Dr Wolff argues that the main new trends to focus on in light of the European Union elections is not the rise of the Brexit Party whose MEPs will lose their mandate as soon as the UK leaves the bloc, but the emergence of pro-EU 'small parties' such as the Greens and the Lib Dems, the growing importance of the green agenda that has been taken up by an increasing number of parties across the continent, and the expected difficulties far-right parties will face when trying to form a coherent group in the European Parliament.

Britain has never been more European - POLITICO

by Professor Tim Bale

Professor Bale highlights that the success of the Brexit party as well as the Liberal Democrats and the Greens has made the UK more European as it is now following in its neighbours' footsteps. Indeed, across the EU, traditional catch-all parties of the center right and center left have seen massive drops in support. New cleavages that cut across class divides have boosted the popularity of political startups on their flanks — be they populist far-rightists, radical centrists (à la Macron), radical leftists (como Podemos), Green parties, or even separatists.

European Parliament elections: What happened to the populist surge? - Sky News
 

with quotes from Dr Paul Copeland and Dr Sarah Wolff

Dr Copeland: "With a third of seats occupied by populists, what you may find is that actually getting those simple majority votes in the parliament will be even more difficult and policy agreements will become increasingly more rare

Dr Wolff: "A lot of people in these parties would say we shouldn't have refugees that should be able to move [around] - so we should have more strict controls. The big risk is that they would advocate for less rights for refugees and migrants and more border controls and more externalisation and co-operation with illegitimate governments in Turkey and Libya

Where do the elections leave Europe's nationalists? - AlJazeera

with quotes from Dr Sarah Wolff

Dr Wolff: "One of the potential concrete impacts would be to restrict even more of any kind of common migration policy that the EU might have. There are geographical divisions among [nationalist populist] parties, but in general they will want more restrictive migration policies. We should consider budget as well. These groups might think that the EU is too expensive, leading to a reduction of the EU's budget for the next couple of years."

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