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Those who sow far-right politics… reap far-right politics

by News Room
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(Photo: Miguel Urban CRESPO at the European Parliament in Strasburg. Photo: GUE/NGL)

The current division of the extreme right into three groups in the European Parliament obscures the picture of the election results. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the extreme right is the second most popular force in Europe, ahead of the Social Democrats with just over 20 percent of the vote.

The extreme right has become the leading force in Italy, France, Hungary, Belgium, Austria and Poland, and the second power in Germany and the Netherlands. The European Socialist Party won only in Sweden, Romania and Malta and tied with the right in Portugal.

Le Pen’s party National Rally (RN), not only won the European elections in France for the third time in a row with twice as many votes as the ruling party, but also the party with the most MEPs. This describes the power of the extreme right in Europe. The result caused a real earthquake in France, where Macron had to declare early parliamentary elections.

The far right has grown steadily in Europe since the turn of the century, barely enough members to form a group in the European Parliament, and is now the second largest force. The extreme right has doubled its support in ten years and is emerging as a force that can determine the majority of parliaments in the next election period. The Eurocratic bureaucracy in Brussels takes this possibility very seriously and has therefore launched a campaign to separate the “good” far-right from the “bad” far-right. The (“good”) far right, which unequivocally embraces neoliberal economic policies, remilitarization and geostrategic submission to European elites and NATO, and the (“bad”) far right, which continues to question them, albeit more timidly.

The temptation to transform

During the election campaign, the presidential candidate of the EPP party, Ursula von der Leyen, opened the door to an agreement with the part of the extreme right represented by Meloni, the “good extreme right”. The European People’s Party (EPP) chairman, German Manfred Weber, spoke in favor of an agreement with the far right last year in his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni. This rapprochement helps to normalize the extreme right as an acceptable partner, legitimizing not only its political status, but also its politics and hate speech, which are gaining more and more ground among European voters. This is a good example of the leading role of the extreme right in this new election period, during which it will play a key role in achieving a parliamentary majority.

It seems that Le Pen no longer wants to be left out of this makeover operation. He is aware that he needs to complete his special dediabolization process, not only to get a vote in the next European Parliament, but above all to have a chance in the next French presidential election. The French far-right has therefore turned to Meloni in an attempt to join forces and become a second political force in the European Parliament.

The groups of the European Parliament will be formed in the next three weeks. Then the whole mystery of Melon’s choice is revealed. For the siren song People’s Party or to lead a large far-right group. Jorge Buxadé from Spain Vox memory Alberto Núñez Feijóo added: “Don’t be upset because Giorgia Meloni is one of us”. It looks to be an interesting and complicated week ahead on the right and far right to see how the groups in the European Parliament will finally be made up.

The end of the two-party system?

In 2019, for the first time in the history of the European Parliament People’s Party (EPP) and Social Democrats (S&D) cannot achieve an absolute majority. In this election, five years later, the Socialists are no longer the second most popular force. The extreme right has dropped them to a historic third place. Socialists and People’s Party has no wind in its sails. They have to expand the grand coalition that ruled Europe with more and more new forces.

In the previous election period, the liberals New Europeand in certain situations Green, it played a fundamental role in building the majority in the parliament and passing the most important measures: the Green Deal, the remilitarization of Europe, the immigration and asylum agreement and so on. These two groups have now lost the most: 20 and 18 seats. Although they somewhat presented themselves in 2019 as reformers of the outdated two-party system, the failure of their expectations has resulted in them paying a high electoral price. Nevertheless, they seem to be the two fundamental forces in securing large majorities in coalitions.

The clearest example of erosion New The European formula may be Emmanuel Macron in France, whose party did not even get 15 percent of the vote. Macron represents a kind of empty political figure, a poster boy who copes with the crisis of representation of power groups and the corruption of the major parties. It was sold as a formula that would bring together the extreme middle class into one party. A model politician from the world of corporate management, who is seen as the leader of an unequal “civil society”, but who guarantees neoliberal (dis)order. In short: a kind of outsider to maintain the status quo.

In fact, Macron is part of a global trend of authoritarian neoliberal populist leaders emerging from the world of business and finance, who no longer trust professional politicians, but direct their own elite interests from the front lines of politics. These elections have not only led to the death of Macronism as the prince of neoliberal Europeanism that the grand coalition was supposed to replace. They also open up an uncertain scenario for early parliamentary elections (June) and French presidential elections. And those who tried to present themselves as representatives of Spanish macronism, Citizenshave finally ended up losing eight of their MEPs.

Protest and right-wing realignment

A new group seems to be emerging in the European Parliament around the Italians Five star move and the Germans Sahra Wagenknecht AllianceFor reason and justice. An ill-defined political space built around parties that have in common that it is difficult for them to join any other group in parliament either because of political differences or veto power by other forces, as historically happened in parliament. Five star move. This group is similar to that Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) in the 2014/2019 election period. However, it remains to be seen whether they will find enough allies to fill the ranks of at least 25 MEPs from at least seven different EU countries.

More than 100 elected members of the European Parliament do not have a clear group in the European Parliament. This clearly shows the anti-political protest vote of this election, alien to the established groups in the European Parliament. A good example of this is the 24-year-old Cypriot tiktoker Fidias Panayiotou, who came second and won two seats with more than 20 percent of the vote, and Alvise Pérez, who is a candidate. Se Acabó La Fiesta (“The Party Is Over”), one of the surprises in Spain, getting three seats with 800,000 votes.

It is a voice of protest mobilized to reclaim a democracy hijacked by a corrupt political oligarchy, which the far right has traditionally called a “partidocracy”, leading to a defense of a kind of anti-politics. The electoral success of this elite-hijacked democracy-saving campaign cannot be understood without assessing the democratic deficit of the societies in which it is born. So it is no coincidence that it is particularly clearly visible in the European elections, in the systemic change of globalized society and in the delegitimization of politics and politics that took place in the light of the devaluation of ideologies. Both inside and outside the system, outsiders are gaining more and more political weight in the European Parliament.

What are the prospects for the left?

Although the left is still in last place in the European Parliament pending the formation of a new group, unlike in 2019, it has managed to soften its losses and could even grow a little with the distribution of new members who are not members of a political group. the group will find out in the next few weeks. Particularly significant were the results in Finland, where the left is the second largest force, in Italy, where the left was again represented, and in France, where Disobedient produced the largest group of leftists in the European Parliament.

These elections once again demonstrated the EU’s growing loss of legitimacy among social movements across Europe, with abstention winning again in almost every country. It is increasingly difficult for the EU to adhere to “European values” such as democracy, progress, welfare and human rights. A organic crisis in the Gramscian sense of the word, the result and deepening of the post-crisisThe Maastricht model of European capitalism, which is a veritable neoliberal straitjacket with a lethal combination of austerity, free trade, predatory debt and precarious, low-paid work that is the DNA of today’s financial capitalism.

This crisis of legitimacy means not only that EU decisions are used to circumvent national parliaments at all costs, but also that every referendum or citizen consultation directly or indirectly related to European affairs is treated with suspicion and fear. Every day more and more people wake up from the European dream and find themselves caught between the neoliberal and militaristic Europeanism championed by the EU elite and the exclusionary nationalism developing at the national level. An organic crisis in the European project that creates a space that encourages mutation, adaptation, reorientation and, above all, the rise of monsters, as we have seen in this election.

Elections that confirm Europe’s shift to the right, where the extreme right is no longer seen as Eurosceptic but Euroreformist and reserves a place for itself in the EU administration; the bankruptcy of the old grand coalition majority; the end of Macronism and its attempt to create a great European centre-right; the rise of alternatives outside the system and political protest; and the growth of non-voting and disenchantment with the EU machinery. Underneath all this is the beating of war drums that brings us dangerously close to the scenario of a new global military confrontation, the climate emergency and the dismantling of multilateral governance and international law that has plagued the world since the early 1990s. World War II reigned.

It’s a dangerous cocktail that portends new conflicts, a new lineup of players, an expansion of the battlefield, and above all, an acceleration of new and old trends. But one lesson that is clear from these European Parliament elections is that if you sow far-right politics – the immigration deal is just one example – you will reap… far-right politics.

This article was featured Public. Dutch translation service Unlimited.

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