Nationalist trend dominates EU Parliament elections

Nationalism and the decline of traditional party politics has rapidly spread across Europe and culminated in marked influence for those who question the European Union’s overreach in all aspects of government, the economy, and personal freedoms.

In European Parliament elections held May 23 to 26, nationalist and Eurosceptic parties made enormous gains for the 751 seats. Establishment Christian Democratic parties, known as The Group of the European People's Party (EPP), were elected to 179 seats and 24 percent of the vote. Collectively, Eurosceptic and nationalist parties gained 175 seats and 23 percent of the vote overall, represented by the following parties and breakdown: 

ECR - European Conservatives and Reformists Group (includes Brothers of Italy and Netherland’s Forum for Democracy): 63 seats and 8 percent of the vote.

ENF - Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (includes Freedom Party of Austria, France’s National Rally, and Italy’s Lega): 58 seats and 8 percent of the vote.

EFDD - Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (includes Alternative for Germany, Italy’s Five Star, and the United Kingdom’s Brexit Party): 54 seats and 7 percent of the vote. 

After the election results were revealed this week, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the Lega Party proposed the ENF and EFDD should merge to strengthen their influence in the Parliament.

Nationalist Highlights

Austria

Elected to 18 seats; 7 for Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party (OVP) with 35 percent of the vote, and 3 for the Freedom Party (FPO) with 17 percent of the vote.

France

Elected to 74 seats; 22 for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) with 23 percent of the vote, compared to 8 for President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! (LN) and 8 percent of the vote.

Germany

Elected to 96 seats; 29 for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) with 29 percent of the vote, with significant gains to 11 seats for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 11 percent.

Hungary

Elected to 21 seats; 13 for Victor Orban’s governing Fidez party and coalition partners with 52 percent of the vote.

Italy

Elected to 73 seats; 28 for Matteo Salvini’s Lega party with 34 percent of the vote, alongside 14 for governing coalition partners Five Star with 17 percent of the vote.

 Poland

Elected to 51 seats; 26 for the governing Law and Justice party with 45 percent of the vote.

United Kingdom

Elected to 73 seats; 29 for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party with 31 percent of the vote.