Every five years, citizens of the European Union exercise their democratic right to shape the future of their continent through the European Parliament elections. Looking back at the 2019 elections and forward to the upcoming 2024 vote, we can observe a dynamic landscape marked by both continuity and change.
The 2019 European Parliament elections, conducted between May 23rd and 26th, left an indelible mark on the European Union’s political landscape. Boasting a record turnout of 50.9%, citizens from across the continent voiced their opinions on the future direction of the bloc. However, the election results revealed a nuanced picture, blending elements of continuity and dramatic political shifts.
In a departure from tradition, the two dominant political groups in the European Parliament, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D), faced significant losses. This marked the first time since direct elections commenced in 1979 that neither group secured a majority, signaling a decline in trust in established parties and a palpable desire for change among voters.
While Eurosceptic and populist parties experienced a slight increase in their vote share, they failed to coalesce into a unified bloc. Internal fractures within this movement became evident, challenging the notion of a cohesive populist front. Concurrently, Green parties across Europe capitalized on the growing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability, enjoying a surge in popularity.
The elections unfolded uniquely in each member state, reflecting diverse national narratives. In the UK, the discourse was dominated by Brexit, paving the way for the victory of the newly formed Brexit Party. Italy saw gains by Eurosceptic parties like the Five Star Movement and Lega Nord, while pro-EU parties triumphed in countries such as France and Ireland.
The fragmented outcome led to intricate coalition-building within the European Parliament, as no single group held a clear majority. The resulting political dynamic slowed down decision-making processes, emphasizing the challenges of navigating a diverse parliamentary landscape.
Looking beyond the immediate election results, the 2019 elections revealed a divided Europe grappling with internal tensions and external uncertainties. While Euroscepticism remained a concern, the rise of Green parties and the weakening of traditional political powerhouses reflected a shifting tide toward new priorities and demands for a more responsive European Union.
In conclusion, the 2019 EU elections were a pivotal moment in European democracy, highlighting the complexities of a changing political landscape. Further exploration into specific national results, the rise of particular parties, and the enduring consequences of this transformative period will provide a deeper understanding of the intricate dynamics at play.
2024: Looking Ahead to a Pivotal Election:
The 2024 elections take place against the backdrop of significant events that have reshaped the European landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and ongoing economic challenges have tested the EU’s resilience and unity. These events are likely to influence voter anxieties and priorities.
What to expect in 2024:
The 2024 European Parliament elections, scheduled for June 6-9, hold immense significance. After the first post-Brexit vote, and amidst global crises like the war in Ukraine and the energy crunch, these elections promise a unique political landscape brimming with both expectations and uncertainties. Let’s dive deeper into what 2024 might hold:
Fragmentation Ahead: Established parties like the EPP and S&D may see further decline, with voters turning to smaller, issue-based movements. This could lead to complex coalition formations in the Parliament, requiring increased negotiation and compromise.
The Green Surge: As environmental concerns remain paramount, Green parties are expected to make significant gains, potentially becoming a major force to be reckoned with. Their performance will hinge on their ability to capitalize on climate anxieties and offer concrete solutions.
Populism’s Next Chapter: The trajectory of populist and Eurosceptic movements remains unclear. Their success will depend on their response to ongoing crises, their ability to articulate clear agendas, and how they address internal divisions within their own ranks.
National Politics Play In: National elections and political climates in individual member states will significantly impact the European vote. Rising discontent or economic hardship in specific countries could fuel support for certain parties or movements.
The War in Ukraine: The ongoing conflict continues to cast a long shadow. Its future trajectory and impact on Europe’s security and economy will significantly influence voter sentiment and priorities.
The Energy Crisis: Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and rising energy prices create economic vulnerabilities and public anxieties. How governments and the EU handle this crisis will shape voters’ trust and preferences.
Unforeseen Events: The dynamic nature of global politics means unexpected events could drastically shift the narrative and priorities of the elections.
Emmanuel Macron: The French President, currently leading the EU Council Presidency, seeks to leverage his position to shape the future of Europe. His success in handling domestic and European challenges will influence voters’ perceptions of his leadership.
Ursula von der Leyen: The President of the European Commission plays a crucial role in proposing legislation and representing the EU on the international stage. Her handling of the crises and her vision for the future will be scrutinized by voters.
Emerging Leaders: New faces and political movements could emerge as significant players, particularly if they effectively address voters’ concerns and offer compelling alternatives.
The 2024 elections are not just about choosing representatives; they are about shaping the future direction of the European project. With a fragmented political landscape and various pressing challenges, the coming months will be crucial in shaping the electoral discourse and mobilizing voters. The results will have far-reaching implications for the EU’s internal dynamics, its international standing, and its ability to address the issues that matter most to its citizens.
Home | 2019 European election results | European Parliament: https://europarl.europa.eu/election-results-2019/en/
European Parliament elections 2019: results and analysis – House of Commons Library – The House of Commons Library – UK Parliament: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8600
Infographic – 2024 European elections: National rules – European Parliament – European Union: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2023/754620/EPRS_ATA(2023)754620_EN.pdf
European elections 2024: predictions and implications – Publyon: https://publyon.com/european-elections-2024-predictions-and-implications-for-european-businesses/
European Elections 2024: https://elections.europa.eu/en/
Geopolitical instability and a packed election calendar have strategists wary of 2024 https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/21/geopolitical-instability-and-a-packed-election-calendar-have-strategists-wary-of-2024.html
A forecast for the 2024 European Parliament elections https://ecfr.eu/publication/a-sharp-right-turn-a-forecast-for-the-2024-european-parliament-elections