Tuesday 18 November 2008

Tracking: European Parliament elections 2009 (XXVI)

The next European Parliament will be dominated by hard-line conservatives, fascists, and other radical parties. Well, almost, as some MEPs expect according to EUobserver.

And although this summary goes far beyond the lines of the respective article, and although I don't really share these fears, several parliamentarians seem to be concerned that the financial crisis will lead to radical votes for the European Parliament elections.

Some expect a "a conservative euroscepticism" accompanied by an "immigrant-bashing discourse" where "[p]eople will be quick to blame domestic politicians and Brussels for ... the increase in the cost of food and fuel, for issues that are largely international in scope".

In this case, the relevance of European Parliament elections should be taken into account: Since its political profile is not high, there is a lower risk for this institution to constitute a projection of fears, especially not economic. And I would also argue that the European political arena is not the most interesting field for those political movements that prefer a nationalistic view onto the world.

This does not mean that I do not expect radical right-wing parties in the next EP. I just would like to express my hesitation to see these next elections as a particular turning point for the European Parliament, a significant move to the right. We will see more general eurosceptic views, but from quite different political movements with quite different political interests.

So yes, EP elections are often used to sanction national governments, an act which on the national level sometimes leads to far-right votes, but right now I don't see a great danger of a Euro-radicalisation on the right wing of the political spectrum.

PS: And I hope to be right with this prediction.

Under the category "Tracking: European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

For an overview over all articles in this category have a look at the overview article.

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