The centre-right has held ground, but the rise of the far-right could affect policy-making in Brussels.

it was A good weekend for the far right A nightmare for the EU, and the Liberals and Greens, as residents of 27 countries went to the polls to choose the bloc’s new parliament.

European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen’s centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) is holding its ground as the strongest group in the European Parliament. “We will stop them – that’s for sure,” von der Leyen told his supporters, triumphant in his tone.

But the growing right-wing presence in Europe’s center is expected to shake up policies in Brussels. As van der Leyen aims for a second term as president of the European Commission, she will have to deal with a parliament that is less environmentally friendly, more fragmented and increasingly hostile to immigrants, observers say.

Here’s how the EU voted — and the key winners and losers.

Big change

The winners

  • The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) confirmed itself as the largest bloc in the 720-seat chamber, winning a total of 182 seats ahead of the 2019 elections.
  • The far-right Identity and Democracy (ID), led by France’s Marine Le Pen, won 58 seats.Nine more than five years ago.
  • Non-aligned parties – which include parties on both the right and left that do not belong to any recognized political group – won 99 seats, 37 more than in 2019.
  • The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), led by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, won four more seats than five years ago.

The losers

  • The center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) lost four seats, but the group remains the second-strongest bloc in parliament with 135 seats. Still, it came second in major countries like Spain, where it ranked as the first party in 2019.
  • The liberal Renew Europe (RE) suffered a major setback, losing 22 seats.
  • The Greens Party, which won a landslide in the 2019 elections, also suffered a major setback, losing 19 seats.

Interactive EU Parliamentary Elections_Results-1718009796

According to analysts, such gains and losses point to a sharp change in Europe’s political climate in 2019 compared to the previous round of votes.

“The wars in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as the ongoing economic crisis across the bloc – all contribute to an increasingly anxious environment, which makes voters look for more security,” said Vassila Techerneva. European Council on Foreign Relations’ Deputy Director. “And the far right is promising them more security.”

But, Tcherneva noted, EU elections are also referendums on national leaders.

Who are the big losers and winners among national leaders?

Let’s unpack:

  • German Chancellor Olaf SchulzThe Social Democratic Party (SPD) suffered a crushing defeat, winning around 14 percent of the vote – third behind the conservative coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), which 30 percent of the votes polled, and the biggest beneficiary, Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD)Which got the best results in history by taking 16% votes.
  • The vote caused a political earthquake in France, where pen He won 30 percent of the vote with his National Rally (RN) party – twice as much as the president Emmanuel MacronThe Renaissance (RE) Party of As a result, Macron He demanded immediate elections by dissolving the parliament.. The president now has three weeks to convince French voters to back his party.
  • It was not a great night for the Hungarian nationalist leader. Viktor OrbanThe Feds party. While they won around 44 percent of the vote, it was the party’s worst ever result in a European Parliament election.
  • Italian Prime Minister Georgia Maloney was a clear winner, her brothers from Italy taking about 30 percent of the vote. It’s the perfect political backdrop for her, as she prepares to chair the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Fasano this weekend.

What does it all mean?

Despite their overall advantages, far-right parties remain divided. For example, ID Kicked out the German AfD. Following comments by a party leader in May that hinted at Nazi sympathies.

“Cooperation in the name of a higher cause is not really their favorite exercise,” Olaf Bohnke, Berlin director of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, said of far-right parties.

Still, Bohnke said, these far-right groups can slow or block EU policies – particularly those related to climate change, migration and foreign policy, including aid to Ukraine.

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