European Union Election Shows Strong Support for Far-Right Parties

Supporters of Romania’s nationalist-sovereignist party wave flags on a building covered with a banner showing medieval historical figures at the party’s headquarters after the exit polls of the European Parliament Elections in Bucharest, Romania.

  • Voters across the European Union are voting in a new European Parliament in elections this week.
  • Early results reveal a surge in support for far-right parties.
  • Nationalist and populist figures now have an advantage in France, Italy, Austria, and Belgium.

Early results for the European Union’s parliamentary elections reveal a surge in support for far-right and nationalist parties, according to multiple reports.

The EU elections, held in 27 countries from June 6-9, showed especially strong support for anti-immigrant, nationalist figures in France and Germany — two of the continent’s largest powers often regarded as drivers behind the experiment of pooled sovereignty, The New York Times reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday announced he would dissolve France’s National Assembly (the lower house of the French Parliament) after the country’s far-right party, the National Rally, led by French lawyer Marine Le Pen, handily defeated Macron’s Renew Party, per The Wall Street Journal.

The dissolution of the assembly is a high-stakes gamble that will result in new elections being held between June 30 and July 7. It could result in Macron’s Renew Party losing additional seats to rivals in the anti-immigrant National Rally.

“This is a serious, weighty decision, but above all it’s an act of trust,” The Journal reported Macron said of his decision. “Confidence in you, confidence in the ability of the French people to make the right choice for themselves and for future generations.”

The Associated Press reported that Alternative for Germany (AfD) — considered a “suspected” extremist group by German authorities — also surged in support. AfD overtook Germany’s Social Democratic party, which has been the leading party in the country since Olaf Scholz was elected chancellor in 2021.

According to AP, AfD received 16.5% of the vote, up from 11% in 2019, compared to a combined 30% for the three parties in Germany’s governing coalition.

Polls also show populist politicians have an advantage in Italy, Belgium, and Austria, the outlet reported.

AP noted that since the 2019 European Parliament elections, far-right politicians have led in Hungary, Italy, and Slovakia and are part of ruling coalitions in Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. The parties have gained support in large part due to anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, as well as policies focused on nationalism and identity, The Times reported.

If early results are confirmed, this year’s elections would strengthen the right’s power across the European Union and offer a stunning rebuke to Europe’s political establishment. Should more far-right parties gain power, it would become harder for the parliament to pass laws across the EU and likely impact negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, as much of the EU’s far-right has a pro-Russia stance, pushing for a peace deal between the countries on Russia’s terms, per The Times.

Firmer figures from this year’s elections are expected late Sunday night.

Representatives for the European Parliament did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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