From 23-26 May, European citizens will be voting for a new EU parliament. These will be the first EU elections since the Troika forced Greece to accept austerity measures, the first EU elections since the “long summer of migration” 2015-16, the first EU Elections since Brexit.
Since the last EU elections in 2014, we have seen new political actors emerge – such as Podemos or municipalist platforms in Greece, the rise and fall of SYRIZA, we have seen the Yellow Vests movement in France, and the renewal of Labour with Jeremy Corbyn in Britain. Most worryingly, we have seen the rise of far right and even fascist forces from Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France or the AfD in Germany. Moreover, we are experiencing a consolidation of the authoritarian right and their attempts to change Europe – from Victor Orban’s Fidesz party in Hungary to the FPÖ-ÖVP government in Austria or the anti-migrant politics of Salvini’s Lega in Italy.
In short, the elections will be important. We could see a consolidation or even expansion of the right-wing surge. On the other hand, many actors are working and campaigning for the emergence of a socialist alternative, committed to the many, not the few. As the political centre falls apart, the direction and content of European integration is becoming a crucial issue of political contention.
On the day after the EU elections, the LINKE Berlin Internationals will be meeting with Wenke Christoph, senior advisor in the Europe unit of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. What can we learn from the election results in different European countries? Should we celebrate or mourn them? What are the lessons for our future practise and what can we expect from a left faction in the European Parliament?
As ever, our meeting is on the fourth Monday of the month – 27 May, in the Roter Laden, Weidenweg 17 (U-Bahn Weberweise), Everyone is invited to join the debate. Because of the international audience, the meeting will be in English, but translation can be provided into various languages on request
in the Roter Laden, Weidenweg 17 (U-Bahn Weberweise)