Far-Right resurgence in EU parliament - Hindustan Times
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Far-Right resurgence in EU parliament

ByHT Editorial
Jun 12, 2024 09:23 PM IST

The months ahead could be turbulent for the EU, and India will be watching closely for any possible fallout on the negotiations for a free trade agreement.

Far-Right parties made significant gains in the European Union (EU)’s parliamentary election over the weekend, largely on the back of support from voters in Austria, France, Germany and Italy, though centrist and liberal parties are expected to retain the levers of power in the 27-State grouping. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of the centre-right European People’s Party, who is eyeing a second term after her party emerged the single largest bloc with 189 deputies, has said the responsibilities of centrist parties have increased following the gain in support by the Right. While a coalition of four centrist parties will have 462 deputies in the 720-seat parliament, the surge by the far-right could impact decision-making in Brussels, especially on sensitive issues such as the climate crisis and migration. It is also clear that the improved showing by the far-right is linked to anxieties regarding the economic crisis in Europe and the Ukraine conflict.

A supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) holds the European Union flag after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections, in Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2024. REUTERS/Christian Mang (REUTERS) PREMIUM
A supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) holds the European Union flag after the polls closed in the European Parliament elections, in Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2024. REUTERS/Christian Mang (REUTERS)

The outcomes were also a referendum on national leaders in several countries, especially France, where President Emmanuel Macron, in a risky gamble, decided to call snap elections later this month after his Renaissance party secured half as many votes as Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party. In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party was in third place, its vote share lower than that of the extreme-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The months ahead could be turbulent for the EU, and India will be watching closely for any possible fallout on the negotiations for a free trade agreement. In other areas, New Delhi can afford to be sanguine, largely because of the bipartisan support in most European countries for stronger relations with India.

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