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Far-right surge in European Parliament

Posted June. 11, 2024 07:51,   

Updated June. 11, 2024 07:51


In the recent European Parliament elections, hard-right and far-right parties significantly increased their representation, winning about a quarter of the new seats (720 seats) from about a fifth of the current seats (705 seats). The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a hard-right party negotiating group, and Identity and Democracy (ID), a far-right party negotiating group, secured 70 and 60 seats, respectively. Including the 16 seats of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, expelled from ID for pro-Nazi remarks, and the nine seats of Hungary's Fidesz Party, the total reached approximately 170 seats. Although they did not surpass the 186 seats of the leading negotiating group, the European People's Party (EPP), they came close.

The allocation of seats in the European Parliament is based on the population size of the 27 EU member states, with elections conducted through a proportional representation system. In France, ID's National Rally (RN) nearly doubled the vote share of President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance Party. In Germany, the EPP's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) took first place, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party (SPD) fell to third place, trailing the AfD. To address the political crisis, President Macron decided to invoke his right to dissolve parliament and call an early general election, while in Germany, the CDU began pressuring the SPD coalition for an early general election.

The rise of hard-right and far-right parties in the United States and Europe is attributed to the economic difficulties and security instability blamed on globalization and immigration, which have severely affected the white middle class. In the U.S., Donald Trump, representing a spectrum between the hard right and far right, was elected in 2016, and a close race is anticipated in the upcoming presidential election. In Europe, RN leader Marine Le Pen reached a runoff election with Macron in the 2022 French presidential election, and in Germany, the AfD has overtaken the SPD, challenging the CDU/CSU coalition for second place.

Even if Trump loses the U.S. presidential election, the Republican Party has undergone significant changes at the grassroots level, raising concerns about the emergence of a second Trump. While far-right parties have not yet come to power in France and Germany, Giorgia Meloni, often referred to as the "Trump of Europe," has become the prime minister of Italy, the EU's third most populous country. In Spain, hard-right and far-right parties have risen to the second and third largest political groups. This right-wing shift in the U.S. and Europe is likely to result in increased protectionism, potentially impacting export-reliant countries such as Korea. It is crucial to view these changes from a long-term perspective and prepare accordingly.