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European Elections: How Will the Voting Process Operate and What Are the Consequences?



Elections are set to take place across the European Union from June 6 to June 9, with almost 370 million Europeans expected to cast their votes. This vote will have significant consequences for the policies of the 27-member bloc, as the European Parliament, the only directly elected institution of the EU, has the power to block legislation. The election is the second largest democratic electorate in the world, after India, and is expected to see a strengthening of far-right parties amidst growing discontent with the mainstream centrist bloc.

The European elections work in a manner similar to a national vote, with voters expressing their preferences for national political parties. The two largest parliamentary groups historically have been the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), with the Renew Europe (RE) group and The Greens also playing a significant role. Right-wing populist parties are divided between the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID), with different stances on international relations.

The projected winners of the election are expected to be the radical right parties, such as Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National in France. These parties are forecasted to gain more than one-fifth of the seats in the European Parliament, with far-right groupings expected to be the largest political formations in at least five countries. This shift could lead to a deepening collaboration between centrist parties and Eurosceptic parties, bringing about changes in EU policies.

The rise of the radical right in the European Parliament is expected to have significant implications for policies related to migration and the environment. Parties like the ECR and ID are likely to push for hardline migration policies, including strengthening external borders and outsourcing responsibilities to keep migrants out. They are also expected to oppose EU action on climate change, citing concerns about the impact on European businesses and competitiveness.

Despite their projected gains, the far-right groups remain divided on certain issues, such as Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. Internal divisions within groups like the ECR and ID could hinder their ability to form a cohesive supergroup within the European Parliament. However, these parties may still have an influence on European policies by operating as king-makers on deals and positions taken by other political groups.

Overall, the outcome of the European elections will determine the balance of power in the European Parliament and shape the direction of EU policies in the years to come. The influence of far-right political groups could lead to a rollback of key elements of the progressive agenda, posing challenges for pro-European groups in maintaining a majority. The election results are expected to be announced on the evening of June 9, shedding light on the future of the EU and its policies.

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