EU is the largest single market in the world and the biggest donor in humanitarian aid, providing 56 percent of assistance to developing countries worldwide. With this background it’s sad that the foreign affairs – CFSP, ESDP – is presumably the ‘weakest link’ of the EU. Earlier I have criticized EU too much following agenda of U.S. foreign policy interests. In addition blocs such as Africa Group, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Arab Group, Non-Aligned Movement, have shown to be more united in the UN than the EU.
Inside EU the weakest link is the European Parliament. In principle it can only slow common development policy designed in Commission and Council of Ministers. The power still lies with national governments and the Europeans, public, is showing no will to place it anywhere else.
In going elections trend is a turning inward, a renationalisation of European politics, and a shift to protectionism. While the turnout will probably be even lower than before my forecast about the result will be following:
- those who have strong opinions are motivated for voting,
- the share of those with strong opinions will be in EP bigger than in national parliaments
- strong opinions in EU election are mostly channelled via euro-sceptics, nationalists, populist and right-wing parties
- if UK Conservatives are leaving the biggest group in EP new coalitions new combination of ad hoc coalitions are possible
- euroscepticism, previously a British and, to a lesser extent, a Scandinavian characteristic, is spreading even into the historical heartland of the EU, such as the Netherlands
- also new left can gain support from mainstream social democrats
The bottom line will be more extremist politics and bye bye Lisbon Treaty, EU enlargement and cohesion.
Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, urged the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) “to launch an investigation into the financing and promotion campaigns of MEPs who will be elected this week to the new European Parliament and who espouse anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, homophobic or other discriminatory platforms.
It totally possible that apathy towards political élites, low turnout and success of anti-Europeans, extremists etc will bring Hamas phenomenon inside EU. Democratic election went wrong at least from pro-European perspective. The gap between parliament and other EU institutions will be wider so what’s the response – maybe blockade of EP.
My forecast does not set great hopes on some nice ideas of common Europe. Maybe this is not big loss anyway as diversity probably is one of rare European core values.