Faith in EU integration shaken

(VOVworld)- The European Parliament election results have been announced. Though the Alliance of Conservative, Social and Democratic Parties won the majority of votes in the new parliament, it was a surprise that nationalist, far-right, anti-EU integration parties won a large number of votes. This poses a great challenge for EU leaders because it will undermine the EU’s recovery and growth.

Faith in EU integration shaken - ảnh 1

The 751 seats in the European Parliament are divided among EU member countries according to their population. At least 20% of the 751 seats in this term belong to anti-EU parties.

Far-right, anti-EU viewpoints emerge

In almost every country participating in the European Parliament, parties with extreme, far-right, nationalist, anti-EU integration viewpoints emerged strongly and won a large number of votes.

In France and the UK, the National Front Party and the Independence Party won a majority of votes against other major parties that have taken turns ruling the country. In Denmark, the Denmark People’s Right Party which opposes immigration policy, took the lead. In Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Finland, far-right, nationalist parties won a high percentage of votes. In Germany, the Euro-scepticism Party found a seat in the EP in its first campaign. All these parties oppose what the EU has considered its motto and targets: EU integration, and they are sceptical about the bloc’s future.

Why are there mixed feelings about EU integration? This question is forcing EU leaders to reconsider their plans.

Consequence of lack of faith

Only 43% of the 400 million voters in the 28 EU member countries voted this time, a sharp decline from previous election. It has been five years since the global economic crisis began. People have seen few positive signs from political institutions in the EU or from their own governments. Prices keep rising, unemployment keeps spreading, and taxes keep increasing, but social welfare has been reducing. This has made people more sceptical and pessimistic about government reform programs. They disappointed with EU leaders and blamed them for causing the crisis. The high number of votes won by far-right parties in the EP election reflects the loss of faith of EU voters.

Bumpy road ahead

The election results shocked up EU leaders. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the results as a political earthquake in the EU. Political analysts said the results indicate a situation which is likely to be even worse than the global economic crisis. EU leaders immediately convened a meeting in Brussels to discuss an antidote to the increasing extremism in the EU. The bloc needs immediate reform. French President Francois Hollande proposed a simple, transparent and effective EU structure while UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on EU leaders to improve the EU’s performance. President of the European Committee Jose Manuel Barosso said it’s high time for leaders of EU member countries to review their responsibility.

The EU needs drastic changes in its institutions to improve its performance. But so many far-right members in the EP, reform will not be easy. The EU is unlikely to find any consensus among its institutions. The far right parties that oppose EU integration may have an adverse effect on the Schengen Treaty of free travel, EU banking and financial activities, and its orders. After five years of struggling with public debt, the EU is now facing a new challenge of creating a consensus within the bloc.