Following the European Parliament subsequent elections a phrase “Europe has adhered to the Right” has become sounded within the Russian expert community as a fashionable refrain.It follows thence far-reaching conclusions about abrupt changes that EU policy will undergo now.
In fact, the situation is not as dramatic as many present.
And version about Europe “adhering to the Right” looks rather conventional. Let us say,we consider the eternal competition between two mainstream parties which are the center-right European Popular Party (EPP) and the center-left Social Democrats, the first has lost a significant number of seats while the latter has practically retained their positions and, respectively, strengthening themselves against principal competitors.
Whereas the far-left has won in certain countries (such as Greece). The extreme left has strengthened their positions in Spain, Germany, etc. In total, they will now take up to 6% of the seats in the European Parliament.
Speaking about the victory of the “far-right”, first of all, many analysts are pointing outthe stunning success of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) of Nigel Farage taking the first places in their countries.
They are rightly considered to be the right, but it is mistakenly refer to them as “far-right” and bracket them with the outspoken neo-Nazi parties like the Ukrainian “Svoboda” or the Greek “Golden Dawn”.
Both Le Pen and Farage have constantly refused to acknowledge the neo-Nazi sworn sister “Svoboda” and condemned any external manifestations of racism and xenophobia. In any case, the European Parliament has got only one deputy declaring himself a National Socialistopenly (remember that “Svobodova’s representatives” in Ukraine do not ashamed to call themselves social-nationalists that is, in fact, the same thing) and it is the leader of the far rightGerman Udo Voigt . Three members from the above “Golden Dawn” are might ascribed to the neo-Nazi. Here are their appearance in Brussels will certainly cause a lot of problems for prudish European deputies.
Most probably it needs to tell not about dramatic European Parliament “adhering to theright” but about the sharp radicalization of its poles and the strengthening of anti-European wing. Parties taking the leading positions in several countries (both right and left) have challenged establishment and the EU itself. On the anti-European rhetoric both UKIP and the National Front have won. Anti-European parties of various kinds will now take up to a third of seats in the European Parliament (according to the «Open Europe» fund: 229 of the 751 seats!).
But let us not to forget that two-thirds of seats are remained by the pro-European! Accordingly, it is not necessary to expect a sharp reversal of EU foreign policy that is so waitingfor many Russian commentators.
Anti-Europeans having critical approach regarding the role of the EU bureaucracy arestill remaining separated. And it is not the fact that efforts on creation a powerful factionundertaken by Le Pen will succeed. For this it should dial a group of a minimum of 25 members representing do not less than 7 countries.
Let’s consider it will succeed with number of members as only its National Front hasgot 24 seats. Leading the preparatory work on the establishment of such a coalition, Le Pen relied on the Dutch sworn sisters from “Freedom Party” confidently leading according to all the polls in the Netherlands in December.
However, the Dutch anti-Europeans have suddenly lost with a crash finishing a humiliating third place (that was not a result of their anti-European rhetoric affected, but internal squabbles and serious split inside their party happened before the last month and a half before the election).
Initially Le Pen seriously hoped for an alliance with UKIP (they can take the same 24 seats). However Farage was constantly refusing to undertake of union with the French; Britishwere frightened off with anti-Islamic component in the National Front rhetoric.
Perhaps, the main intrigue will be the future fate of this possible coalition. If French and British critics of EU will unite, anti-European group may become very influential in the European Parliament.
At the same time I would like to emphasize that both Le Pen and Farage are categorically rejecting the possibility of any kind of cooperation with the Greek or German neo-Nazis.
Once again: even possible creation of a powerful anti-European coalition headed by thecouple Le Pen – Farage will not lead to a drastic change in European foreign policy.
Therefore we cannot expect that EU actions regarding Russia or Ukrainian crisis will become quite different.
However, both Le Pen and Farage spoke highly about Putin’s actions and sharply criticized the European Union for their actions of Ukraine during their election campaign.
Even more sharply leaders of the left in Germany and Greece were criticizing its actions; they has directly accused Brussels in supporting the Nazi coup in Kiev (and together these parties will hold 13 seats).
Respectively, hitherto marginal voices in support of Russia on the rostrum of the European Parliament may begin to sound much more frequently and loudly. It does not fundamentally change the overall policy of Brussels, but may contribute to breakthrough of information blockade around the Ukrainian crisis, and create obstacles on the way of “European integration” of such countries as Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other of that ilk.