22.4 C
Ljubljana
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Analysis of The European Parliament elections in Slovenia and Europe

By: Andrej Vastl

The European Parliament elections held on June 9, 2024, were more than just a selection of representatives for the next legislative term; they were a barometer of broader political, economic, and social trends in the European Union. With the participation of member states, this political event marked a key moment to assess civic engagement and the orientation of political preferences on a continental level.

In light of the diverse political outcomes across member states, the analysis of election results revealed significant shifts in power among major political groups, indicating a restructuring of the European political landscape. The prominence of right-wing political ideologies is particularly noteworthy, as they have attracted a substantial share of the electorate, possibly expressing concerns about migration, security, and national sovereignty.

Elections in Slovenia

In analyzing the concluded European Parliament elections held on June 9, 2024, it is important to consider various factors influencing the political dynamics. The election results indicate a noticeable shift of the electorate towards the right side of the political spectrum. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) won the most votes and mandates, signaling a growing support for right-wing policies.

The results thus show strong support for right-wing political parties, which can be interpreted as a reflection of the increasing desire for political stability and economic growth. With the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) clearly dominating, it reflects the trust of voters in their program and ability to lead in challenging times.

Maintaining the current political and economic direction is expected to further strengthen the presence of the right wing, potentially leading to greater economic competitiveness, reduced bureaucracy, and more effective migration policies. This trend will contribute to greater internal stability and the strengthening of national identity, which is crucial for maintaining sovereignty and security within the EU.

Analysis of the shift in political sentiment

The increase in right-wing influence in several EU member states indicates a significant shift in political sentiment towards conservative, nationalist, and center-right policies. This trend is a clear response to growing dissatisfaction with existing liberal and center-left policies and an increased focus on issues such as national sovereignty, migration, and security. Right-wing parties like Fidesz-KDNP in Hungary, PiS in Poland, and FPÖ in Austria have successfully mobilized a broad voter base by emphasizing traditional values, stricter migration policies, and economic reforms that promote competitiveness.

One of the key factors contributing to the rise of the right wing is the increased concern for national sovereignty. Right-wing parties often highlight the dangers of excessive integration and centralization of power in Brussels. By advocating for greater autonomy of individual member states, these parties offer an alternative to policies perceived as too globalist and detached from the real needs of citizens. Emphasizing national interests and identity brings a sense of security and belonging, which is particularly important in times of rapid global change and uncertainty.

In addition to national sovereignty, right-wing parties are also focused on stricter migration policies. Increased migration has caused feelings of unease and threat among local populations in many countries. Right-wing parties emphasize the need for stricter border control, regulation of migration flows, and ensuring that the rights and obligations of migration policies align with national interests. This approach brings a sense of security and order, which is attractive to many voters.

Economic reforms are another important aspect advocated by right-wing parties. Promoting competitiveness, reducing bureaucracy, and creating incentives for entrepreneurship are key elements of their programs. Right-wing parties argue that such policies lead to greater economic growth, job creation, and overall prosperity. Reducing regulatory barriers and promoting a free market can create a dynamic business environment that attracts investments and fosters innovation.

Despite the positive aspects, it is crucial to maintain a balance between national interests and common European values. The European Union must avoid polarization that could undermine cohesion and stability. While the right wing brings fresh perspectives and solutions to some of the key challenges, it is important that these policies do not weaken the fundamental European values of solidarity, unity, and human rights. Only with such a balance can the European Union ensure sustainable growth, security, and prosperity for all its citizens.

To successfully navigate this political shift, the European Union will need open and constructive dialogue among all political actors. Including diverse perspectives and finding compromises will be key to shaping policies that meet the needs and expectations of all EU citizens. This will allow for the positive aspects of the right-wing orientation to be harnessed while preserving the values that are the foundation of the European project.

Why the eu has shifted to the right

In recent years, the European Union has experienced a noticeable political shift marked by increasing support for right-wing parties. This shift was clearly reflected in the European Parliament elections held on June 9, 2024, where right-wing parties achieved significant successes. Understanding the reasons for this shift requires an in-depth analysis of key factors, including migration flows, economic policies, social values, and issues of national sovereignty. Additionally, it is important to examine specific cases, such as Slovenia, where election results showed a clear inclination of the electorate towards the right side of the political spectrum.

Migration crisis and security

The migration crisis that has affected Europe since 2015 is one of the main factors driving the shift to the right. The uncontrolled influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia has put significant pressure on European borders and exposed weaknesses in existing migration and asylum policies. Right-wing parties have capitalized on these concerns, proposing stricter migration policies, including better border control, more effective return of illegal migrants, and reducing the inflow of new migrants.

Voters concerned about security and cultural identity have turned to right-wing parties, which promise better migration management and protection of national sovereignty. Slovenia, where the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) advocated stricter migration policies, illustrates how this issue can mobilize voters. Slovenia, located on the Balkan migration route, is particularly sensitive to migration issues, increasing support for parties advocating security measures and better migration management.

Economic freedom and regulation

Economic policy is another key factor in the shift to the right. Right-wing parties often advocate for economic policies based on lower taxes, less regulation, and greater economic freedom. Their core philosophy is that less government intervention promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth.

In many EU member states, economic stagnation or slow growth has caused dissatisfaction among voters. In Slovenia, where economic growth is a key issue, voters are more inclined to support parties that promise economic reforms and tax reduction. Right-wing parties argue that by reducing regulation and promoting entrepreneurship, they will create more jobs and increase competitiveness in the global market. This approach reflects a broader belief that market solutions are more effective in promoting economic dynamism than government interventions.

Family and traditional values

Social values play a significant role in shaping voters’ political preferences. Right-wing parties often emphasize the importance of family, tradition, and religion, which is particularly important in countries with strong religious and cultural traditions.

In Slovenia, right-wing parties such as SDS and New Slovenia – Christian Democrats (NSi) advocate policies that protect the traditional family and promote religious values. They believe that the family is the cornerstone of society and that traditional values must be protected from modern social changes often marked by liberalism and secularization. Emphasizing traditional values reflects a broader societal need for stability and continuity in times of rapid social change.

National sovereignty and euroscepticism

National sovereignty is another important factor influencing the shift to the right. Right-wing parties often advocate for strengthening national sovereignty and reducing dependence on supranational institutions like the EU. This approach includes skepticism towards some aspects of European integration, which they see as infringing on national autonomy.

In recent years, we have witnessed a rise in Euroscepticism in many EU member states. Voters are increasingly concerned about the EU’s influence on national legislation, economy, and migration policy. Right-wing parties advocating stronger national sovereignty have managed to harness these concerns and gain support from voters who feel alienated from European institutions. Examples like Brexit illustrate how strong this sense of alienation can be and how it can lead to radical political decisions.

Slovenia – shift to the right in elections

The results of the recent European Parliament elections in Slovenia offer a concrete example of the electorate’s shift to the right. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) won the most votes and mandates, indicating a growing support for right-wing policies. The election results show that voters favor parties advocating stricter migration policies, economic reforms, and traditional social values.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
SLOVENSKA DEMOKRATSKA STRANKA – SDS 4 204.544 30,82 %
GIBANJE SVOBODA 2 147.854 22,10 %
VESNA – ZELENA STRANKA 1 70.255 10,48 %
SOCIALNI DEMOKRATI – SD 1 51.535 7,71 %
NOVA SLOVENIJA – KRŠČANSKI DEMOKRATI 1 51.096 7,70 %
SLS – SLOVENSKA LJUDSKA STRANKA 0 47.925 7,25 %
LEVICA 0 30.890 4,67 %
RESNI.CA 0 26.348 3,97 %
DeSUS – DD 0 14.573 2,20 %
ZS – ZELENI SLOVENIJE 0 10.494 1,58 %
DRUGE STRANKE 0 10.102 1,52 %

This shift is not an isolated instance but reflects broader trends in Europe, where voters are increasingly turning to right-wing parties due to concerns about migration, economic policy, traditional values, and national sovereignty.

Sweden – Election results and political diversity

The results of the European Parliament elections in Sweden highlight the diversity of the political landscape, where the Social Democrats (S) secured the most seats with 24.90% of the votes, followed by the Moderates (M) with 17.50%. The Greens (Miljöpartiet de gröna) and the right-wing party Sweden Democrats (SD) also secured significant support with 13.80% and 13.20% of the votes respectively.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Socialdemokraterna (S) 5 24,90 %
Moderaterna (M) 4 17,50 %
Miljöpartiet de gröna (MP) 3 13,80 %
Sverigedemokraterna (SD) 3 13,20 %
Vänsterpartiet (V) 2 10,90 %
Centerpartiet (C) 2 7,30 %
Kristdemokraterna (KD) 1 5,70 %
Liberalerna (L) 1 4,40 %
Druge stranke 0 2,30 %

 

Finland – Strong support for center-right parties

In Finland, the National Coalition Party (KOK) secured the most seats with 24.80% of the votes, indicating the dominance of center-right orientation. Left-wing parties like the Left Alliance (VAS) also achieved significant success with 17.30% of the votes, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) secured 2 seats with 14.90% of the votes.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Kansallinen Kokoomus/Samlingspartiet (KOK) 4 24,80 %
Vasemmistoliitto/Vänsterförbundet (VAS) 3 17,30 %
Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (SDP) 2 14,90 %
Suomen Keskusta/Center i Finland (KESK) 2 11,80 %
Vihreä liitto/Gröna Förbundet (VIHR) 2 11,30 %
Perussuomalaiset/Sannfinländarna (PS) 1 7,60 %
Svenska folkpartiet i Finland (SFP/RKP) 1 6,20 %
Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit (KD) 0 4,60 %
Druge stranke 0 1,50 %

 

Slovakia – Dominance of left and progressive parties

In Slovakia, the Progressive Slovakia (PS) secured the most seats with 27.80% of the votes, indicating strong support for progressive policies. It was followed by Smer – Social Democracy with 24.80% of the votes, reflecting the dominance of left-wing politics in the country.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Progresívne Slovensko (PS) 6 27,80 %
Smer (sociálna demokracia) 5 24,80 %
Republika 2 12,50 %
Hlas (sociálna demokracia) 0 7,20 %
Kresťanskodemokratické hnutie (KDH) 1 7,10 %
Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS) 0 4,90 %
Demokrati 0 4,70 %
Aliancia 0 3,90 %
Slovensko, Za ľudí (S-ZL) 0 2,00 %
Slovenská národná strana (SNS) 0 1,90 %
Zdravý rozum 0 0,90 %
Kotleba (ĽSNS) 0 0,50 %
Druge stranke 0 1,80 %

 

Romania – Strong coalition of center-left and center parties

In Romania, the coalition of PSD-PNL prevailed with the majority of votes, indicating strong support for center-left and center policies. The Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) and the United Right Alliance also play significant roles in the political landscape.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Alianța PSD – PNL 21 53,00 %
AUR 6 15,00 %
Alianța Dreapta Unită 4 11,00 %
UDMR/RMDSZ 2 5,00 %
REPER 0 3,00 %
SOS 0 3,00 %
PUSL 0 2,00 %
Druge stranke 0 8,00 %

 

Portugal – Bipolar political landscape

In Portugal, the leading parties, Partido Socialista (PS) and Aliança Democrática (AD), achieved nearly equal results, highlighting a bipolar political landscape. The right-wing party CHEGA (CH) also plays a significant role.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Partido Socialista (PS) 8 32,10 %
Aliança Democrática (AD) 7 31,12 %
CHEGA (CH) 2 9,79 %
Iniciativa Liberal (IL) 2 9,07 %
Bloco de Esquerda (BE) 1 4,25 %
Coligação Democrática Unitária (CDU) 1 4,12 %
LIVRE (L) 0 3,75 %
Pessoas-Animais-Natureza (PAN) 0 1,22 %
Druge stranke 0 4,58 %

 

Poland – High polarization of political landscape

In Poland, the two largest parties, Koalicja Obywatelska (KO) and Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS), have garnered nearly equal support, highlighting a highly polarized political landscape. Konfederacja and Lewica also hold significant portions of the vote.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Koalicja Obywatelska (KO) 20 37,40 %
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) 20 35,70 %
Konfederacja 6 11,80 %
Trzecia Droga 4 7,30 %
Lewica 3 6,60 %
Bezpartyjni Samorządowcy (BS) 0 0,80 %
Druge stranke 0 0,40 %

 

Austria – Strong presence of right-wing and center-left parties

In Austria, the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) achieved the most seats, followed closely by the Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ), reflecting a diverse political landscape with strong right-wing and center-left presence.

Candidate List Number of Mandates Percentage of Votes
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) 6 25,70 %
Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) 5 24,70 %
Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ) 5 23,20 %
Die Grünen (GRÜNE) 2 10,70 %
Das neue Europa (NEOS) 2 9,90 %
Kommunistische Partei Österreichs (KPÖ) 0 2,90 %
Druge stranke 0 2,90 %

 

European People’s Party (EPP)

The European People’s Party (EPP) has maintained a strong influence in the European Parliament, with significant contributions from key parties across various member states. For instance, parties such as KO in Poland and KOK in Finland have secured notable victories, reinforcing the EPP’s position as a crucial player in shaping European policies. The stability and consistency brought by the EPP ensure continuity in efforts towards economic growth, security, and cooperation among member states.

Country
Party
Number of Seats (EPP)
Poland KO 20
Hungary Fidesz-KDNP 8
Romania PSD-PNL 8+1+2 =11
Italy FdI 8
Portugal PS 7
Sweden M + KD 4+1=5
Austria ÖVP 5
Finland KOK 4
Slovenia SDS +NSI 4+1= 5
Netherlands CDA 3+1+1 =5
Lithuania TS-LKD 3
Luxembourg CSV/PCS 2
Latvia JV 2
Cyprus DISY 2
Slovakia PS 1
Malta PN/NP 3
Croatia HDZ 6
France LR 6
Spain PP 22
Greece ND/NA 7
Estonia Isamaa 2
Germany CDU/CSU 29
Denmark KF+LA 2
Czech Republic SPOLU 5
Bulgaria GERB+PP 6
Belgium Les 4

Interpretation of the rise of the right-wing in the EU parliament

 

The rise of the right-wing in the European Parliament following the 2024 elections represents a significant shift in political sentiment across the European Union. The successes of parties such as Fidesz in Hungary, PiS in Poland, and FPÖ in Austria indicate growing support for conservative and nationalist policies. This trend is not merely a reaction to current political conditions but reflects deeper changes in the social and economic needs and values of EU citizens.

Political background and reasons for the shift

Migration and Security: The increasing migration flows have caused substantial changes in the political climate across Europe. Concerns about security, cultural integration, and the economic burden associated with migration have been among the main factors contributing to the rise of right-wing support. Stricter migration policies advocated by right-wing parties promise better control of border crossings and more effective management of migration flows, which is expected to enhance citizens’ security.

Economic policy: Economic stagnation and slow growth have caused dissatisfaction among voters who seek alternatives to traditional center-left policies. Right-wing parties offer solutions in the form of lower taxes, reduced regulation, and the promotion of entrepreneurship. These policies aim to stimulate economic growth, increase competitiveness, and create jobs, which is particularly important in times of economic uncertainty.

National sovereignty: Increased Euroscepticism has led to greater support for parties advocating for strengthened national sovereignty. Voters concerned about the EU’s influence on national legislation and sovereignty have generally turned to right-wing parties that promise greater autonomy for member states and reduced influence of supranational institutions.

Potential Directions for a Better, Secure, and Competitive European Union

Balancing national and european interests: To ensure cohesion and stability, it is crucial to balance national interests with shared European values. The EU must promote dialogue and cooperation among member states and ensure that EU policies reflect the specific needs and concerns of individual countries.

Stricter migration policies: More effective management of migration flows is crucial for ensuring security and stability. The EU will need to develop a comprehensive strategy for managing migration, including stricter control mechanisms at external borders, improved asylum procedures, and more effective return of illegal migrants. Additionally, the EU must cooperate with countries of origin and transit to address the root causes of migration.

Economic reforms: Promoting economic growth and competitiveness is essential for the future of the EU. This includes reducing bureaucracy, encouraging innovation and technological development, and creating a favorable business environment. The EU must invest in infrastructure, education, and research to strengthen its global competitiveness and maintain its geopolitical space in the world order.

Strengthening security and defense policy: Increased focus on security and defense issues is crucial for the collective security structure of Europe. The EU must strengthen cooperation in security and defense, including improving crisis management capabilities, enhancing intelligence cooperation, and developing joint military capabilities.

Balanced approach to green transition and energy efficiency: While the green transition is necessary for a sustainable future, it is important that this transition is carried out in a balanced and economically sustainable manner. The EU must promote the transition to renewable energy sources and emission reductions with a more realistic and feasible agenda while ensuring that this does not cause economic shocks or recessions. Supporting innovations and technologies that enable sustainable economic growth is crucial. It is also essential to increase energy efficiency by introducing smart grids, improving building energy efficiency, and encouraging energy-efficient practices in industry. There should be a focus on renewable energy sources with the highest energy density to realistically support processes in Industry 5.0.

Gradual green transition: A gradual and coordinated green transition is key to preventing economic disruptions. Gradual implementation of environmental policies that allow for economic and workforce adaptation will ensure that the transition to sustainable energy sources does not negatively impact the economy. This includes supporting the retraining of the workforce and sectors affected by the transition and ensuring necessary funding for innovations and technological development in green industries.

 

In conclusion, the rise of the right-wing in the European Parliament signals a clear change in political sentiment within the EU. The successes of right-wing parties such as Fidesz in Hungary, PiS in Poland, and FPÖ in Austria reflect growing support for conservative and nationalist policies that emphasize member state sovereignty, stricter migration policies, and economic reforms. This shift will positively impact Europe if implemented in a way that maintains a balance between national interests and shared European values. It is crucial for the EU to continue dialogue and cooperation to ensure cohesion and stability and to prepare for future challenges with clear strategies for security, economic development, sustainability, and energy efficiency.

Share

Latest news

Related news