The eurosceptic wind is blowing over the next European elections, according to the first polls published by the European Parliament
Italian far right party the League is expected to see the biggest increase in its MEPs, become the second largest national party overall, following Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union. Italy's 5 Star Movement, Marine Le Pen's French National Rally, Hungary's ruling Fidesz party and the AFD in Germany are all expected to make gains.
Still, traditional parties will almost certainly dominate the biggest groups despite significant losses, with the conservative European People's Party (which includes Fidesz) likely to hold more than a quarter of seats and the main socialist grouping just under a fifth.
Speaking to Euronews the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó said he wishes to find allies in the next parliament to shape a tougher policy on migration.
“Our hope, our target, is that after the European parliamentarian elections the anti-migration approach will be in majority in all European institutions. So for us the anti-migration majority is the most important and we, Hungary, will contribute to that”
But eurosceptics are not the only ones gaining ground. Liberals are also expected to push their share of the Parliament up to 11% from 9%, turning this election into a battle between liberals and illiberal forces.
The socialists, on the contrary, could see biggest loss (-51 seats) . The party seems to be at the edge of a cliff but this is how their candidate, Frans Timmermans, justifies that:
“For 150 years socialists have been on the edge of the cliff, that’s where we live. But also on the edge of the cliff is where the most beautiful flowers can be collected and that’s what we will do as socialists: we will always fight. We always look at the edge of the cliff because we have so much to fight for”
The total number of seats in the parliament is dropping to 705 from 751 as UK MEPs depart following Brexit.
Nevertheless the polls show that most Europeans (68%) believe that EU membership of their country is a good idea. A sign that citizens still want the EU but with a more national approach.
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