European party politics in turmoil before EU elections

European party politics in turmoil before EU elections
By Stefan Grobe
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Cross-country alliances want to rock the boat - can they?


European party politics are in a turmoil before the EU elections.

In Hungary, for example, the opposition announced a common campaign, and they are thinking about a common election list - an unprecedented move in Hungarian politics to beat Orban, says Hungarian Social Democrat István Ujhelyi.

"There is the idea that the fight should be between two candidates, one from Orban's Fidesz Party and one common opposition candidate. Because in Hungary, a competitive multi-party democracy doesn't exist."

Orban's Fidesz Party warns that this election is all about migration. Those who don't see this, will lose, according to Tamás Deutsch, a Fidesz member of the European Parliament.

"Whenever there was an election in Europe recently, whether it was a local or a general election, we saw anti-immigration forces advancing. Forces that want to protect their populations."

Euroskeptic parties are trying to form alliances to run in the European elections.

Italian vice prime minister Matteo Salvini wants to join forces with the far right in Poland.

And the leader of the populist Five-Star Movement is inviting populists in Croatia and Finland, even the Yellow Vests in France.

But analysts at Vote Watch expect Euroskeptic forces to still be unable to rock the boat in parliament - mainly because of Brexit.

Doru Frantescu, director at Votewatch Europe: "If it wasn’t for Brexit the Euroskeptic forces in the next European Parliament would be much bigger. On one hand the eurosceptic are gaining ground on the continental Europe, but on the other hand they are loosing the British.

So these two trends and phenomenons are compensating each other and it will result in these Euroskeptic forces having pretty much the same portion of seats in the European Parliament as now.

It remains to be seen, though, who will have the last laugh.

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