European election 2019 - this time will be different

European election 2019 - this time will be different
By Stefan Grobe
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

People go to the polls against a backdrop of profound changes


In 100 days, Europeans go to the polls - and this time will be different.

Migration, Brexit and social networks have radically changed the public debate about what Europe can, should and must do - or not.

The debate led to populists mushrooming all across the continent, weakening the existing political architecture, says Doru Frantescu, CEO and co-founder of VoteWatchEurope, a Brussels-based think tank.

"We will see a bigger fragmentation of the parliament so the big two groups will be smaller and the smaller groups will become bigger that means it will be much harder

to make coalitions that the majorities in the next parliament will have to have more people at the table to reach a majority."

The new chamber is poised to look like nothing ever seen before - there is the risk that anti-European parties could gain a paralyzing minority status.

That could potentially energize the political debate over Europe.

"I would expect the turnout to be bigger this time because Europe has been much more of a salient subject in the agendas of the member states both by euroskeptics and pro-Europeans. There have been a lot of crises dealt with by the EU, and the public knows this, maybe some of them liked it, some of them didn't like it but they have a view."

Europe's political landscape has profoundly changed over the past legislative term - norm breakers are challenging the gate keepers of tradition and stability.

Did everybody play it by the rules?

People are aware of disinformation campaigns in the past, says the EU Parliament's spokesman, Jaume Duch.

"I think European citizens have been flooded with very bad information through digital platforms and the like. But they are aware of it. Now we need to get back to normal sources of information provided by professional media."

Yet, there is the darkness of the cyberspace with potentially new disinformation and election meddling coming our way.

This time may be different, but we've seen it all before.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Eurosceptic parties could win a third of seats or more in May elections: Study

Facebook vows to fight fake news, foreign interference in EU elections

France: Yellow vests to run in European elections