Countdown to the European vote: Expectations on the last stretch

May 27, 2024

As we gear up for the 2024-2029 European Parliament elections, the stakes couldn't be higher. With the potential to not only shape the composition of the new EP but also influence the selection of the next European Commission President, the power lies in the hands of the voters across the EU member states.

The question now becomes: will the gravity of these stakes drive more Europeans to the polls on election day? And what are the policy ramifications if radical right forces indeed experience a surge in support? Equally important is how the political mainstream in Europe should strategize for the impending mandate.

These are the pressing issues that our distinguished speakers, including myself, have delved into during this Policy Dialogue. Drawing upon insights from the recent EPC-Eulytix publication titled 'The European Parliament elections 2024: getting more jitters from the mainstream than the far-right,' we've engaged in a robust discussion on the future trajectory of European politics."

Here are the 7 ideas I shared:

1. "European politics is increasingly resembling Eurovision, with alliances and performances that play into identity politics [rather than content]."

2. "The European Parliament, to its credit, is far better at communicating the get-out-the-vote campaign and engaging in global issues."

3. "We see an increasing distinction between those who question the system and those who are unhappy with the *decisions* of the system."

4. "We should not be stuck in our Brussels bubble but listen to the diverse trends, priorities, and voices of Europeans."

5. "Foreign policy, like Ukraine, shows a clear divide between some components of ID and ECR, e.g. the Polish Law and Justice party, which is relatively pro-Atlantic and pro-Ukraine [compared to some of its regional peers]."

6. "The severity of the problem with Russian [and other] interference is not properly understood or taken seriously enough even though it has massive implications for the EU's very existence."

7. "EU institutional reform is essential, especially decision-making reform, to make the EU more effective with [the possibility of an] expanding membership to 30+ countries."