The recent elections for the European elections have indicated that the European Union is not as together anymore. Many of the member states voted for euroskeptic parties, including the UK Independence Party and the Front National in France. However, the good news for those who are for the joining of the states is that the number of euroskeptics in the parliament has not upset the balance—this time.
Around one quarter of the European Parliament seats were won by anti-EU parties in various member states. In the United Kingdom, 28 percent of the vote went to the UK Independence Party, which is the first time a non-mainstream party has won an election since 1906. While there are now concerns in the UK regarding this vote, there is not the major concern in the European Union. There were still over 25 percent of the vote going to both Labour and the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats a little further behind.
Most people expected the anti-Europe parties, which have been dubbed protest parties, to do well. There have been growing debates over the last few years regarding the human rights laws causing issues for deportation in countries, and also immigration laws set out by Brussels. The issue is not with Europe itself, but the way that the Union is governed and the way that all member states must abide by the legislation passed. It is something that people within the member states resent.
The question that many people ask is whether the European Union is not as together anymore. They want to know how the parliament will be affected now that there are euroskeptic parties sitting in a quarter of the seats. They also want to know how it will affect the individual country governments.
One of the biggest concerns is how quickly new legislation can be passed by the politicians. It is very likely that more questions will be raised over the bills, and it will take longer for agreements to be made. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The member state representatives will spend more time making sure any legislation is in favor for its own people. This is extremely important when it comes to the European Union. The legislation will affect the way the member states’ own governments can rule their countries. It could mean that countries refuse to sign treaties if that is in the best interest for the member states.
When it comes to domestic politics, it will likely not affect that much. The main thing that will come out of this is that mainstream parties will have to reconsider their policies and manifestos. It is clear that the people of France and the UK want change. They are fed up of governments not listening to them, and this protest vote has shown that.
Three-quarters of the seats are still made up from pro-EU parties. Many of the member states are still in favor of this union, and want to see it succeed. It has been a case of a small number of people wanting to see the legislators act in the best interests for their own countries, and has been a chance to show that there are some issues within the system that need fixing. It certainly does not mean that the European Union is not as together anymore as it once was.
By Alexandria Ingham