European Parliament Elections: Old Continent Turning Right
Elena PONOMAREVA | 27.05.2014 | WORLD / Europe

European Parliament Elections: Old Continent Turning Right

The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union. On May 22-25, 2014 it held its first election after the Lisbon Treaty came into force on December 1, 2009. The event made surface problems that had been smoldering for a long time turning into burning issues as the Ukraine’s crisis flared. The Parliament has wide representation – 751 members MEPs (MEP-member of European Parliament) coming from 28 countries though it can hardly drastically change the EU policy. According to the election results, the process of Europe going right has taken an irreversible turn reflecting the people’s sentiments. 

The EU members have proportional representation depending on the population of a country. Germany boasts 96 seats leaving behind France with 74, Italy and Great Britain – 73 each, Spain – 54, Poland – 51, Romania – 32, the Netherlands – 26, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and the Czech Republic – 21 each, Sweden- 20, Austria – 18, Bulgaria – 17, Denmark – 13, Finland -13, Slovakia – 13, Ireland – 11, Lithuania – 11, Croatia – 11, Latvia – 8, Slovenia – 8, Estonia, Luxemburg, Malta and Cyprus – 6 each. New parliamentary groups will be formed by the end of June, but the general correlation of forces is clear. 

The election will go down in history as a stunning gain for Eurosceptics – the far-right demanding to curtail immigration flows, restore national boundaries and return the sovereignty of state. They want to leave the eurozone and adopt independent economic policy. 

Before this election the right wing MEPs had been conditionally divided into Eurosceptics united around the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a conservative, anti-federalist and Eurosceptic political group, comprising UK Conservative Party (around half of the group’s strength), and the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD), a right-wing Eurosceptic political group, including UK Independence Party – UKIP, which accounted for half of group’s members, and the Italian Northern League. The EFD is most hostile to European integration among all the groups in the European Parliament.

 The European Alliance for Freedom Party is expected to expand comprising the French National Front led by Marine Le Pen and the Dutch Party of Freedom headed by Geert Wilders. According to estimates, the European Alliance for Freedom may include 38 MEPs representing seven countries. Popular enough, the National Front has so far failed to become a leader of parliamentary group as it was unable to comply with the condition which envisions overcoming the threshold of minimum 25 MEPs from at least seven member - states.

The turn for the right in many EU member states reflects the rejection of globalist policy aimed at elimination of European traditional values related to the Christian faith, family and national homeland…

Before the European politics were dominated by centre-right European People’s Party (EPP, 274 seats), centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D, 196 seats) and liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE, 83 seats). They formed coalitions from time to time depending on the issue discussed. For instance, on social welfare the EPP normally joined the British Conservatives or even the far-right. On European integration it cooperated with Socialists. According to first estimations, these groups will retain their leading positions. 

According to PollWatch2014, the European People’s Party will get 217 seats, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats – 201, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe - 59, the far left wing European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) – 53, the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) – 44, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) – 40. Independent MEPs from radical parties are to get 95 seats representing the Party for Freedom (the Netherlands), the Movement for a Better Hungary (Hungary), the National Front (France), Attack (Bulgarian nationalist party), the Freedom Party of Austria, the Flemish Interest (Belgium) and some others. 

By and large the forecasts were correct. With 43 percent of votes cast, the European People’s Party is expected to gain 211 seats, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats - 193, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – 61, Greens – 58, United Left – 47, the European Conservatives and Reformists – 39, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy – 33. Independent MEPs are to win 40 seats, while 56 seats going to the new group allegedly to be formed. 

The new group includes the National Front led by Marine Le Pen. This is the party’s first victory and it is sweeping. As exit polls show, Le Pen got 25% of French votes in comparison with the Socialist Party which suffered a crashing defeat with 14, 7% rolling down to the third place in national election. The National Front may receive 23-25 seats in the European Parliament and lead a newly formed group if joined by allies which is a likely occurrence. 

 The triumph of French National Front is doomed to influence the composition of European Commission, the executive body of the European Union responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union’s treaties and day-to-day running of the Union. The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 says there is a direct link between the Parliament election results and the composition of the Commission including the position of its President. 

Greens and the European Conservatives and Reformists are also forces to reckon with. In some cases they may side with the right wing MEPs. They have already presented their candidates for the President’s position. The Greens nominated two candidates at once - German Ska Keller and well-known French anti-globalist José Bové. This time the Eurosceptics refused to take part in the election of the European Commission’s President to avoid abusing the European legislation as they say. 

A presidential candidate is to get support of at least 376 MEPs in order to win. It’s possible only on the condition the Socialists and the centre-right form a coalition. The new group could influence the election outcome for the positions of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Parliament. There are informal quotas for EU top positions. That is the way to express gratitude to East European states who serve not only Brussels and Strasburg, but also their bosses in Washington. Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is a leading candidate for the position of European Foreign and Security Policy Chief. Another factor influencing European politics is gender policy: women must be represented in EU structures no matter if their professionalism is up to par or not. 

The EU foreign policy is an issue of special interest. The MEPs ratify international agreements. They will have to approve the association agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The issue of Ukrainian crisis is hot on the agenda and it is directly linked to relationship between the European Union and Russia. There is a distinct division between the MEPs who favor good relationship with the Russian Federation and who oppose it advocating hostile attitude. The far right parliamentarians are likely to take a pro-Russian stand on Ukraine. They will probably oppose the cultural policy which has started to take the most repugnant forms, especially if one remembers Concita Wurst winning the Eurovision contest. The head of Washington Post's London bureau chief says European far right and far left parties make no secret of their admiration for Russian leader, whom they see as an ideological soul mate someone the contemporary Europe lacks so much. They view Russian President Putin as kind of a symbol for those who strive to protect the traditional relationship between a man and a woman, parents and children. 

The traditional values have become a yardstick for voters and an anti-thesis to the so called European values. Article 2 (Title I) of the European Union Treaty says «The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail». This maxim is hardly a heritage of European civilization only, for instance take the «respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights» – all these things have been rooted in the Russian civilization since ancient times. But this time it is not the issue in focus. The problem is that European bureaucrats desecrate these values daily and do it in the most hypocritical and perverse way. Painting itself as a leading defender of the human rights. The European Union allows itself a selective approach, to put it mildly, when tackling the rights issue in practice. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Report issued a report on ensuring human rights in the European Union. It was released in December 2013. The paper adduces many facts of systematic human rights violations in the European Union member states. 

The European Union clearly underestimates the threat of Neo-Nazism (the heroization of former Waffen-SS legionnaires in Latvia and Estonia, the activities of underground movement in Germany, the Neo-Nazi Objekt 21 group Object 21 in Austria etc.). In some cases the EU justifies their activities referring to the freedom of expression as people’s inalienable right. 

As Neo-Nazi movement is on the rise in Europe itself, so the public opinion is neither stunned nor concerned by the brutal mass elimination of civilians in Ukraine (the repetition of Khatyn in Odessa, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Slavyansk). The Europeans have a different headache – the growing support of Brussels for sex minorities. Homosexualism is painted as a universal norm of life and marriages of people belonging to the same become a legal norm. They say it’s natural, it’s good thing, so they want «these values» become universally legalized at government level. The perverse vision of moral norms goes too far becoming an outright absurd. The European Union was not so much worried by the death toll resulting from the flood in Serbia but by the cancellation of gay parade in Belgrade! 

The protection of gays’ rights has become a priority for all human rights institutions in Europe. It implies the destruction of traditional way of life, rejection of the historic heritage; it facilitates the process of personal degradation and leads to the annihilation of humanity as it is. In the schools of Germany and Norway little children are taught that homosexual relationship is a natural thing, they have opened a BDSM public house in Hamburg, a special brothel in Hessen for sodomites who prefer sex with animals, in the Netherlands they have legalized the Party for Neighbourly Love, Freedom and Diversity or the Charity, commonly known as "pedopartij" ("pedo party") in the media. They delete words father and mother in identification papers in favor of the terms parent 1 and parent 2. What is left of human self-esteem in the contemporary Europe? As the continent downgrades, it evokes indignation among morally healthy Europeans making them support right wing parties and died-in-the-wool conservatives. 

There are other issues on the agenda that raise concern among all the strata of European society. For instance the secret jails of the US Central Intelligence Agency, where they keep the people suspected of terrorist activities, the violations of migration laws, the ban on freedom of movement etc. 

Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights bans the propaganda of war. It says distinctly that, «prohibition of any propaganda for war as well as any advocacy of national or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence by law». Some European Union members interpret this article in their own way finding subterfuges to justify their refusal to strictly comply. For instance, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland, France and Sweden make reservations to the effect of the article and refuse to adopt corresponding laws under the pretext it would contradict the right of freedom of speech and restrict the expression of opinion. As a global structure, the European Union has become a mechanism for destruction of traditional values which are two thousand years old. The May 2014 election turned the tide to the right. It’s a reflection of protest staged by morally healthy Europeans struggling against the tendency aimed at undermining the basis of human existence.