The right wins. So does the left

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 27, 2019

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Submitted: May 27, 2019



The European Union has voted, and now the new Parliament seats have been given out. The voting rate was surprisingly good, over 50%, which is the best in a couple of decades. It was to be expected, because there have been two major forces rising in Europe lately: the Green parties and their emphasize on climate politics and overall environment, and the right non-EU, nationalist parties. It depends on the country which kind of party actually won, but there were both sides. For example, in Finland the largest party was the National Coalition (part of the EPP) but the Green Party was the winner, as their popularity opposed to the 2014 elections rose 5%. If you look at France, for example, Marine le Pen's and the National Rally's win, even if only slight from the current president Emmanuel Macron's party, is a major one. I personally had a rather exciting night, following the ice hockey gold game (we won, yay, I'm sorry Canada) and watching happily as the guy I voted for got through (Ville Niinistö from the Greens). 

The anti-EU parties such as EFDD and ENF got 114 MEPs altogether. The ENF is a new party, as it didn't exist five years ago in 2014. There is a third anti-EU party, the ECR, which got 58 MEPs this year, causing the right-wing supporters' number to be 172. Five years ago, the same number was 118, but without the ENF.

So yes, it is a win for the right-wing, which is a little worrying. Many of those seats belong to the British MEPs, and once they leave (who even knows when or ir anymore), their numbers will drop a little. If you ask my opinion, I don't think there being a lot of people who see the EU as a negative thing in the Parliament is a good thing. It's a little like if there were people in the US Congress that didn't the the US was a positive thing, but they rather wanted the states to be independent. Of course the EU isn't a federal state like the US, but it's a little bit like that. 

The largest party in the Parliament, EPP, lost this election, so to say. They had 221 MEPs in the last Parliament, now that number is only 179. They are a center party, maybe a little more right than left, but they are pro-EU, so to speak. Since it's a large party, there is variety inside it as well, as there are two parties from Finland that are in it too, and each MEP is an individual. The second loser was the S&D, the social democratic party, as they only got 150 seats, 41 less than five years ago. They are a left-wing party, but there are other parties that did win, and not all are nationalists.

The main one is the Greens/EFA. They gained 20 seats more than the 50 they got in 2014, and they were in many areas the most popular party. They are also very popular among the young adults, like me and many of my friends for example. The other party that requires to be mentioned is the Alda, which is a left-wing liberal party. They got 107 MEPs now, which is 40 more than last time. They are more to the center than the S&D for example, but they share same values as they and the Greens as well. 

I know this is all sounds confusing, and that's because it is. A parliament with 751 members from 8 countries and dozens of parties that then make up 10 larger croups is not easy to understand. Especially when most of the parties start with the word "European". It's confusing, and I couldn't write this without having three news articles and a few statistics form the European Parliament's webpage in front of me. Let me make the conclusion easier to understand and see what the parliament will look like, until the UK leaves.

751 seats. Ten parties or groups. There are four parties that are leftists (the Left, S&D, Greens/EFA and Alda). They have 365 MEPs, which is about 48,6 %. There are three right-wing parties (ECR, EDFF, ENF) that have 172 MEPs, which is about 22,9 %. 

That leaves us with the independents and others, which make up about 4,7 % of the parliament, 35 MEPs. There is also the largest party, EPP, which is a center/right party. They share more with the left though, as they are EU-positive for the most part. They also see that the environmental issues are important and therefore they will most likely agree with the left on many of those issues that come up. As they have many MEPs, they also have the most variety, so the votes in that political party will most likely be divided between more left and more right values, which will either make the left wing more powerful, as it already has almost half of the seats, or it will help the right wing and be a counterforce to the already powerful left. We will see, but for now, let's all be happy that the elections are over with and Finland won the hockey championship. 

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