• Polina Tveleneva

European Parliament Election: Referendum on Europe


Source: https://www.southeusummit.com/europe/analysis-this-years-european-parliament-elections-can-reshape-the-eu/, copyright: andriano.cz /Shutterstock.com

More than a month after the European Parliament election, it seems not premature to say that the elections marked a turning point in the history of European integration. Most previous European parliamentary elections were either ignored by the majority of European citizens, as reflected in the steadily declining turnout [1], or used to protest against policies of national governments, as it was the case in the 2014 European election when Marine Le Pen’s National Front and the UK Independence Party delivered stunning blows to the mainstream political forces in their countries. [2][3] In 2019, amid all the challenges the EU is struggling to tackle, including Brexit, a rising China, US unpredictability and looming climate change, the European election was more than a second-order event or an opportunity for a protest voting. Instead, it was something of “a referendum on Europe”, as leader of the Italian Northern League Matteo Salvini put it.[4] Unlike in another infamous referendum, which took place in 2016, and which continues to rock Europe, this time European citizens clearly voted in favour of the EU.

Historically high turnout