Assessing The Far Right Victories In The European Parliament

French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting to assess the aftermath of the European Parliamentary elections in which the far right National Party garnered 25 percent of the vote.

While it came in a distant third, the showing was seen as an “earthquake.”

The results could prod governments to enact greater restrictions on migration and move farther away from the European Union, writes Gabriele Steinhauser in The Wall Street Journal.

“The first European elections after a yearslong debt crisis underline how unpopular bailouts and austerity measures have eroded the standing of an institution that helps govern more than 500 million people and one of the world’s biggest economies. Many voters say they blame the EU for mandating harsh spending cuts and economic overhauls that have contributed to high unemployment across the EU. The results also will put pressure on national governments to pull back powers from Brussels and demand curbs on migration between EU countries,” says Steinhauser.

The rise of the far right is raising the concerns of some in the Jewish community, particularly after two separate anti-Semitic incidents in Paris and Belgium.

What next? BBC columnist asserts that most concur the vote was primarily a protest vote by a European populace that is “restless, impatient for growth and jobs,” but he cautions against interpreting the protest as being “anti the idea of Europe itself.”

The elections merely reinvigorated an ongoing battle between those who support the EU and long-time antagonists.

“So the battle lines are drawn. There are those who insist that the lesson of the election is that Europe must reform – which might mean doing less and returning some powers to the nation states. Others regard ‘ever-closer union’ as manifest destiny and see the answer as lying in deeper integration,” Hewittt writes.

Boris Johnson of London’s Daily Telegraph argues the elections were a cry that the EU leaders in Brussels will be unable to ignore.

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