Pierre Moscovici who is the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs revealed his fears that the 2019 elections for European Parliament could be the straw that breaks the EU’s back. For years, the EU had long fought the onslaught of nationalism. However, since 2016, the surge of nationalism has remained strong and is on the precipice of changing the EU landscape as well as the rest of Europe:
“The upcoming European elections are probably the most important yet. The question we must ask ourselves is, ‘Do we continue on this European adventure by combating nationalism or do we give in to nationalism?’
“A lot is at stake in the elections. Do we say, ‘enough’ or do we push for more? Do we continue to call ourselves ‘European’? Are we capable, in a world ruled by the likes of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping to say that we have a European model that is the right mix of economic efficiency and social justice?”
A telling statistic came out during a poll conducted in July which revealed that the Eurosceptic parties could increase their numbers in the EU Parliament by more than 60 percent during the 2019 elections.
The study was conducted by Reuters and was based on national opinion polls covering various areas in a total of 27 EU states. The result of the polls showed that the rise in nationalist ideology has become significant and cannot be ignored. Put simply, there are more Eurosceptic transnational groups vying for positions in the EU Parliament in 2019.
Moscovici continued by sharing his belief that the present European model was under attack:
“This European model is being attacked from within by so-called populists. These populists are none other than far- right leaders hostile to democracy; or in favour of an illiberal democracy. Populists believe in a society in which the rule of law is of secondary importance.”
The Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group which counts the UKIP and the Five-Star Movement of Italy among its parties believes they could increase their number of seats to 59 in the 2019 elections. Presently, the EFDD has 45 seats in Parliament.