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EU veterans' advice to new parliamentarians

EU veterans' advice to new parliamentarians

European Union elections Far-right parties are expected to be larger than ever in this year's European Parliament elections. Dagens Arena asked Sweden's most influential EU politicians, Cecilia Malmström (former left) and Margot Wallström (left) how to negotiate with the far right and how the left and center should deal with the new political landscape.

Far-right nationalist parties could achieve greater success than ever in EU elections, according to Politico. The French National Assembly could become the largest party in the European Union Parliament. In April, they received 30% of voter support in France, nearly twice as much as President Macron's ruling Ennahda party.

At the same time, there are reports of signs that the European People's Party, a centrist conservative party that is the largest party group in the European Parliament, is increasingly open to cooperation with the far right. But Cecilia Malmström, who has long experience from the Parliament and the Commission, does not believe that the EPP could enter into a permanent coalition with the right-wing nationalists.

He can deal with the nationalists

– But they can settle individual issues related to immigration and climate policy. “Many voices have been raised from the European People's Party that climate action is going too fast, that we don't have time and we need a break,” she said. Dagens Arenas Podcast Magazine.

Meanwhile, far-right parties enjoy governmental power in many member states. The party of Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilder was the largest in the parliamentary elections held in the fall It appears now To hold a seat in the government. In Hungary, the right-wing nationalist Orbán has ruled since 2010, Italy is ruled by the Italian nationalist brothers, in Finland there are true Finnish nationalists in the government, and the Swedish government's cooperation is based on the Tido Agreement with the SD party.

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– Then there will be changes in the Council as well, and it is related to immigration and the entire Ukraine issue. For example, many of them are very pro-Russian, says Cecilia Malmström.

The Council is one of the three administrative bodies of the European Union, where ministers of countries meet and negotiate to agree on new legislation proposed by the Commission.

From loud to organized

Far-right parties in the EU Parliament belong either to the Identity and Democracy (ID) or European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party group.

– Their voices can be very loud in discussions in plenary. But when I sat in a triple (Dialogue between the Commission, the Council and Parliament, edited note“It turns out they have very few realistic arguments,” says Margot Wallström.

– Their presence was traditionally very weak in Brussels and they were disorganized. Cecilia Malmström says that now they are getting together more and more and have a program for what they want to achieve.

Recently Opinion poll Before the EU elections, the Social Democrats had 17.9% of Swedish voter support. In the 2019 elections, they received 15.3 percent. Charlie Weimers, the party's main candidate, is one of those who want to tear up EU climate policy and scrap the Fitfor55 climate action package.

Can the climate package be stopped?

– It will take a majority of all member states and a majority of all members of the European Parliament to tear all this apart point by point. I don't think that's possible, says Cecilia Malmstrom.

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But when countries now start implementing these measures on the ground, it matters who is in charge.

– It requires a lot of laws, protocols and supplementary annexes. There the forces of climate skepticism could slow down.

The advice former commissioners give to their ideological peers sitting in Parliament and the Commission is to form broad coalitions on big issues – in order to save the EU project. But there is a lot at stake. A new committee is scheduled to be appointed, and current chair Ursula von der Leyen aspires to continue.

– It needs a majority of votes in the European Parliament, and last time it won only nine votes. “So she's going to have to promise left and right,” says Cecilia Malmstrom.