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European Parliament elections begin today


European Parliament elections begin today

European Parliament (EP) elections are scheduled to begin today.

All 720 seats will be up for grabs in the legislative body, which will determine the laws and regulations across the EU for the next 5 years. The many parties in the EP are divided into ideological blocs from far left to right, with the far rights’ support growing in recent polls. Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission President (EUCP), is also up for re-election as the EUCP is elected by parliament.

Far-right parties are challenging the EP status quo. Most are highly critical of current EU policies on support for Ukraine, immigration, and climate change. Should polls prove correct, the dominant bloc of the centre-right will be far more influenced by these more hard-line parliamentarians.

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Photo: AP/ Carly Petesch

Today’s results will demonstrate a strong shift to the right within the EU voting bloc, with far-right members gaining traction in Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands in particular. Their victories will bring a far more protracted parliament. Expect heated debate on the level of support for Ukraine and more stringent anti-migration policies across the continent. This election may even prove to end Ursula von der Leyen’s term as the EUCP.

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