Importance of centrist parties in EP elections

Published 04.02.2019 23:24
Updated 05.02.2019 00:07

The European Parliament elections that will be held on May 23 and May 26 are very important for centrist parties since the outcome is not only important for the Parliament but also for the EU Commission. If at the last minute EU member governments do not change their decision, the new president of the EU Commission is either going to be a Christian democrat or a social democrat. The European People's Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) are not only racing to become the strongest group in the European Parliament but also to win the EU Commission presidency.

Up to this moment, the EPP, who are taking the lead in public opinion polls, and their candidate Manfred Weber seem to be having better chances. It seems that the EU Commission president is going to be Manfred Weber. Across the EU, the S&D is not generally successful. Although the EPP and Greens seem to be the candidates that will be the leaders in the elections, this should not provide relief for us since despite this prediction, the real winners of this election will be the far-left and racist parties.

The rise of far-right movements and racists across the EU are still a reality. Especially in national parliaments across EU member states, they are increasing their power and in some coalitions formed in certain EU capitals, they are partners of the governments. Changing this worrisome trend in European democracy is actually within the power of the center parties.

Although the Greens and the liberals as democratic parties are capable of providing important support, the actual responsibility belongs to center parties. In short, if Christian democrats and social democrats are willing to preserve European Union values and protect democracy from suffering further wounds, they must guard Europe and its values. They must stand tall against European Union opposition. Because far-left and racist parties that are against the European Union have an issue with EU values.

Values, such as democracy and human rights, are a problem for far-right and racists. Far-right and racist parties that are against refugees, Muslims and in reality, democrats in the EU, rise to power due to the mistakes of center parties.

In the EU, both the far-right and far-left are rising to power by presenting "common enemies and goals." For example, both the far-right and far-left are hunting for votes through "enmity toward Turkey" in every election.

Similarly, Muslims and mosques are the targets for both the far-right and far-left. If the center parties are thinking that they are capable of giving an answer to the far-right vote hunting with the propaganda of "enmity towards Turkey" by saying, "We are against the EU membership of Turkey," they are making a very big mistake.

In reality, such wrong promises are allowing the far-right to far more easily affect voters by saying, "We have been acknowledged; we are correct." Again when center parties panic and exhibit similar behavior when the far-right and far-left comes out with "black propaganda" against Muslims, mosques and associations, they involuntarily both increase the votes of far-right and far-left parties and lose all Muslim democrat voters.

However, if we want to uphold democracy in Europe, we must work to bring both Christian and Muslim democrats together. In reality, the EPP, the S&D and even the Greens and liberals can gain wide range support from European Muslims as voters. European Muslims are ready to support the country they live in, the EU and with their responsibility toward democracy, the center parties if they see that they are not being excluded by center parties that they find close to themselves. European Muslim democrats whose numbers are increasing with every passing day in Europe are feeling sympathy toward center parties since they believe that problems can only be solved with common participation and value a life together with all Europeans.

For example, the EPP, which thinks that it can gather votes by needlessly throwing out anti-Turkey slogans and statements from time to time, could become a very appealing choice for the majority of Muslim democrats. This is true for the S&D as well, to a certain extent. It is up to the EPP and the S&D and within their power if they want to unite Christian and Muslim democrats that uphold European values against Europe opposition and its enemies.

For example, it is not smart for Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) to lose Muslim voters' votes due to the wrong Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opposing policies of some of their misguided politicians.

If the CDU, whose candidates are being elected on a federal basis, and the SPD despite all odds tried to win the support of Muslim democrats, hundreds of thousands of votes would strengthen both democracy and the center.

Since the elections are drawing close, we would like to put this out there as a reminder.

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