There is only one day left to the European Parliament elections. The elections which will begin on May 23, 2019, for some EU member states, will finish on May 26, 2019, for all countries. Naturally, since there are only a few days left, propaganda activities have increased. Far-right populist parties are among the most active fractions. Last Saturday, upon the Italian internal affairs minister and the far-right populist Lega President Matteo Salvini's invitation, almost all of the renowned far-right populist party leaders of the EU came together in Milan.
Italy, where the "Europe opposition" has made a strong show, is actually the country where the first steps for the EU's formation were taken. The European Economic Community (EEC) was formed on March 25, 1957, in Rome with the Rome Agreement by the participation of the presidents and foreign affairs ministers of France, West Germany, Italy, Benelux countries Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
It is very significant to see Italy, which played such an important role in the past for the European Union, today as a country where the "Europe Opposition" has high voter support. Lega President Salvini together with his guests Marine Le Pen (France), Jörg Meuthen (Germany), Geert Wilders (Holland), Georg Mayer (Austria) and other populist far-right party presidents from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria, gave Europe the message that "they are coming." It is not a joke! They are "coming strong" for real. Far-right populist parties which did stand up prior to last week leading to the elections are expected to score around 33-35 percent of the votes in the European Parliament elections.
As participation in the elections decreases, the vote percentage of far-right populist parties is increasing. Based on this, worries regarding the new parliament to be formed after elections to be a new period for the European Parliament, are justifiably increasing.
In order to cull the expected success of far-right populist parties, last Sunday across the entire EU, demonstrations against the "far-right" were organized. However, participation in these demonstrations was low.
In fact, it was also too late. At this point steps that will be taken after the elections have become much more important. At this point, French President Emmanuel Macron is performing a very important operation. If he succeeds not only will the balance of power within the European Parliament will change, but also his power within the EU will increase. In France, on European Parliament elections the group that was formed by Macron's party La Republique en Marche and its allies Renaissance has a vote ratio of 22 percent. Similarly, Le Pen's party Rassemblement National has also a vote ratio of 22 percent. In short, in France Macron and Le Pen are going to be the winners of the election. It is clear that Macron's list, with a multitudinous number of members of parliament, is going to have a strong place within the liberal group (LİBE) of the European Parliament. In addition, Macron also has the full support of LİBE President and previous Belgium Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. If their plan becomes successful, LİBE, shedding its status as a small liberal group, is probably going to become the second-biggest group of the parliament.
Macron and Verhofstadt are not only trying to win the support of liberals across the EU, but they are also trying to win the support of certain Christian Democrat and Social Democrat groups. If they succeed, the new assembly group that they will form will have more members of parliament than the Social Democrat assembly group which will not be successful in this election. Either that or they will form a tertiary but a rather big assembly group which will have numbers close to social democrats. In this situation, Macron will play an important role in the coalition against far-right populist groups. Not only in the election of European Parliament president or in the formation of the commissions, but also for the EU Commission president that will be elected too, this coalition will play an important role.Macron, who will become stronger within the European Parliament, will also play a decisive role in the election of EU Commission president through the EU leaders he will persuade. It is known that Macron's candidate is Michel Barnier. However, Frans Timmermans, who had received a guarantee from Holland's Prime Minister Mark Rutte to become a commissar in the new commission according to the new coalition balance, may also have high chances of becoming EU Commission president.
We should be ready for many new surprises in this new period where Angela Merkel's influence is lowered and Emmanuel Macron continues on his path to becoming a stronger leader across the EU. If Macron and his liberal assembly group reach their goal, they will also shoulder a very important mission for European democracy. They could become a new hope for bringing all of the European democrats together by drawing lessons from Christian Democrat and Social Democrat centrist parties' failures against the rise of the far-right populists.