Migration and Right-Wing Surge in the 2024 EU Parliament Elections


Estimated time of reading: ~ 5 minutes

As Europe gears up for the 2024 EU Parliament elections scheduled for June, a palpable anticipation permeates the political landscape, tinged with both apprehension and fervor. These elections, occurring every five years across the EU’s 27 member states, serve as a crucial barometer of the continent’s collective sentiment, shaping the course of European integration and governance.

A Turn to the Right: Projections and Premonitions

Amidst the electoral fervor, a specter looms large: a foreboding projection of a “sharp turn to the right” in the European Parliament, as elucidated by a recent study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Drawing on polling data from member states, the study foresees a recalibration of political dynamics, with radical movements poised to make significant gains.

While the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) is expected to retain its primacy, the ascendance of more radical factions portends a seismic shift in the parliamentary landscape. The rise of a “populist right coalition”, encompassing Christian democrats, conservatives, and radical right MEPs, looms on the horizon, signaling a departure from the established political order.

Implications for Policy and Praxis

The implications of this political realignment extend far beyond the realm of electoral arithmetic, permeating policy domains such as climate change and migration. The prospect of an “anti-climate policy action coalition” raises concerns about the integrity of the EU’s ambitious Green Deal framework, imperiling efforts to achieve net-zero targets and combat environmental degradation.

Moreover, the resurgence of right-wing populism augurs a hardening stance on immigration, amplifying calls for stringent border controls and restrictive migration policies. Against the backdrop of simmering populism, mainstream parties confront an existential imperative: to heed the clarion call of voter demands while safeguarding fundamental European values and rights.

Navigating the Migration Conundrum

Central to the political discourse surrounding the 2024 EU elections is the issue of migration—a contentious terrain fraught with emotive rhetoric and divergent policy prescriptions. As right-wing parties amplify their anti-immigration rhetoric, exploiting societal anxieties and fears, a nuanced understanding of public attitudes toward migration emerges.

Contrary to prevailing narratives of escalating anti-immigrant sentiment, empirical evidence suggests a more nuanced reality. While public attitudes toward immigration exhibit stability at the national level, deeper predispositions and societal stigmas shape perceptions and policy preferences. Moreover, the perceived salience of immigration as a political issue fluctuates in response to contextual cues and external events, underscoring the volatility of public opinion.

Charting a Path Forward

In the crucible of electoral politics, Europe stands at a crossroads, poised to navigate the confluence of migration dynamics and political upheaval. As voters prepare to cast their ballots, they confront a momentous choice: to embrace the politics of fear and division or to reaffirm the values of inclusivity, solidarity, and cooperation that underpin the European project.

The 2024 EU Parliament elections offer a clarion opportunity to shape the future trajectory of Europe—a future defined not by the specter of populism or the politics of exclusion, but by a steadfast commitment to unity in diversity. In the ballot box, let us affirm our collective resolve to forge a Europe that is resilient, compassionate, and inclusive—a Europe that remains true to its founding ideals amidst the tumult of political transformation.

Written by: Nenad Stekić

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