Will “multicrisis” affect the EU elections?

Employment and Social Affairs

Estimated time of reading: ~ 2 minutes

The 2024 European elections are due in a context that stands out for its complexity: the war in Ukraine, which could be more than two years long in June, as well as the conflict in the Middle East, which hopefully will be ended by that date, while global economies have yet to recover from the pandemic, the energy crisis, and the rise of inflation. All these issues will play an important role in the definition of the political debate and the evolution of the electoral campaign, as well as in the decisions of European citizens. 

The spread of populism on the continent, which apparently slowed in the last few years, seems to be again on the rise after the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands and could gain momentum before next June. People affected by the “multicrisis,” somehow blaming the EU for their own problems and the general financial instability, can easily find in Euroskepticism an answer to their struggles. Generally speaking, the European economy is not in really good shape, and the most recent outlooks from international organisations and financial institutions forecast a real recovery only for 2025 in most of the EU countries. This means that populist parties could play their cards for at least the first part of 2024, and at the same time, the European elections will take place in a political and economic context that stimulates a populist and conservative debate rather than a progressive one. 

Another issue that can favour populist parties all over the EU is foreign interference in the electoral campaign. European societies are well aware of the risk posed by the malign operations of actors such as Russia, which has a long history of hybrid strategies to influence the political outcome of elections in Europe and abroad. In the context of the strong support shown by the EU countries towards Ukraine, the Kremlin would prefer to see a chaotic European Parliament after the June elections.

Written by: Francesco Marino


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