European Elections will give us an insight into the future of Europe.

 

With Britain leaving the EU, it has prompted the question, will other states leave the European Union?  This can be speculated through the result of upcoming elections in EU member states.

Over the past few years we have seen the rise of right wing anti-EU political parties, and if these parties gain power, then it could have serious implications for the European Union.

The rise in support for the UK Independence Party led to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron calling a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in what some call an attempt to gain back voters who had fled to UKIP, this resulted in Brexit and his resignation.  Brexit could inspire these other Eurosceptic parties to push for similar action.

The March elections in the Netherlands have seen alot of far-right candidate Geert Wilders, who holds views against Islam, immigration and the EU.  If he wins the elections then we could see the Netherlands take steps towards leaving the EU.  The same can be said in France, where they are due to hold a Presidential election in April and far-right candidate Marine La Pen has been gaining publicity, she holds similar anti-EU views to Wilders and if she becomes France’s next president then France may also take steps towards leaving the European Union.  Just after the Brexit vote La Pen congratulated the UK on it’s decision and said that it led the way for other Eurosceptics across Europe.

“It’s a very strong signal, it shows there is at least one way of finding the keys to the jail…
Because we have been told it’s impossible to leave the EU and the UK has just demonstrated that when people want it you can set up the conditions to exit the EU.  So thank you for showing us the way out from this huge prison which is the EU.”
-Marine La Pen
This shows that if these Eurosceptic parties come to power then they could see other nation states leaving the European Union, which could be a serious possibility that other member states could decide to follow Britain’s path and leave the EU.
Although, it can be said that exactly the opposite could happen.  If these far-right parties do not come to power then it is less likely that other member states will attempt to leave the EU.  On the night of the Dutch elections an exit poll predicted that the current Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberal party would win the majority of seats in the Netherlands, suggesting on the night of the election that Wilders would be defeated in the election.
Regardless, the results of these elections across the continent will be crucial in deciding the future of Europe and the European Union, in the era of Brexit, the outcome will set the course of European politics for the next few years, will the European Union remain as it is? Or will more countries decide to leave?
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