The European Parliament elections took place in may 2014, and what we saw throughout Europe was votes thrown on far-right parties. At the same time, there was only a 42% turnout; not even half of the Europeans used their vote. In Britain, The United Kingdom Independence Party(UKIP) became the victor, a party working against the EU.
So, what is the European Parliament? The European Union is a political and economic union, consisting of a number of European states, kingdoms and so on. There are several smaller parts of the union, like the European Economic Area, in which for example Norway takes part of union, without really being a member. However, the EU is governed much like a state, with a parliament of its own- and a executive power (The European Commission). What's different from a state like, lets say Norway, is that in EU, the Europe Commission (the executive power) has more power than the parliament, which means that the separation of powers is not really that democratic (at least that's what the critics are saying.)
The European parliament, with it 751 seats, makes its decisions together with the Council Of the European Union, and their roles consist of ratifying new laws, passing new budgets and accepting new member states into the union.
The MPs are elected every 5th year, directly by the citizens of their respective nation. and there are 28 member states. Each nation gets at least 6, and at most 96 MPs.
|UKIP poster. Far-Right, populist propaganda.|
In GB UKIP became the winner, because even though the Conservatives won most seats, they lost 7, while UKIP gained additional 11. Why? The European Union has the last ten years seen some poor times. Economically things have been really difficult in the south, and in England the scepticism towards the Euro has increased (they have not accepted the Euro as currency in the Kingdom yet). UKIP is a far-right, populist, party- working against immigration, open borders, and thereby the European Union. History has shown that poor times means far-righters, as well as far-lefters (for example Syriza in Greece). What happens when people from UKIP (and every other major far-right party, including fascists and Nazis) are elected into a parliament which they oppose? We'll have to wait and see, but for the unions sake- I don't think its very positive. For GB sake, it's days in the union isn't looking that bright for the future.
But, even though the far-right are the victors, does that mean that the majority of British, or European, citizens belongs to that side? Not really. With only a 42% turnout, we can guess that only those really fighting and mobilizing are the ones voting- every one else simply don't care any more; maybe they've lost hope. Graphs show that there is no member state, in which a majority of the population believes -all things considered- that the Union is a good thing. If the Union is to survive, and reach it's goal -which is that of a federation, like the USA- they have to step it up, make sure every single voter in Europe feels the union is of the better, and not a non-democratic institution, influenced heavily by far-righters.