European 2014 Elections: Populism and Realism all in one

The uninspring 2014 European Elections have given us a mixture of results bordering on cataclysm on the one hand and on populism and realism on the other hand.

The results are a warning for traditional political blocks in the EU parliament which have seen their MPs collapsing as happened with the Christian Democrats and Conservatives ( EPP ) which has lost 62 seats just managing 213 deputies.  The Socialists lost just 5, now at 195 and  the Liberals ( ALDE ) lost 10.

The only gains are for the far-right EFD which gains 5 seats and the Non-Aligned and Others group which increase by around 105 seats.

So what has gone wrong in Europe where Nazis and the far-right anti-immigration parties have scored so high ?  The simple answer is: the political establishment and the main traditional parties have gone wrong because they did not get a feeling of what is going on in the streets of our towns and cities.

Where did the main parties failed ?  Well let´s  analyse it in detail:

1. Economic policy :  there is a huge feeling in the EU that most parties have done nothing to stop or even mitigate the crisis.  Worse still, people get the impression that many politicians don´t  even know how to tackle the crisis. This has been very noticeable in the huge people abstaining, especially in Spain, France, Portugal or UK where voting is not compulsory.

2. Immigration: the EU has seen illegal immigration jumping in numbers to between 1.8 and 3 million in 2008 according to the EU Commission´s Report- the Cladenstino Project. Whilst we can all agree that giving refuge to people fleeing from war and destitution is a noble policy we have to acknowledge that no nation or supranational entity can take all refugees in the world.  Regrettably some of these illegal immigrants and some who have been granted asylum do not integrate very well either triggering populism and unleashing anti-immigration feeling.

3. Foreign policy :  the EU is very much unintegrated as to foreign policy mainly due to differing economic interests.  For instance,  the UK and France are very keen on seeing Turkey becoming part of the EU but no so Germany or the former Iron Curtain block.  The EU is divided as well on issues such as Iran, Israel, the relations with the USA etc..

But the worst ugly face of these elections is the rise of clear, unashamed Nazi parties such as the NPD in Germany,  Jobbik in Hungary or New Dawn in Greece.  The far-left has seen Syriza in Greece as the most voted party as well along a huge spectrum in Europe.  All these share one thing:  hatred for others and anti-semitism.  This disturbing scenario is partly to be blamed on the EU´s  relaxed view about not tackling anti-Israeli feelings and legitimising the boycott Israel campaigns as Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced a few weeks ago when the Jewish Museum in Brussels suffered and attack last week.

Let´s  hope that all Constitutional parties lead the way in a new, inspiring and confident EU which is close to its citizens and backs in full all struggles for Human Rights around the world as well as Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East with historical and heritage connections to Europe.



About the Author
Born 1967 in South Africa (Port Elizabeth) In 1977 moved to Spain with family and studied primary and secondary school. B.A Honors (Marketing with French) 1990 -1994 in Republic of Ireland. Marketing consultant and languages teacher (2000 - 2011) in UK, France, and Spain. At present involved in 7 start up companies ranging from teaching languages to tourism in Spain. Fluent in Spanish, French, English and Portuguese. Basic Hebrew.