The eighth edition of the Green European Journal takes a look at the state of the EU on the eve of Parliamentary elections. One of the primary conclusions of the past five years is that the days of “easy politics” are gone, we have moved to an era of “hard politics.”
The severe flooding which hit large areas of the Balkan region in spring 2014 highlighted serious flaws in the state response to such emergencies, as well as failures of environmental policy and planning. Fellow citizens and volunteers became a lifeline for those in need, as a result.
Are political parties still capable of integrating the long term into their strategic reflections? This crucial question for ecologists has particular relevance in France.
What made these European elections of 2014 so notable? For the first time, the European parties nominated joint leading candidates. This led not only to a greater personalisation of the European electoral campaign but also gave the elections a real pan-European dimension. What does the outcome mean for the Greens, and what conclusions can be drawn?
Voter abstention and the success of anti-Europe parties were two key trends of the 2014 European elections. Since the first direct elections for the European Parliament, a reciprocal relationship has emerged that affects the commitments of politicians, the media, and the voters. This prompts the question of to what extent the media have influenced the events of 2014.
Spanish voters punish mainstream parties to make way for new political groups with alternative proposals.
In the recent European elections, Slovakia saw participation plummet to new lows. Yet the combination of this abstention with general satisfaction towards EU membership gives rise to a curious paradox, in which voter behaviour today continues to be affected by historical memory and many other complex factors.
A quarter of the French electorate supported the far-right Front National at the last European elections. Yet the party's political programme remains founded on the same illusions and scapegoating, only with a new, softer and more media-savvy face.
Considering the current attitude of the Turkish government which regards regulations as hurdles reducing economic growth, the recent Soma mining accident should not have come as a surprise. From both economic and ecological points of view, the Turkish economic growth trajectory is not sustainable and should be changed.
From the European elections of last month, a number of overarching trends can be identified among voters' choices and behaviour. Although voting patterns varied between countries, a number of broad conclusions can be drawn which give some indication of the form the next Parliament is likely to take, and some of the key challenges it will face.