Tuesday, May 27, 2014

EU Election: keep calm and carry on

Euroskeptic nationalist parties put in a strong showing in the European elections and have essentially usurped the role of the left as the main opposition bloc in the European parliament.  This is a further manifestation of the recent rise of the anti-Europe parties in national elections such as the Five Star Movement in Italy, Syriza in Greece and the Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany.

While the outcome is worthy of some concern, don’t overdo it: the European Parliament has little power to initiate legislation.  Furthermore, while the euroskeptics have increased their share of the vote, they are essentially a disparate bunch with little to unite them in terms of policy specifics.

Of more concern to me is what the election means for the individual member state Governments and the necessary work still ahead in securing the sustainability of the Euro as a common currency.  Securing that sustainability requires further integration – not less.  My concern is that a further populist outcry against European integration may slow down or stall the necessary progress that needs to be led by the individual member states.  Time will tell.