EU election: analysts minimize eurosceptic and nationalist rise, reports BBC

Márcia Bizzotto
From Brussels to BBC Brasil

The European Parliament (EP) elections, held from 22 to 25 May in 28 countries of the European Union (EU), may mark a historic rise of Nationalist and Eurosceptic parties. According to polls, they could reach nearly 30% of the 751 seats in the Parliament. Analysts interviewed by BBC Brasil claim that these new members could obstruct the negotiations of trade agreements such as those that the EU maintains with Mercosur and push for more restrictive immigration policies.

Credit © European Union, 2014

Credit © European Union, 2014

“This group (Eurosceptic) may represent an additional obstacle to the conclusion of the free trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur and the effective management of relations between the EU and Brazil. However, we must first see what degree of representativeness those elected will have in the structures of the European Parliament, as well as in the Committee on International Trade (INTA) and the new delegation for relations with Brazil”, says Franco Perroni, Head of Relations with the European Parliament of EUBrasil. These structures define the proposed amendments, reports and negotiating positions adopted by the Parliament after plenary vote.

Mr. Perroni trusts that the dominant groups in the European Parliament, opened to greater integration, “neutralise” negative actions of the eurosceptic and nationalist parties regarding the EU-Mercosur negotiations.

For Pieter Cleppe, analyst of the Center for Open Europe, some traditional parties have assumed positions that come across as protectionist intentions, such as the Social Democratic Party of Germany, which last week asked for suspending the trade negotiations with the United States.

Andreia Ghimis, analyst from the European Policy Centre, says she believes that a good result of extremist parties in the elections would give them “more force to influence the political agenda”. Giles Merritt, General Secretary of Friends of Europe studies centre, considers that the arrival of a new far-right bloc could eventually strengthen the “debate” in the Parliament.

Source: BBC Brasil