Coalitions among EU lawmakers will be required to address urgent issues such as climate change, living standards, security, and migration with EU citizens expecting to see results, a new European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) report published this week reveals.
Based on the findings of a YouGov survey carried out a day after European Parliament elections last month, the report, titled “How to Govern a Fragmented EU: What Europeans said at the Ballot Box”, identifies among others the challenges ahead for elected political parties set to meet in this week’s European Parliament session.
According to the report, party allegiance is a thing of the past with all the more voters becoming less committed to political parties; Europe’s political geography is changing with political groups evolving into regional blocks; there are now widely divergent generational difference among EU states; and new policy conflicts include climate change and the rule of law.
Indicative of the voter change, a majority (62 percent) of MEPs were elected on a platform promising action on climate and 65 percent on defence of the rule of law, according to the ECFR think tank.
At the same time, most European voters are now motivated by stress, fear, and optimism. They have given EU lawmakers a chance to prove they are listening to their demands but now they will be putting pressure on political actors to produce results.
“If mainstream parties are to deliver on the desire of the electorate or change, they are going to have to form short-term alliances around issues, swapping partners when the need for consensus demands it,” said ECFR Founding Director, Mark Leonard.
“In the interests of delivering results, they should be ready to seek out support beyond the depleted mainstream. The ball is in the court of the parties to work out who their partners are on the mandate their voters have asked them to deliver,” he added.
The survey was carried out in France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK.