European Parliament elections: New forces, new alliances and a new balance of power?


Brexit and Euroscepticism will bring fragmentation, uncertainty and realignments to the EU following the May 23-26 vote.


Wednesday, May 22, 15:00 UK / 10:00 EDT

The world's third largest exercise in participatory democracy will take place across the EU on May 23-26. With the United Kingdom's delayed departure, all 751 European Parliament seats will be up for election, representing more than 512 million people from the still-for-now 28 member states. 

They will be the ninth elections since a direct vote for the Parliament was introduced in 1979 but the first in which the notion of the 'European project' is seriously being questioned. 

They are also elections of consequence. During the next Parliament's term, the EU has to finalise its next strategic five-year plan, set a new budget, deal with divisive issues such as the future of the euro-area, immigration and growing inequality -- and wrap up Brexit. 

There is also the no small matter of making appointments to all the top EU jobs -- at the Council, the Commission, the ECB and Parliament itself. 

Growing nationalism, populism and the increasing split between the EU's east and west are likely to result in a shift the balance of power in Brussels after May. Parties of the right, starting to win representation in national governments, are expected to strengthen their position in the European Parliament at the expense of the centralists and 'federalists' who have long dominated, ensuring policy stability. 

But the shift will not be decisive, leaving the next Parliament highly fragmented. 

  • How difficult will it be for the EU to push through essential policy priorities, from climate change to immigration?
  • Will the necessity of ad-hoc coalitions for specific policy proposals increase, making policy more unpredictable? 
  • Will the Brexit negotiations be re-opened after the elections, or will significant gains for Eurosceptic parties hasten a 'hard Brexit'?
  • What impact will the EP election results have on the domestic politics of member nations, particularly in Italy, Germany and France? 
  • Will the election make it more or less difficult to resolve the rule of law division between east and west? 
  • Will significant gains for the UK Brexit Party make a snap UK general election more or less likely? 

Join us on May 22 to put your questions to three of our expert advisors 

  • David Hine, Christ Church, College, Oxford 
  • Chris Morris, former BBC Brussels correspondent; and
  • Veronica Anghel, Johns Hopkins University - SAIS Bologna and Institute for Central Europe, Vienna

during an Oxford Analytica client conference call on what lies ahead for the EU following next week's vote. 

An Oxford Analytica Conference Call

Wednesday, May 22, 15:00 UK / 10:00 EDT