The Young Fabians, the under-31 section of the centre left, Labour-affiliated think-tank and membership organisation the Fabian Society, today announced the publication of the second in a series of studies into the 2019 European Parliamentary elections.
Edited by Young Fabian chair Charlotte Norton and with contributions from Young Fabian members, the pamphlet contains chapters on the European economy, public finances, the state of social democracy in Europe, far-right extremism and predictions for the results of the European Parliamentary elections.
Key findings include:
∙ The EPP are predicted to lose seats though will, most likely, still return as the biggest parliamentary party in 2019, paving the way for Manfred Weber to become the European Commission President.
∙ Eurosceptic parties are expected to garner somewhere around 250 seats, compared to around 470 for pro-European parties and a further 30 or so seats that are unclear.
∙ The predicted outcome is for the left as a whole to gain a total of 35% of seats.
∙ The idea of a European minimum wage, set as a percentage of member-state income, is gaining traction across the left.
∙ Centre-left parties find their electoral coalitions squeezed by insurgent Greens and Eurosceptic parties strong in rural areas.
∙ Iberian success stories of Costa and Sanchez show that success can be achieved if the left has bold projects and is unafraid to build coalitions with parties of the radical left.
∙ Populism is challenging the established narrative that “portrays European integration as a modernisation project”.
∙ Support for far-right populist movements within Europe has stemmed partly from the exploitation of national and regional imagined communities and the citizens-elite gap.
This is an important study on the eve of the European Parliament elections, as the European electorate heads to the polls in the shadow of a populist wave. Our contributors have begun the vital work of highlighting how the centre-left can rebuild after a decade of difficult election results and how a radical programme can help combat the far-right threat.
In the conclusions of this research, we see the beginnings of a pan-European political sphere as democratic socialists and social democrats – the component elements of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament - once again are at the forefront of the struggle against the likes of the Lega, ÖVP and the Brexit Party.
We see the role of the Young Fabians as part of the pan-European revival and re-invigoration of the left and are keen to contribute the ideas and talents of our members to this ambitious project. We are working with the Fabian Society, the Federation of European Progressive Studies, the Young European Socialists and other organisations to build a network that will, in turn, produce the radical policy that will help the left regain the trust of voters across Europe and once again be the torchbearers of the hopes of ordinary, working people.
I would like to thank everyone for their hard work on this project and look forward to analysing the results with the team in the months to come.”
The entire publication is available here