Are European electorates abandoning mainstream political parties in favour of populist, nationalist or even extremist alternatives? Or (perhaps even worse) are frustrated voters just giving up, turning away from politics altogether and refusing to participate?

Judging by how our Debating Europe Vote 2014 poll is going, the majority of our readers fall somewhere toward the liberal-left end of the spectrum, yet still within what might be regarded as the “political mainstream” of centre-ground politics. Nonetheless, many of our commenters regularly express their disillusion with traditional political parties in our comments.

Vote 2014

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For example, one of our regular commenters, Christos, has been very active taking part in debates on this platform, but he has also written previously that the economic crisis in Greece has had a big impact on the way he plans to vote in future:

How can we make our politicians do what has to be done, if we vote for them and then they ignore us? … I won’t vote again for any of the two major parties that have ruined Greece.

We recently spoke to Luke Baker, Brussels Bureau Chief for Reuters, and asked him if Christos’ comment was typical of the attitude of European voters, and if it could have an impact on next year’s European Parliament elections in May 2014.

bakerThere’s always a certain amount of frustration and despondency in electorates, but I also think it’s also true that, after three years of economic and financial crisis in Europe, in different countries and for various reasons, there is a lot of resentment, frustration or out-and-out anger…

The people I speak to who have their finger on the pulse talk about anywhere between 20 to 30% of the vote [in the May 2014 European Parliament elections] being a protest vote. There’s still quite a long way to go, but I don’t think that’s far off the mark. It really could be the case that we see somewhere around 20% – one-fifth of the electorate – effectively voting for the non-mainstream parties.

Baker added that he expected the scale of the protest vote would vary from country to country, but that such a protest vote, even in European elections, would probably be made largely against national governments, as opposed to being an “anti-EU” vote with any kind of consistency of message across Europe.

We also had a question from Shane, though, who wanted to know how ultra right-wing parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece might shape the future of Europe. We took this to Nikos Chrysoloras, EU correspondent in Brussels for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, for him to respond.

chrysolorasFar-right and far-left parties have been growing stronger in recent years all across Europe, but Golden Dawn in Greece is the most extreme case because it’s a neo-Nazi party. Even by the standards of European political extremists, this party is a unique case. It has been polling third now in Greece for quite some time, but it seems that its supports has stabilised around 10 to 12%, which is still very high, obviously, but at least it’s not rising further.

Not all of the people who claim to vote for these parties necessarily have xenophobic or anti-Semitic views, but people are so disappointed by mainstream parties and mainstream political discourse that they claim they will vote for an anti-systemic force without paying too much attention for what this force stands for.

Even in Germany, which has made it through the eurozone crisis with its economy relatively unscathed, there is a growing protest vote. Much has been made of the rise of the eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which could gain enough votes to enter the Bundestag in the German elections on 22 September. We spoke to Matthias Krupa, Brussels Correspondent for the German newspaper Die Zeit, and asked him for his thoughts on this. Is the rise of AfD a sign that even Germany is turning against the EU?

krupaI don’t see AfD really as a nationalist party. Nor is it an anti-euro party. It’s really a eurosceptic party, which is new for Germany. They don’t say they want to give up the euro, instead they say they want a smaller euro with only the strong economies taking part. But even with this moderate position, so far they are, according to the polls, unlikely to achieve more than 3 or 4% of the vote, and I would say that’s an outcome that Germany can live with, and Europe could live with as well. So, I don’t see this as a real threat to the pro-European position of German policy.

Finally, we have also had comments from readers who say they will refuse to vote at all. David, for example, says he will not be voting in next year’s European Parliament elections as he has “never bothered to vote in your Union’s election and never will.”

We asked Luke Baker if the trend towards declining voter turn-outs in European Parliament elections was likely to continue.

bakerMy anecdotal sense is that the frustration and the desire for change or to make your voice heard could end up being seen through the ballot box. The public opinion polls I’ve looked at, by Gallup and others, would seem to indicate a willingness by the public to vote this time. Even in countries like Denmark, where there is a fairly large bloc of euro-doubters, well-over 50% of people said if the elections were held the next day, they would vote…

So, I would actually expect an uptick this time. My sense is that there could be an uptick and my sense, as well, is that while the youth vote has fallen even more sharply than the general decline in voter turnout, we could see more young people voting this time round, whether it’s because of technological change – maybe being motivated through internet campaigns or Twitter – or for other reasons. We could end up seeing an uptick from a very low base among the youth vote, and that could be interesting.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

73 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Will you vote for a mainstream party? Do you think the next European Parliament elections could see a surge of angry young voters? And what can be done to encourage people to vote? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christian Weale
      Of course you would, ALL nutters believe that the EU is flawless!

      You are a pathetic EU FUNDAMENTALIST!

      Despite the fact that the idea of an EU is a good one [which it is] you fail to countenance its shortfalls – the word f-wit springs to mind!

  1. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    The Closed Protectionist Greek economic apparatus supported by most Greeks, is what contributed greatly the economic disaster to Greece.

  2. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    I think that the level of participation in the elections will be even lower than the previous ones.. And because of the horrendous policies that the European ruling elite has pursued all this time… Very few trust or believe in the European project anymore… And how can you blame the ordinary folk? They see only austerity and neoliberal policies imposed on them.. Europe is NOT America what works there does not work here…. Half of Europeans think that their taxes are going to support the poorer “corrupt” and “lazy” cousins and the other half that they are occupied and governed by the richer ones.. Can you built on European integration like this? Who in the right mind would believe such thing? Our leaders messed up big time and the result is absolute indifference and apathy from the European citizens for the pet project of the European elites… But perhaps that is what they wanted in the first place.. Without the support and involvement of the citizens the EU and the European integration is a plan doomed to fail with disastrous consequences!!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      I agree with quite a few of your comments dear boy!

  3. avatar
    Angel Quintana

    So, all alternatives to mainstream parties are bad? holy fing shaize! mainstream parties are mafia, not all alternative to that is bad guy… guys, who pays your salary?

  4. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    A prominent Irish commentator has called for the return of Brian Cowan and Bertie Ahearn to try and solve the current economic crisis in Ireland.

    How ironic? Some people blame these two individuals in particular and the policies that they implemented as causing this economic crisis.

    The opposition Fine Gale, before this party was elected into the corridors of power February 2011 were supposed to be the knights in shining armour.

    Now that the people of Ireland have had 18 months of further austerity, imposed upon them by the Fine Gale/Labour coalition, this current government appear to be no better than the previous Fianna Fail government. Basically ALL politicians are in it for their own end FULL STOP

    Unemployment is a massive problem, as it is in most EU countries, and the serious issue of mortgage arrears are two issues that need to be tackled by the current Irish government.

  5. avatar
    Eoin McCarthy

    Even if angry voters turn away from mainstream politics, will they turn to extremist political parties? Look what happened when people turned to a certain extremist political party in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. Thankfully due to the European Union, we will not have a similar outcome.
    Even if people do turn away from mainstream politics by voting of minority parties, this will achieve very little. In Ireland, for example, political discussion in the Dail (parliament) id dominated by the larger parties i.e. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. A technical group, an umbrella group made up of independents and smaller political parties are allowed only 10 minutes speaking time during Dail debate. This is hardly a representative of the people who elected these individuals based on their policies.

  6. avatar
    Eoin MacCárthaigh

    A prominent Irish commentator has called for the return of Brian Cowan and Bertie Ahearn to try and solve the current economic crisis in Ireland.

    How ironic? Some people blame these two individuals in particular and the policies that they implemented as causing this economic crisis.

    The opposition Fine Gale, before this party was elected into the corridors of power February 2011 were supposed to be the knights in shining armour.

    Now that the people of Ireland have had 18 months of further austerity, imposed upon them by the Fine Gale/Labour coalition, this current government appear to be no better than the previous Fianna Fail government. Basically ALL politicians are in it for their own end FULL STOP

    Unemployment is a massive problem, as it is in most EU countries, and the serious issue of mortgage arrears are two issues that need to be tackled by the current Irish government.

    Even if angry voters turn away from mainstream politics, will they turn to extremist political parties? Look what happened when people turned to a certain extremist political party in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. Thankfully due to the European Union, we will not have a similar outcome.
    Even if people do turn away from mainstream politics by voting of minority parties, this will achieve very little. In Ireland, for example, political discussion in the Dail (parliament) id dominated by the larger parties i.e. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. A technical group, an umbrella group made up of independents and smaller political parties are allowed only 10 minutes speaking time during Dail debate. This is hardly a representative of the people who elected these individuals based on their policies.

  7. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    I would like to add something more to my comment above..And many won’t like it. The only way to make EU work is to make it more democratic and equal. Right now the rich countries are lying to their citizens trying to satisfy their superiority complexes and arrogance as nations.. The former European colonial nations still believe that their way of thinking, their culture and way of doing business is the best and everybody else should imitate them or follow their lead.. The “poor” Romanians and Bulgarians who come to work in their countries are just portrayed as “freeloaders” who come and steal the jobs of the rich West-North Europeans. Never mind the profits that the western companies and businesses are making by exploiting these people because they treat them as second class citizens.. They also portray the southern nations as corrupt and lazy, that are sponging them from their taxes and that they are in fact supporting them financially. Of course they never mention that the rich countries are the ones who gain the most, as they are opening new markets to sell their products, they take them over and force local companies out of business..They never mention the billions of euros they make out of the trade with these “poor” countries, they only mention how much they contribute to the EU.. The funny thing is that the same nations in all their history have never had a tradition of giving or losing out, only invading, colonizing and stealing other regions of their resources.. So how come now they think that they are the ones who are exploited and losing out? Until this farcical situation ends in Europe, and the rich nations are told by their leaders how much they actually gain from their EU membership, and until all EU states become equal with equal living standards, harmonized salaries, pensions, taxes, and opportunities in wealth and education then this EU is doomed to fail.. And it is no wonder nobody believes in it because it is built on lies and propaganda.. The old 6 nations plus their satellites are seeing EU expansion nothing more as gaining new territories to exploit… They hold all wealth and control of EU and its institutions.. Until this inequality ends, then forget about the EU project and of course any involvement of the European citizens in it!! Ok?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      Oh err, methinks you have something of an inferiority complex dear boy!

      Greece [as a nation per se] has a very high IQ but an extremely low EQ – that is why it supports/harbours/supports corruption – that is why [in conjunction with the rather harsh austerity measures forced upon same by the Germans] it is currently being effed.

      Until the Greek populace collectively boost their EQ [Greek IQ is and has always been high BTW] it will continue to ‘fail’ economically,

      YOU need to understand that the Latin passionate [read illogical] mentality [eg failure to acknowledge failure, failure to accept criticism, failure to admit faults] is not conducive with progress, is not compatible with success in the 21st century!

    • avatar

      You cannot make the EU (more) democratic. No demos = no democracy. Its democratic legitimacy is still at 0% and it cannot change. And I won’t believe there is a European demos until people sign up to pension fund solidarity. Good luck at at getting anyone here in Netherlands to vote for that.

      And my country doesn’t benefit from being in the Eurosoviet Union at all, that is just myths, lies and propaganda peddled by politicians who fear losing their unelected income-tax-exempt Brussels job.

  8. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    The problem with the EU is that it assumes that it is representing Europe. It is not. Many many don’t even know who their MEP is. So why are they going to vote for someone they don’t even know. The general perception is that most MEPs are failed local people who can’t find a real job. Meanwhile people are suffering across Europe and the EU does nothing to help. Why should people like us vote for another load of ‘freeloaders’ who are only there to get their expenses and then retired on a bloated pension ? If you want us to vote for you, start working for your living !

  9. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    Angry young? Yeah right, let’s fear inevitable change because of ignorance…
    Reactionary “old sods” who are incapable of putting themselves into question are the problem. The fact education/training is so poor past the normal education cycle should explain this problem.
    If the ‘young’ think different it is because the world they inherit is different. And that’s the consequences of actions by the previous generations which created these conditions.
    We should be weary of the old & what they decide to teach, it’s obviously leading us to the blind hara-kiri of our society through irresponsible mass consumption of self-destructive goods with immense externalities (fossil fuels).
    Always voting the same way is a danger to society, always having the same people & the same parties – that’s the danger.
    Humans need to adapt their thinking to change.
    Right now we have idiots hanging on to their ecocidal cars, misogyny, old myths & secrecy – that is what ruins our present & future.
    So when people say they fear populism – do they even take the time to look at how populist their current political elite is?

  10. avatar

    More honest (or plain speaking) politicians could help with this! More often than not we only hear about optimistic benefits at the best case scenario cost of any policy! I’m not sure many individuals are truly satisfied with the delivery of any policy over the last 20 years. Then again politics is a business, being grounded is probably a one way ticket to losing a job, and politicians are only human, I can’t blame them for what they say. It’s just with each promise, or each unexpected “challenge” it gets harder and harder to believe in mainstream politics. A European media could possibly to the EU side to task! (Can the BBC have a license to do an EU wide news broadcast please??)

  11. avatar
    Octavian Highlander

    Srsly? vote for EU Parliament? what for? that didn’t do me any good. To be honest this EU b******t is not helping much, either of us European citizens. Romanian Government is passing out laws that will give PRIVATE Companys the right to evict me from my HOME, what is EU Parliament doing about it? NOTHING!

  12. avatar

    I think the reason people are turning to the extreme right and left is because mainstream parties no longer appear to represent their needs. I live in Ireland, although I am not Irish, but it strikes me that there, the government actually doesn’t know what it is doing. It’s measures are so extreme that it is actually killing off small to medium sized businesses, leaving no money in the pockets of the middle income bracket which is having further disastrous effects on the economy, the only option, having seen both Labour in coalition with this government and the Greens in coalition with the last one that was incompetent to a level that beggars belief, is to vote for an extreme left wing party now, or for the anti european party, as they are on the fringes, voters may believe they are more likely to be listened to and it is the only way to get back at the idiots that are destroying the country completely. In particular is the unwillingness of the mainstream parties to spread the pain more fairly, the super rich are unscathed in the last budget, the unwillingness to take a drastic cut by politicians in their salaries and pensions (they are very highly paid by european and U.S. standards with very little to show for their work), so what is it that Europe expects? It certainly shows the electorate very little concern for serious economic abuses that are verging into human rights abuses at this stage.

  13. avatar
    Santo Jaime

    Sure ! People got “out of the box” in local elections and legislative….european…justa follow, no big deal !Abraos, get wiser, dummies end dead meat.

  14. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    I suppose southern europeans are more angry than northerns. I feel european citizen. That cant change because of financial crisis. This crisis is hear for all europeans not only for southerns. We have to deal with hard austerity and this has a serious impact on youth. Most of young people are unemployed.

  15. avatar

    The talks about political parties should have a simple perspective – there the corrupt politicians, most of them are this way, and the honest ones. Of course, the parties are mainly ruled by the corrupt ones, because they have “ropes” to get the high, influential positions.
    They are actually puppets controlled by the occult societies, formed by individuals we never see or hear directly on the Media. They also control most of the Media, and their interest is to promote lies through their puppets that we see as politicians or journalists. The last are always asking them the “right” questions, to create the appearence for the audience that the first know how to handle all the issues we care about the most.
    Today, the credibility of bothe the parties and the propagandistic Media is just inexistent for the main part of Europe’s citizens. That is a fact in most European countries. Even though the secret associations are forbidden by most European legislations and Constitutions, these hidden and hideous groups continue to exist almost in every country. People should concern more about the truth than about money, otherwise they become very easy to manipulate by these obscure, terrorist groups and their political puppets. If you throw the puppets in jail, the occultists would just get another puppets, with other “views”, just to fool people again. The cause that produces these unwanted effects are exactly these ilegal groups, and peopld must stay united and form its own independent Media, even only in the online space. Through a legitimal, independent Media, we can promote our own representants in high the positions that influences the global economy and other important aspects of modern life, like polution limitation and professional qualification. It’s all up to us to change everything in better, for the future of our children :-)

    • avatar

      It would be better for your country if you left the Euro. The Euro is the #1 problem for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.

      But the local politicians there do benefit. That’s why the ‘mainstream’ parties in those countries want to stay in, they fear on losing a future Eurosoviet job for themselves.

  16. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Sinto-me europeu todos os dias e como me sinto Portugus e cidado do mundo A democracia no tm dono tm cidados com igualdades de direitos por isso como cidado da Europa e do mundo estarei a fazer o meu direito de cidadania nas prximas eleies europeias

  17. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    I am 42, and when I read some comments, I do not think we are in the same Europe. Our Europe leaders sold us more more European culture. And what do you see in the big Western European cities? I see more muslim temples, more muslim bakkeries, butcheries, night-shops, … and a huge violence. In France, 80 percent of the prisoners are from musliml families. In Brussels and in France, their are neighbourhoods which are ruled by islam, real areas without right where police has nothing to say. Yes, we are a crossing a crisis, but do not you think that this immigration has no weight on our social expanses?

    • avatar
      Jonathan Mac Giolla Chomhgaill

      Where in Brussels exactly?

  18. avatar
    Yolanda Loureiro

    and who is to blame for ????? but populism will not win, we will fight them again and again and again never give up on democracy

  19. avatar
    Carina Miller

    This article is populistic, nationalistic or even extremist. We will not vote for mainstream political parties, because they are all one corrupt group if people controlled by transnational corporations. They work for the money in their pockets and not for the people!

  20. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    You really have to rethink your definition about extremism. I’m Greek. Doesn’t the fact that people’s salaries have been cut by 50% the last 3 years (the “lucky” ones that still have a job), that unemployement has jumped to 30%, that young unemployement is at 60%, constitute extremism? Is it a normal situation that we should accept for some reason?

  21. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    Lazaros Kalaitzidis, we live in this situation more than 24 years and we have never been extremist.Why do you think that our situation is normal, or the situation in Syria? You are not superior.

  22. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    @Ana Georgieva, where did i write that i think i am superior than anyone else? In your country, people revolted this year, because their salaries are not even enough to be able to pay the electricity bill. And i repeat, is this extremism?

  23. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Ana Georgieva why do you think that the Greeks think they are superior to Bulgarians? This is not the case and if you believe so the you have complexes of inferiority.. Try to live on Bulgarian salaries while having the taxes of Sweden and paying the prices of Germany for goods and all that because of the euro… Bulgarians or Greeks nobody should endure that and if we want to create a united Europe we should harmonize salaries and living standards across the EU.. No nation should have to endure such deprivation in order to save the banks and the financial system.. The more nations remain under these conditions the more corruption will settle in and things won’t get any better.. As we see from Bulgaria.. So instead of bashing the Greeks, and pointing the finger use your voice for a fairer Europe either for Bulgarians Greeks Germans or anybody else..

  24. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    If we had forms of direct democracy, ie, legal ways for people opinios matter more than parties, this wouldn’t happen, because no matter the party, people would know they would have their rights protected by them-selfs!

  25. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    There is necessity to vote other parties from those that created soaring unemploymen for young people and destroy social achivements of 100 years AND THEIR FAR RIGHT ALLIES.

  26. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    It happened in Germany during the ’30s… And we saw the results.. We are doing the same to Greece now and we already see that the country is going the same way.. And the funny thing is that is austerity is German inspired. They should have learned their lesson.. Seems that they did not.. Populism always always rise with a severe financial meltdown and an immigration issue (something that Bulgaria has not experienced so far Ana Georgieva) plus a humiliation in an international level, just like Germany had to endure after WW1… It is infuriating that our leaders have not learned and allow populism and fascist elements to still thrive, using these parties to turn the public opinion on other issues rather their government’s failures on social, financial and political issues….

  27. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    Electorates? Is it all that matters for this pro-European site? We are only electorates? I thought that I was a person. Populists, nationalists, extremists? It is how they call poeple thinking differently? They put different meanings on the same line. A nationalist is sombody who believes in the concept of nation, and not an extremist. In that question, I see the same manipulation that lasts since 40 years. The pro-European diabolize their opponents. You are good, for Europe, or your are bad, for the nations, for Hitler! Is it a fair way of making politic – manipulate poeple?

  28. avatar
    Ana Silva

    I will be voting! And I am angry!
    Not to you, not to any person directly. I am angry because I don’t see a direct way to fight what is happening. It is not about south or north, but there are big differences in there! And it is not about east or west or religion or ethnicity or whatever. The cultural differences are there, but they have always been there. And immigrants are not to blame also because every country has citizens abroad, some living in very good and respectful conditions but others not so much. Who am I (who are you) to judge? But I don’t have faith on my politicians. I don’t trust them. I never know if they might be saying the truth or not. I always think that they are acting this or that way because it’s the best way for themselves. And I also believe the media work with them. And here, fellows, it’s also not about left or right, it’s about power. Politic it’s not about creating a good and working society for all, but about power. And that is the big problem. No one seems to be concerned in making Europe (or the world for a mater of fact) a better place to live in community. The political system it’s not working. We look at politicians and we see people in high positions, with money that take decisions that may still affect them but that never get them unemployed, or paying absurd taxes with no health care or free education or working two jobs and resting half than what you should. You look to their families and you don’t see the problems that you see in the – let’s say – middle class society of most of the countries. Are they also making cuts? Sure, they may be, but they are not the ones doing the hardest part. And that is why we don’t trust them. Because they are making all this decisions, telling us they are necessary for a future good – and that may even be true – but somehow those decisions seem not to affect them!
    Yes I am Portuguese and that makes me think of my country’s crisis, but I’ve been living in Romania for one year and I am now in the north of Europe and this feelings are among people from very different places. Even outside Europe. The problem is that we see the system as something apart from the society, it’s like if we were living and paying for that system to live and pay the people in it! Sound surreal, and unfair!
    So why am I going to vote? Maybe I am just stupid, but I’ll vote because I believe someone will change this one day. And because I still believe Europe gets to be a better place in the world where difference is what units us. Because there is a lot to learn with diversity!

  29. avatar
    Pedro Oliveira

    In my opinion, EU’s image came out very bad, because it’s inaction regarding the EU crisis. EU’s been managing the crisis without consulting it’s citizens, in an very anti-Democratic manner. This fact made young europeans feel more and more distanced from politics and the EU and at the same time, made some other young Europeans more aware of their rights and responsability towards their country’s important decisions as well as their responsabilities towards EU. There’s a VERY LOOOOOOOOOOONG way to overcome the INEQUALITIES in the EU. If the EU wants to survive it has to take care of it’s INEQUALITIES first so everyone is united towards a common goal.

  30. avatar
    Eleni Rodami

    This, being a rhetorical question increases my cynicism… What DO YOU THINK-the Brussels elite-will happen? How come you have began to ‘care’ about our views? Threatened?

  31. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Yes Stephane you got it in one . Nationalist/extreme defines anti eu parties.LOL typical barroso was that we anti eu types want to go back to trench warfare but is it us destroying Southern Europe? is it us causing the riots?…No its the likes of barroso and wormy von ropey who will do anything for political union and the euro no matter how many lives that ruins.

  32. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    I just see facts. Who di rebuild Europe after WW2? Is it EEC? No. Why did fight our ancestors during that war? For their family, for their nation, for their culture against the culture of nazism. Who were they? Mos of them were Christians. Why did Europe sell us? Better know our European neighbours, more knowledge of the European culture, welfare, security. What are the results? I live in a big city of Europe and what do I see? African neigbourhoods, muslim temples, muslim bakkeries, butcheries, muslim neigbourhoods where police has no rights, violence coming from them, prisons ful of muslims. poeple from Europe obliged to emigrate for surviving, huge unemployment, desinstrualization, poor farmers, empty churches. It is not what they sold us. It is not what my ancestors from Poland and Belgium fought for. It is the fault of the mainstream political parties. Hitler is dead. Communism is dead. Europe must die for the coming of a new Europe, for the coming of an Europe that won and will win, an Europe of cooperation between equal nations.

  33. avatar
    catherine benning

    Young 16 years olds in Scotland now have the vote. This programme gives and indication into their thinking.

    And, yes, angry voters are turning away in their droves from mainstream politics. That does not mean they are extremists, it means they democratically are making their voice heard by looking for an alternative to what is being foist on them via all the present governments in Europe.

    You are not listening.

    Want to put it it right, then listen to the people with an open mind to the reality of what they are saying, and give them what they are asking for.

  34. avatar
    Karen Fabbri

    The “brussels elite” is predominantly govered the EU heads of state. When a welcomed policy is introduced, each claims it as a personal victory. When an inconvenient measure is introduced, they point the finger at “Brussels”. In the long run this will undermine Europe. We all need to take responsibilty for building the future we want. Its a pity that the voice of citizens is not given more space in policy making – this needs to change.

  35. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    I’m pessimistic about the common future of Europe. It’s obvious that the richest become richer for the sake of the poorer nations. And that is premeditated policy. The reasons why we are poorer on the Balkans is not because we are stupid, but because of our geographical position and the western european politicians know this very well. We have always been a live barrier, and have suffered a lot during the centuries because of many invasions. The problem is Western Europe continues to treat as in the same way, as always has had. Hello Western Europe, we are humans too!

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      They should really change their “southern Europe is lazy” mentality.
      It’s easy to speak when you’re given all the possibilities.
      But come live here and see how “lazy” we really are.

  36. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    What do you think Ana? Do you think we live that well here? Our situation has constantly decrased since Europe. Do you think I am happy about your situation? About our situation? Do you think that Western Europe is becoming richer?

  37. avatar
    Stephane Czajkowski

    Europe has allowed our industry to go to Asia, Europe has invested huge amounts of money in extra-European countries, Europe has welcomed cities of extra-European citizens. Our prisons are full of those poeple. The results, you know them.

    • avatar

      Just to make a point about industry to Asia. I’m not sure what you’d have expected Europe to do? They could have tried to lower wages (not great for public opinion), or they could have added protectionism, meaning we’d all be paying far more for our goods here (either through higher costs or higher taxes to cover subsidies we couldn’t afford) without speaking about inflation. Also the jobs now in Asia allow a fair few to earn a better living wage there (though an oven would still be out of reach for most).
      Ultimately though not a fan of the current European institution, blaming them for something which is still in the control of national governments is a tad unfair. Let alone given how costly European labour is compared to those desperate to work in the rest of world it’s tough to see how Europe can defend itself against a loss in manufacturing.

  38. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Ana Georgieva sadly the Balkans lie in a very strategic location and many powers of Europe, East and West have meddled with out affairs… By corrupting our leaders with huge lump-sums of money if they followed the policies that suited the European powers, or by exploiting our stupidity and nationalism, promising lands to each sides and let us kill each other.. We have a very short modern history and within this history we endured two world wars, two Balkan wars, many civil wars and Communist regimes, or juntas backed by the West.. After so much deprivation is it any wonder that we lack the leadership that we need, and others exploit that.. It is very easy to throw a bone to a hungry dog and make it follow you for life.. That is what happened to our leaders… Corruption is not in any nation’s DNA, it thrives on broken political and social systems and they are very hard to break, especially when foreign powers keep meddling!!!

  39. avatar
    Michiel Van de Peppel

    What a suggestive, assumptive question. It proves the complacent and non democratic attitude of EU adepts. They are so brainwashed by their own right that they put everyone who thinks different in the corner of extremists and nationalists. Arrogance at its best.

  40. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Should have stayed with the EEC and not tried to create a federal one size fits all eu/euro. but the eurocrats just will not stop….more europe more europe blah blah blah….just go back to being allies and trade with each other as stable democratic Nations and forget this eu citizen/national claptrap and do away with free movement.

  41. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    I think the Balkans should cooperate, otherwise we are all finished. There is no promising future for us if policy in EU continues in the same way. We have suffered enough.

  42. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Firstly, traditional european political parties a part of the problem in Europe. They led the continent into the crise and they are the reason why unlike many other economies, Europe is still in the “benevolent” crise. Secondly they proved to be extremely corrupt and not listening to the people. Thirdly, what is wrong with populism? What is wrong to adhere to the popular demands? It is supposed to be governmnet from the people after all. I`ll vote anti-EU parties and hope they will gain majority, or it`s revolution time. And it won`t be peacefull protests, but violent kicking EU butts.

  43. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    The mainstream parties proved to be useless. They are sticking their heads in the past. It`s time for a new young Europe! Europe of national democracy, not the collapsing Europe of the regions.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Antonio Jose Pecurto^2
      I agree with you! Now that Spain is no longer a net recipient of EU aid from the Northern EU states it should pay back the monies it was given back to Germany, the UK, France, Holland etc [with interest] else it will never get rid of its begging bowl reputation.

  44. avatar

    When all mainstream parties support bailouts for the rich at the expense of the middle class (measures such as bond buying, QE, banker bailouts etc all designed to enrich the rich), where else are we supposed to go?

    When the mainstream parties all betray our national democracy at the altar of this neo-Soviet construct in Brussel, where else are we supposed to go?

  45. avatar
    Pietro Polic

    What do you mean by “mainstream politics”?
    I cannot detect any “common” European policies, except on monetary and economic issues. That is the MAIN weakness of the EC as it stands now.

    Until the EC is going to have a common policy on general political issues (e.g. foreign policy, human rights implementation (not only lip-service), labour/employment policy, social services policy (health included), energy policy, just to mention the main ones, people are going to lose interest in a “united” Europe.

    In my humble opinion, the EC should aim at a European Federation of States, governed by a European President and a European Government. How else can one identify oneself with a Europe in which countries look at their own belly-button and no further !?

    Another thing: Too many bureaucrats spoil the broth. The EC is costing the taxpayer a mint of money. This should be reduced. And, also EC employees should pay income tax as normal people do. Why the privileges? As it is they gat above-average salaries and subsidies. The man-in-the-street cannot understand this discrepancies and that is the main reason for the disenchantment.

  46. avatar

    Simple really.
    Politicians dont represent the people that elected them, they have only one interest , a federal goverment.
    Europhiles have grabbed power throughout europe and are on a crash course with its citizens.
    Im not anti euro or europe ,but when it comes to my country, its hands of .
    Its the biggest annexation in history, and our europhile/politicians are more than willing to give a helping hand.
    The eu project is a runnaway train, and the engineer will do what it takes to keep it from derailing, over the backs of all of us.
    Its like a lifeboat with enough food for 2 people, but theres 6 people on board, 2 are europhiles and 4 are ordinary people. We all know the 4 others will have to learn how to swim real quick…hope theres life vests. In other words the europhiles are outnumbered and what happens when you corner a cat.
    EU citizens are tired of being lied to ,cheated out of thier say, and tired of paying the price for the europhile dream..
    This is the problem, and until we are asked with (in/out referendums) this problem will only grow….
    So come on all you europhile politicians, man up and show some respect .

  47. avatar

    ”yes” I will not vote to be lied to cheated, swindled, conned, screwed or shafted, sold out, or other wise stuffed by any political party or person and at 50yrs of age I have seen and experienced politics thank you very much so take your political party and put it where a monkey puts its nuts. I will not be voting for you any of you.

  48. avatar

    I would’t call them “angry voters”. There is a certain fatigue due to the lack of perspective, choice and hope. I blame nobody but myself. Maybe I am too impatient. Things will evolve in directions and speed independently from my will so therfore I have no big expectations. I bet right here and right now that certain major impact in our lives will never change. For instance the general and highly acclamed over confidence express by neocon european leaders in “Chancellor Merkel-like” dull and boring clerk face as the “only one capable” for handling the crisis will never change. The fact that she failed as a european leader and put the Europe on the wrong tracks as a lot of economists mumble about, besides her personal ties with Europe’s nr.1 enemy, will fade away and nobody will ever held her accountable for it.

  49. avatar

    This is not just happening in European countries , but around the EU and across much of the world as people realise that this is not democracy it is party politics where voters are not listened to , and these citizens are now going to revolt against the system .
    This will have serious consequences for the financial and business sectors around the world , and life for politicians and civil servants will become quite difficult . In several countries this could lead to civil unrest or war .
    We now see why more and more of the worlds wealthy are leaving their countries and choosing countries that will be the least affected , 10000 left France alone last year

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