The results are in and Europeans voted for change. With almost all seats announced in the 2019 European Parliament elections, the big takeaway is that the mainstream centre-right and centre-left parties have taken a drubbing. Instead, voters have been attracted by smaller parties promising a radical new direction for Europe, from liberals and greens, to nationalists and eurosceptic movements.

In France, the vote for both the Socialist Party and the centre-right Les Républicains has collapsed. Instead, Marine Le Pen’s eurosceptic and anti-immigrant National Rally has surged to first place, though Emmanuel Macron’s pro-EU En Marche party also held its own, meaning Le Pen cannot claim total victory.

In Germany, the Social Democratic Party has faced a backlash as a result of their “grand coalition” with Merkel’s Christian Democrats, finding themselves pushed into third place by the greens. In Italy, an early election looks likely as Matteo Salvini’s far-right League topped the polls with almost 35% of the vote.

In the UK, the electoral hammering of both the governing Conservatives and the opposition Labour party was dramatic, as the Brexit debate polarised the electorate and handed huge gains to the Brexit Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens.

What message are Europeans trying to send their politicians? Clearly, voters in individual EU Member States each had their own priorities and concerns. Nevertheless, the overall picture was not one of apathy and disconnection from politics (turnout was at its highest in 20 years). Nor was it a message of outright rejection of European unity (there is still a clear and comfortable majority for pro-EU parties). However, the status quo has been rejected.

Some analysts worry that the message from voters is mixed and contradictory. With no clear majority for any group or party, we could be in for five years of political bickering and gridlock. However, Europe is used to compromise. A plurality of ideas is healthy for any democracy. Plus, if anything, the new European Parliament will be more political and less technocratic, demonstrating to voters that they are being listened to and their vote made a difference.

So, what message were voters trying to send? Citizens want change, but what sort of change? When you cast your vote in the 2019 European Parliament elections (as hopefully you all did!), what was motivating you? What message were you trying to send? Were you voting tactically, or were you voting for the party that best represents your beliefs?

How do you feel about the European Union? What message were you trying to send politicians with your vote? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (cc) Flickr – European Parliament


79 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Can & should one consider that the EU concept has become a victim of itself- a system who is divided (or is dividing sovereign Europe) in two principle thought & physical camps?

    The political pro EU and their lobbyists called the “EU federalists” (EU+) on the one side and the political sovereign loving nations, conservatives or “anti Federalists” (EU-) on the other.

    Both agree on broad economic principles and standardization, harmonization etc. but disagree on the final political concept of an USE.

    Are we not witnessing the beginning of a low level “war/fight” between these 2 broad groupings & the clash of their political principles? Every one believes they know better than the other to create a better & happier Europe!

    Since the founding after WWII of the many international important institution (UN…etc) the EU slowly developed a parallel structure with many duplication in order to put its own political stamp on it- politically “Made in the EU”.

    Beware- the relentless & inconsiderate push- towards a federal EU could be comparable to the eventual causes of the US civil war. The very one thing the founders wanted to avoid- but failed!

  2. avatar
    Olivier

    Do à common tax and social policy
    Tax Gaffa
    Protect our borders from illegal migrations
    Fix same European norms to imported products
    Suppress detached workers rules and ask all employers to pay local social charges
    Make EU more democratic

  3. avatar
    Alexandre

    A minimum standart and equal Rigths and Duties to all EU citizens. A strong and eficient Defense Army. One seat at the UN, for the european parliment president. Climate emergency status for massive tree planting and cleaning across all EU shengan space. In my opinion all this, and just this ones would make a deep foward in EU self esteem and funcion.

  4. avatar
    Павел

    Most important thing EU needs to keep in mind is to preserve all member states as independent members of a union instead of doing everything to turn into a monstorus federal state. Once you destroy states as independent parts of the EU, you will destroy their culture, legacy and roots. Slowly but dead sure. If you have no idea where you come from you have no idea where you want to go, a fact proven in time. It is fun how the EU always talks about diversity while doing everything in their power to slowly turn european people in one ” faceless” eu population. If you succeed in that you will end up with future generations having no idea who they are but up to date with all the latest innovations in tech and other products. Corporate wet dreams come true. Anyway, this will never happen as time has proven anything that is pushed through idiotic and out of common sense regulation miserably fails at the end.

    • avatar
      Patrizia

      The matter is building Europe, not destroying.

    • avatar
      Павел

      and how exactly do you build Europe, while discussing Europe on different speed? or pushing through EU mobility package that will kill transportation business in Eastern european countries and will make even more people leave their countries in order to support their families? Or turning blind eye on corruption of politicians in eastern europe as long as they let western companies establish their corporate chains and suffocate local business? Or pay salaries to people to work for them that are fraction of the salary they will pay to workers in their own countries? All this and more while talking about “european common values, friendship and partnership”. With all due respect, you have no idea what are you talking about.

    • avatar
      Patrizia

      do you? It looks like you mix it all and just play the troll.
      Fb is not the right place to discuss all these matters, but one things is clear to me eyes: you refuse EU and refuse the others the right to go ahead.
      Roots say you? That’s for trees not men.

    • avatar
      Павел

      well, it will be useful for you to first learn the difference between Europe and the EU. Europe is the continent and it’s people while the EU is a political organisation going fast forward to what the USSR was back in the days. When I say roots I mean your heritage. Where are you from? Aren’t you proud with what your contry gave to Europe and the world? All this will slowly dissapear. Please, don’t connect the EU to the right to go forward, I don’t deny that to anyone. On a side note, you didn’t elaborate on any of the specific facts I gave you above, may I ask why? Perhaps you got no arguments about it? Back to the roots – Everyone likes to travel and explore but everyone loves to go back home where he/she belongs. There you are, another side of your roots for you. Oh, about the troll comment – everyone with no arguments loves to throw it in.

    • avatar
      Patrizia

      now let’s be serious: yes I want a fédéral Europe, and no, I don’t think national states are better. Îm italian, lived in several countries, appreciate my country’s history and culture but do not pretend it’s better than anyone else.
      Hungary, Bulgary, Poland, time to wake up! EU helped you under the communist regime and after and you just ask for money (which I think they deserve and need sometimes), do not follow the rules and hacks. You should learn to solve your own problems and not just look for scapegoats.

    • avatar
      Patrizia

      you still have to prove you are a european as you said, by your culture, democratic achievements and practice. Then Eu and Europe will not make difference.

    • avatar
      Павел

      yes, let’s be serious. federal Europe is doomed to fail for so many reasons that can’t be stated here. The constant struggle for the more powerful countres to impose their will on the weaker ones, without care businesses will suffer and people will lose their jobs, the idiotic idea of EU army and so on. No one is pretending their culture is better compared to others but this is what makes Europe tick. About your call for post commie countries to wake up – you need to get far more information before even thinking about sayig something like this. Let me break it down for you. Since the regime change post communist countries have extremelly corrupt govenrments that are legitimised by the EU itself in return for western business to play “investor” while robbing those countries resources under the disguise of “creating employment”. Those governments have and still consists of people that are held on a leash by certain agencies. Try to understand another simple fact – corruption in our countries won’t be possible without being allowed at top level in the EU. Like in Greece, where the banks knew what is happening with all the money they poured in to keep Pappandreu in power. They perfectly well knew what will happen when the baloon bursts but did it anyway. Don’t tell me EU cares about building Europe. It is all game of power and influence. On your quote how the EU helped communist countries during the regime, I am lost for words but please, let me know. With facts this time.

    • avatar
      Павел

      I have nothing to prove, my country have been in Europe for 13 centuries and there are thousands of artefacts to prove it. You see, this is the problem you have when you haven’t lived in communist country. Back in the day the communist Party was the State, it was written down in the Constitution. Saying that there is no difference between the EU and Europe is enough for me is to advise you to try and look at everything with slightly different perspective before we continue this conversation.

    • avatar
      Patrizia

      we totally desagree. Just try to find something else then complots theory. As for me Îll do whatever I can to avoid your ideology to spread and contaminate the continent.
      And Îm not going to continue your useless and poisoned monologue.

    • avatar
      Павел

      yes, we totally disagree. I present you with facts and you reply with empty words while trying to patronise me and undermine my opinion. If you are confident in what you say, prove me wrong. With facts. I don’t spread ideology, I just keep my eyes and ears wide open. Now please go and read George Orwel’s 1984. Have a great life.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      Maria I know sheep need dictators, are you a sheep? Maybe….

    • avatar
      Bódis

      Economic growth, less indebtedness, more jobs, more trade, less taxes, more family support, less crime = Orban.
      You probably ate too much libtard propaganda.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      less indebtedness??? 😂 😂 😂 You forgot to mention that your growth is due to European Union, the money you receive and the trade agreements the commission did in these years. Without EU you couldn’t have both! The EU Orban don’t want to respect!
      Just one word hypocrite! Already told you that!

    • avatar
      Antonio

      we Will see if your growth it will be a real growth or your debt will grow too… I hope it doesn’t for your own good, but remember without EU Orban wasn’t NOTHING!

    • avatar
      Maria

      you Gross, Leftist globalist, shame on you. Comunists and Socialist are Sharp, and news dictators. No fairplay😡

    • avatar
      Bódis

      You are quite clueless about the flow of funds in the EU and economics.
      In order to get those EU funds Hungary has to put up its own funds: 10-90%, depending on the scheme, typically 60%. Then, the majority of the tenders are won by western companies.

    • avatar
      Bódis

      :D LOL
      Orban was PM before Hungary joined the EU. His first government did most of the negotiation and legal harmonization that was required for joining.
      You are very-very uninformed about real life.

    • avatar
      Antonio

      Hungary has received 4 bilion of Euro this year and they put just 800 million, it is a fact that country like yours get more money, I am totally agreed, the problem is when your president forget to mention that, don’t respect the Union, and he does propaganda against the union!
      I know you like to deny truth but these are facts! Try to be more thankful and less brainwashed by your dictator!

    • avatar
      Antonio

      if he was PM before joining it’s just a detail, you can’t deny Orban act like a dictator in your country! And don’t want to respect the Union!
      But I know will say that he doesn’t, he is perfect and so on…
      Think what you want, facts are fact.

    • avatar
      Maria

      not against the Union, but the ideology Marxist, that rules

    • avatar
      Marc

      europ is there only for politcians so they can fill there pockets

    • avatar
      Ruben

      you’re right.

    • avatar
      Bódis

      Hungary lost over 100 billion euros to western bank and corporations and tax havens in the past 40 years — mostly thanks to the communists and their socialist-liberal successors.
      Some of that comes back now from the EU.
      You cannot rip off your colonies forever.

    • avatar
      Bódis

      You ate too much propaganda.
      How many political prisoners are now in France? Those “liberals” sure like to beat the cr*p out of the ppl with the police.

  5. avatar
    Alfredo

    Everything, starting from the real control of the European Parliament on the Commission.

  6. avatar
    Mathias

    Democratic reform fallowed by creating a common police force, defence force, migration and border authority including coast guard and custom authority.

    • avatar
      Bódis

      No, thanks.

  7. avatar
    Patrizia

    The matter is building Europe, not destroying.

    • avatar
      Bódis

      Not another Reich, no thanks.

  8. avatar
    Russ

    Go back to being a common market and nothing else. Stop trying to be the master race.

  9. avatar
    Chalks Richard Corriette

    The range of ideas and comments here indicate the differences in the 28 member states. It is almost as if we need to rethink what the EU should be about from now on. For example, If you were to scale back the centralised EU by at least one third, the money saved could be sent back to the member states so they can choose their own projects that are the most important to them right now. Money and the ability to solve local problems at home are at the top of everyone’s wish list. It also seems to feel like the citizens need to be setting the agenda of projects that they would like delivered by a centralised EU. In this regard, you may see that freedom of movement is lower on the list of desired outcomes and local development and local opportunities much higher and more important to deliver. Everyone wants a fair wage for a fair weeks work. Everyone wants to have good health and support services. Everyone wants to feel safe as they go about their lives day-to-day. Everyone wants to have the best education system possible. Everyone wants to have good infrastructure and public transport systems. And everyone wants to have some say in their destiny, and live in a united community at all levels (local, area, regional, country, grouping).

  10. avatar
    Aris

    Some people have the wrong idea about the EU.
    EU is a Private Club of states with some Rules which you have to accept before you join. Who put the Rules? The member states, not an invisible power.
    None state is forced to join the EU. You like this Bloc you join, you don’t like you don’t join. But when you become a member of the EU you behave according to the European Rules. The Commission is responsible to watch if all members are ok with the Rules. Nothing more nothing less.
    The foundation stone of the EU is SOLIDARITY.
    Please the states who want to leave the EU just have a Referendum, leave and good luck, stop breaking our balls.

  11. avatar
    Anna

    Do something about the huge financial/economic differences between Northern and Southern Europe

  12. avatar
    John-romi

    Stop coruption, stop the fraud of EU funds. In some countries they get all the help and in some they will block all funds only one political party benefits from it.

  13. avatar
    Julia

    A more social EU. Equal minimum wage and benefits EU wide subsidised by a GMI so the EU can have competitive labour in the whole of the EU. Especially because of corporations flocking to Romania for cheap labour and the problems encountered from EU free travel. Free higher education like in Germany so our families don’t all go there for studies. Same healthcare system EU-wide. Close legal tax evading loopholes in the law so Ireland doesn’t send me ads to help my corporation pay only 1% tax. Finally take direct action quickly to make a more social EU now instead of discussing it for decades.

  14. avatar
    Manuel

    new politicians, working for EU instead of their own pocket

  15. avatar
    Marc

    Globalists are only in it for themselves. We need less government, not more.

  16. avatar
    Jude

    Just needs respect for the people and real democracy.

  17. avatar
    Mark

    Needs to become a Federation of States.

  18. avatar
    Dave

    Needs Nigel Farage, Marine LePen, Victor Orban, Gert Wilders, Europe is now a complete disaster.

  19. avatar
    Laura

    Debt is just the carrot to reduce the fees, France will never repay its debt or any other country.
    We spend our life saving to pay back the debt, trump during this time turns his tickets machines and they have no debts…. look for the mistake

  20. avatar
    Jo

    Just shut down seems like the best change ever 🤮

  21. avatar
    Bert

    Make it so that everyone has the same pay for the work thy do in Europa. Meaning that for example a windowcleaner in belgium has the same pay as a windowcleaner in netherlands. And so on and on . And make 1 set of rules that is for all the contries in europe and not sepret laws for the contries that are in europe . And make the taxes the same over Europe. And if you cant do this than disband europe and only use the trading contracts you have.

  22. avatar
    Guy

    It won’ t work as humans involved are not clever enough

  23. avatar
    Marnic

    For starters, kick ALL Soros puppets (check who’s all in his ‘open society’ and replace these country & people traitors with realistic people.

  24. avatar
    Vandergeten

    Look at ex-Eastern Bloc: those were tired of Moscow and are now not allowed to dominate by Brussels!

  25. avatar
    Georges

    Shut down this costly and meddlesome monster!!! Is an asylum for-politicians who are end of career but are allowed to grab a big dough 💩💩💩

  26. avatar
    Adam

    Everyone wants to destroy EU, fine… What alternative do you propose?

  27. avatar
    Pat

    The EU is not a democracy, but a dictatorship, the British have made a referendum for out. Brexit has won and British parliamentarians are all doing to stay, European Mps too by dragging things. They spit on democracy

  28. avatar
    Claudy

    Our new superintendent claptrap peeters has started well: they are going to come and explain it to us again, the EU, we have heard enough now, drains that trade

  29. avatar
    Giovanni

    Stop ripping off the working class!!!!! Just shut down and behind bars with your unscrupulous graaigangsters!!!

  30. avatar
    Danny

    Do you know what Europe needs ? A president like Donald J. Trump who cares for his own people. Not a president who’s drunk everyday. More people like Orban, LePen, Baudet, Wilders, Farage, Van Grieken, …

  31. avatar
    Patrick

    EU doesn’t need to change but to close the place down !!!

  32. avatar
    Alexander

    Stop pharma maffia system and zionism

  33. avatar
    Eggsy

    Learn from Poland and not from Soros

  34. avatar
    Chiara

    the Union was ruled for years by center right governments. Marxist ideology rules in your mind.

  35. avatar
    catherine benning

    What does the EU need to change?

    The EU must change its policy on Brexit and do it very quickly.

    Nigel Farage, with his Brexit Party, intends, along with the huge majority of British voters, to disengage from the EU club. This will happen long before ‘The Lisbon Treaty,’ which you are all waiting to kick in, can take place. Here is an explanation.

    To all those who voted Remain: have you read the Lisbon Treaty? Which comes into effect in 2020. Main points are: The UK along with all existing members of the EU lose their abstention veto in 2020 when the system changes to that of majority acceptance. All member nations will become states of the new federal nation of the EU by 2022 with no exceptions or vetos. All member states MUST adopt the Euro by 2022. The EU Parliament and ECJ become supreme over all legislative bodies of the UK. The UK will NOT be able to make its own trade deals. The UK will NOT be able to set its own trade tariffs. The UK loses control of its fishing rights. The UK loses control of its borders and enters the Schengen region by 2022. The UK loses control of its armed forces ‘INCLUDING’ its nuclear deterrent. The UK loses full control of its taxation policy – taxes WILL rise. The UK loses control of any provinces / affiliated nations e.g.: Falklands, Gibraltar,. And we can never vote to Leave again

    Now why is all this information being kept from the UK public? What are you afraid of? This really should be placed on the side of our buses and the billboards advertising its reality and done prior to the vote for the new leader.

    The Trump visit has been a success for Mr Pres and his immaculate first Lady, a very nice change from previous ill turned out pretenders. And that interview he did with Piers was a definite triumph. He did really well, a light into his better side.

    So, EU, it’s time you backed what the people of the UK want and found a way to stop cutting your nose off to spite your face.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi Catherine,

      Will 2022 ring in the start of a low intensity European civil war between the EU confederates (the sovereigns) against the EU federates?

      An EU obsessed with integration but forgetting that economics is more important- leading to its eventual disintegration!

      https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/

      I wish to elaborate further on your UK concerns relating the ground breaking changes being set in motion taking the EU on a complete different trajectory in/after 2022. This whole EU political game is no joke, but could endanger and surprise all “slumbering” and uninformed voters in future.

      This is not only a sole UK concern but must concern ALL 28 Members who let their national heads of State, Kanzler’s & Prime Minister’s (= “EU Council”) “sell” out their sovereign countries under their eyes without informing their voters or offering a referendum!

      The “buyers” are all pan Europeans and supporters of the Coudenhove Kalergi- Hapsburg clique!

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalisation_of_the_European_Union

      https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/here-s-how-europe-could-look-in-2022/

      https://fullfact.org/europe/viral-list-about-lisbon-treaty-wrong/

      Unfortunately the majorities of voters are too busy and remain clueless. Please get informed!

    • avatar
      Peter

      Hello Reform, hello Catherine,

      you guys have a great fantasy :-) 2022 will be the date when (low level) civil war between federalists and nationalists starts, democracy will be gone all over Europe, and Mr Great Again is the one to save us. Good one. I mean I would very much wish for more majority decisions in the EU Council because veto has more to do with dictatorship than with democracy – yet I fear that will not happen so quickly. Look at how easily even Macron was blocked with his reform agenda.

      I am quite curious how Mr Johnson, in case he will be elected for in that Tory closed doors vote, will sell the British people the outcome of his Non-Dealing approach. Probably, he would stay in Number 10 shorter than in foreign office ;)

      Anyway, the question how the EU needs to change in my (federalist) view should be answered with improving social and judicial cohesion among the regions, shifting power from Council to Parliament, debating more topics EU-wide. And no, I would not go into war for that ;) If you think a bit about the arguments of these nation state promoters, do you believe them anything about giving power to the people (other than themselves)? I do not. Sorry, I am a sceptic.

      Best

  36. avatar
    Dr Jean Philippe Cornelis/Civic Forum Creatopia

    IN OUR DOCUMENTS CALLED EUTOPIA EUROPA, believes and claims for THE FUTURE OF EUROPE:
    -A BETTER BALANCE BETWEEN MARKET ECONOMY AND WELFARE STATE
    -EUROPE MUST BECOME THE LEADER IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE, BY MIXING THREE APPROACHES:
    1) PROMOTE SELF LIMITING CAPACITY OF THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS
    2) PROMOTE LEGAL AND ENFORCING WORLD RULES FOR THE CLIMATE
    3) PROMOTE NEW SOFT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CCS AND CCU
    -STOP FISCAL PARADISES AND RESTORE THE REGULATORY ROLE OF THE WELFARE STATE WHERE EVERYBODY HAS HIS DIGNITY AND ROLE
    -EUROPE MUST PROMOTE NEW TRADE AGREEMENTS RESPECTING AND THE PEOPLE AND THE CLIMATE
    -EUROPE IS THE CONTINENT OF THE BILL OF HUMAN RICHTS AND EVERYBODY LIVING THERE HAS TO RESPECT THOSE RULES

  37. avatar
    Yvonne

    What message were voters trying to send? We want change, of course!

    The EU “leaders” have lost the ability to listen. Listen to the EU citizens. In principle, democracy means voters elect their representatives. However, the EU nowadays is a body of politicians who think, or believe, voters should be represented by them.

    To represent or to be represented? I chose the former one with my vote in May.

    On immigration, as a non-native EU citizen, I have no reason to be “anti-immigration” and totally for cultural diversity, but please, do make me confident that my country is willingly bringing in the ones who come here LEGALLY. Hope the politicians understand that painting an image of “pro-immigration” doesn’t mean they will get more immigrants’ votes. For ordinary people, safety and security are highly valued.

    On the EU trioka (EU Council, EU Parliament, EU Commission), only the EU Parliament owns the legitimacy to represent the EU citizens. I’m so puzzled by the procedure to elect the President of the EU Commission. As the de facto executive branch, should the EU Commission leader be legitimately elected by the Parliament instead of the EU Council (or EU Club of Top Politicians)? News reported that Mrs. Merkel will be the next President of the EU Commission? What a great candidate who is so unpopular even in her own country…

    On respect of rules, almost all of the European friends I know share common values: we shall respect the rules. Law and Order. EU member countries shall plan and control their budget in a sustainable manner. However, pushing member states to accept illegal immigrants, to share the burden caused by certain politicians from certain countries is way over the limit. One cannot paint a good political image on his/her face while forcing others (the majority of ordinary people) to suffer.

    On Brexit, why should British people be punished for choosing what they think is the right path? If EU is a family, why shall we treat a family member so badly? The family tie is still there no matter whether the UK stays in the EU or not. Trading and free-movement can remain the same if member states want to. Guest the difficulty is that the EU top politicians fear losing their grasp on power? The power of keeping EU people being represented by their wills?

    In the 2007 EU elections, I lived in another continent.
    In the 2011 EU elections, I didn’t have the right to vote.
    In the 2015 EU elections, I didn’t vote. In fact, I skipped voting in Eu, national or local elections for many years. For long time, I thought politics was far from my life.
    In the 2019 EU elections, I voted for a party which is labelled by the media as “populist, nationalist” in my country. I don’t like some of their policies, but the candidates at least promised on safety and security, to check and balance the EU Commission’s power and to preserve the values of EU community dated back to when I first came here. That was the EU I liked.

    As a self-labelled *pro-business, pro-common sense* voter, I tend to stay in the middle. So please don’t push me to far.

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