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How a shift to the right in June elections may stifle EU climate ambitions 🎧

A conversation with Simon Hix about the causes and consequences of the expected sharp right turn in the upcoming European Parliament elections

- March 12, 2024

Political scientist Simon Hix has developed a forecasting model that predicts a sharp right turn in the upcoming European elections in June. This includes a big increase in the number of seats for far-right parties in the European Parliament but also an overall shift away from the left.

Simon and I talked about why we can expect such a big increase in support for far right parties, where it is happening (pretty much all over Europe), and what the consequences might be. Echoing the last episode of this podcast with Dan Kelemen, we discussed whether and how Europe’s center-right parties may or may not form coalitions with the far right.

This type of shift has wider implications

The clearest consequences of the sea change in political power may well be for environmental issues and climate change. As I have written earlier on Good Authority, the far right appears to be attracting new voters based on its opposition to environmental regulations and energy transition policies. The recent farmers’ protests in several European countries are just the latest example. 

Simon predicts that environmental policies that narrowly passed just recently would not be successful in the next European Parliament. This may matter beyond Europe, which is often seen as a leader on green policies.

Finally, we discussed some of the foreign policy implications. The European far right is quite divided over Russia and Ukraine. They also have different views on NATO and whether European states should increase their common defense efforts – an issue that looms large with the possibility of a new Donald Trump presidency.

Hear our conversation using the audio player below. You can also subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts.