What will be at stake for Europe at the upcoming election? Maybe the better question is: what is not at stake?
The emergence of the yellow vest movement shows the discontent of great parts of society with current politics not only in France, but also in Belgium and the Netherlands. The fact that the French president stands in the centre of criticism is a hard blow for progressive European politics. That Macron, who has formerly been depicted as a ‘Hero for European politics’, loses his support could be a backlash for further European integration. Also, with the withdrawal of Angela Merkel from European politics in the near future, the EU is losing some of its most important proponents. With more and more populist leaders on the rise, the next European election in spring 2019 could be the next highlight for populism in Europe. As a possible outcome we could see a complete reconfiguration of the party system as we know it.
The event took place on 5 December 2018 in Brussels. Panelists were Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA and European Greens Spitzenkandidat 2019, Shada Islam, Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe, Philippe Legrain, Senior Visiting Fellow, European Institute at the London School of Economics & Political Science and Sophia in’t Veld, Member of the European Parliament in the ALDE group. The debate was moderated by Klaus Linsenmeier, Head of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels.