This analysis by David Thunder really hits the nail on the head. This points to the roots of Brexit. Battle for soul of Europe is only beginning
EU leaders undoubtedly breathed a collective sigh of relief as they surveyed the composition of the new EU parliament: although nationalist and Eurosceptical parties have made significant gains, the balance of power remains firmly on the side of more or less establishment-friendly parties. The dreaded populist upset has not materialised.
Pro-integration parties have enough votes to form a majority coalition in the EU parliament. This means that the EU can more or less trundle along as it is, at least for the time being.
Nonetheless, the steady gains of nationalist parties, led by Nigel Farage in the UK, Marine Le Pen in France and Matteo Salvini in Italy, cannot be easily dismissed, particularly given that France has given more seats to Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (National Rally) than any other party, representing a major setback for France’s pro-EU centrists led by Emmanuel Macron.
The gradual consolidation of nationalist and Eurosceptical parties, even if it does not reach a commanding position, is indicative of a brewing storm over the soul of Europe, over what the European Union really stands for. The current fracturing of European politics is symptomatic of a tension that has been latent in the European Union since its inception, between two very different visions of European integration.
Read the full article here.