European Elections 2024 Begin Today: A Significant Rightward Shift Expected

European Elections 2024 Begin Today: A Significant Rightward Shift Expected

Marcelo Sanchez Delgado
3 min read

European Elections 2024 Begin Today: A Significant Rightward Shift Expected

The 2024 European elections commence today, starting in the Netherlands, and will span across four days (June 6-9) in the EU’s 27 Member States. Over 400 million eligible citizens will vote to elect 720 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the tenth direct election since 1979. This election is expected to significantly shift the political landscape to the right, with populist and far-right parties predicted to gain substantial seats. The results will influence not only the European Parliament but also the future composition of the European Commission and the selection of the next European Council President.

Key Takeaways

  1. Voter Participation: Over 400 million eligible voters across 27 Member States.
  2. Voting Timeline: Voting from June 6th to 9th across different Member States, starting with the Netherlands.
  3. Political Shift: Predictions indicate a major shift towards populist and far-right parties, potentially reshaping EU policies.
  4. Future Implications: Results will impact key EU leadership positions and strategic priorities, particularly on climate change and immigration.


The 2024 European elections are pivotal for the EU, marking significant potential changes. Historically, these elections measure public sentiment across diverse Member States. This election is notably the first post-Brexit, redefining the EU without the UK.

Predicted Political Shifts: Analysts forecast substantial gains for populist and far-right parties. The radical right Identity and Democracy (ID) group is expected to become the third-largest group with nearly 100 MEPs. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group is also predicted to increase its seats. Anti-European populists are likely to top polls in nine member states, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovakia. They could also come second or third in nine other states.

Centrist and Left Parties: The main centrist groups, European People's Party (EPP) and Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), are forecast to lose seats, though the EPP is expected to remain the largest group. The centrist Renew Europe (RE) group and the Greens/EFA are also projected to lose seats.

Fragmented Parliament: Almost half the seats are expected to be held by MEPs outside the "super grand coalition" of EPP, S&D, and RE. A populist right coalition of Christian democrats, conservatives, and radical right MEPs could potentially emerge with a majority.

Implications: The predicted "sharp right turn" could significantly impact EU policies, especially on climate change, where a right-leaning majority may oppose ambitious actions. This could affect the selection of the next European Commission president and the EU's strategic priorities.

Voting Demographics and System: Voter eligibility varies across Member States, with the minimum voting age set at 16 in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Malta; 17 in Greece; and 18 in the rest. The election uses proportional representation, ensuring a diverse European Parliament. Voting days vary, with the Netherlands voting on June 6, and most other countries voting on June 9.

Post-Election Process: The election results will set off a series of decisions on EU leadership positions. The new composition of the European Parliament will influence the selection of the European Commission President, European Parliament President, and other key officials. Current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, supported by the EPP, faces a challenging re-election bid amid the rise of far-right parties.

Historical Context: The European Parliament is the only directly elected transnational parliament in the world, emphasizing its unique role in global governance.

Did You Know?

  • Historical Significance: The European Parliament's direct elections started in 1979, making this the tenth election.
  • Compulsory Voting: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, and Luxembourg enforce compulsory voting, ensuring higher turnout.
  • Young Voters: In Germany and Austria, citizens as young as 16 can vote, promoting early political engagement.
  • Proportional Representation: The allocation of seats is based on population, with Germany having 96 seats, and Malta, Cyprus, and Luxembourg having six each.
  • EU Institutions: The European Parliament works alongside the European Commission and the European Council, playing a crucial role in EU governance.

As the 2024 European elections unfold, the emerging political landscape will shape the future of the European Union. The anticipated shift to the right reflects broader global trends, underscoring the dynamic nature of EU governance.

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