With the election results in the United Kingdom, a period of risk and negativity about European Union cohesion has come to an end.
In 2015 and 2016, we observed a tremendous rise of anti-European political movements. While many of them were traditional far-right parties, some were simply mesmerised by easy political profits that populism guarantees.
The results of presidential, parliament and local elections across Europe – in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, France and UK – provided some encouragement to those who believe the anti-establishment gang has lost the game.
But is it true? Is it true the far-right, nationalists, neo-Nazis, and anti-Europeans of any kind, or simply the populists, are no longer a threat?
In other words, does 2017 mark a clear victory for the establishment?
Firstly, it could be said that the political parties and politicians who participate in national and European elections, are, de facto, inside the establishment, even though they declare the opposite about themselves to meet obvious electoral needs.
For example, the charismatic leader of UKIP did not abandon the European Parliament and leaders of other Eurosceptic or far-right formations have fought to win a coveted seat at the European Parliament.
But, what is more serious is that there is no evidence to explain such a euphoria shown among political party leaders of the “establishment”.
In France, a new politician, Emmanuel Macron, managed to attract a large portion of the political body. The country, however, remains deeply divided and far-right populism of the National Front has not been defeated.
In the UK, the disastrous results of Theresa May are punishment inflicted by the populist camp, but it has also opened a period of instability in one of the most important European countries.
In Italy, the loss of the populist Five Star Movement in the last regional elections left the far-right North League without any wounds. After the next elections, they might participate in a coalition government.
In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders may have lost first place, but he is still in business and even the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam recognised that the other parties need to negotiate with him.
In Germany, the situation is no better. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party seems to be dismembered by internal disputes. What is more, a fresh threat to Angela Merkel, the former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, who enjoyed a spectacular entrance in the main political arena, seems to be locked in the second row after the party of the Chancellor.
This means Germany will continue down the same road. No political renovation, no debate.
In addition, they managed to attract the negative feelings of most European citizens. Because many feel Germany is the only EU member that is profiting from membership.
And this is not good!
It doesn’t boost European solidarity among other European peoples nor does it motivate people to work together for a common future.
As such, it should not come as a surprise that Estonia, which will assume the rotating EU presidency in July, disagrees with the European Commission’s recent decision to force some EU member states to accept refugee quotas.
The fact that everybody in the EU says and does what they want is a symptom of crisis. This means no one has the right to feel that the threats against the EU have been eliminated.