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The rise of the far right could make Europe ungovernable

Written by The Anand Market

Updated on:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union could become ungovernable if the far right performs as well in June’s European Parliament elections as it did in the Dutch elections in November and as opinion polls predict, it said on Tuesday the leader of the liberal group Renew.

Far-right parties, including Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France and Matteo Salvini’s League in Italy, are expected to thrive in June elections thanks to their promises to toughen the bloc’s approach to immigration and to relax climate policies.

“With the rise of far-right populists almost everywhere in Europe, we risk having an ungovernable Europe,” Stéphane Séjourné, leader of the centrist group Renew Europe, said on Tuesday.

Renew, the center-right European People’s Party and the center-left Socialists and Democrats group formed a coalition five years ago to agree policy outlines and divvy up top posts in the EU.

The three have 420 of the 705 seats in Parliament.

However, the victory of anti-immigration populist Geert Wilders in the Dutch elections has sent a warning to mainstream politicians. In France, President Emmanuel Macron’s party, which makes up a quarter of Renew, trails far-right leader Marine Le Pen by 8 to 10 percentage points.

“The risk is that it will be very difficult to form a majority,” Séjourné told a group of journalists.

The French legislator has ruled out any alliance with the far right or with the eurosceptic group of European Conservatives and Reformists. It includes the Polish Law and Justice party which fought against Brussels for eight years. He also expressed skepticism towards the Greens group.

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Séjourné said mainstream parties should highlight the EU’s deal on welcoming migrants and focus their attention on other issues, such as the green and digital transitions and defense.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Ros Russell)

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