June 05, 2019

Why the fragmentation of European politics could bode poorly for democracy

Reaching consensus in the new E.U. Parliament just got harder.

By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Erica Frantz and Joseph Wright

After last week’s elections, the European Parliament is more fragmented than ever — growing discontent with the mainstream meant that centrist and mainstream parties took a beating. For the first time in 40 years, the center-right and the center-left will no longer control a majority of the European Parliament, and power will be spread over eight party groupings rather than seven in the last parliament. Although the far right did well, so too did the liberals and Greens.

This mirrors the fragmentation that has been happening in national European parliaments. Across the continent, political party systems are splintering. Some of this reflects the resurgence of existing parties. Support for the Greens, for example, has risen in recent years. But much of the fragmentation has been the result of the emergence of new political parties. Since 2000, 94 new parties have won seats in national legislatures in Europe.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

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