Brussels, my love? Is the European Parliament destined to move to the right?

Brussels, my love? Is the European Parliament destined to move to the right?

This week we are joined by Laura Shields, from Red Thread EU, Kait Bolongaro, from MLex Europe, and Andrea Renda, from CEPS, the Centre for European Policy Studies.

The elections for the European Parliament - now fewer than 100 days away - were our main topic of discussion as campaigning started in earnest with both the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) and the European People's Party (EPP) holding their congresses over the previous week.

With the extremes expected to do well, our panel of experts debated whether the rise of far-right, illiberal voices threatens the principles and values on which the EU is based. And whether the European Parliament's biggest group — the EPP, which backed Ursula von der Leyen as its lead candidate — will shift further to the right to gain votes.

We also discussed how Europe is at a critical juncture, and how therefore this election is crucial.

Key within the overall discussion is how the seven political groupings within the Parliament — separated by ideological commitments – The Left, Greens, S&D, RENEW, EPP, ECR and I.D. — will impress upon citizens the need to vote and crucially, support them.

The full-scale territorial invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its impact on European democracy and security was also discussed with Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2022 Oleksandra Matviichuk painting a grave picture of the shrinking nature of democracy on the continent.