The far right showed disturbing strength in the European Parliament elections, but there’s nothing inevitable about a far right wave. To win, the left needs to stick to principles — and stick together.

By Chris Mills Rodrigo, Foreign Policy In Focus

The recent European Parliamentary elections went poorly for the region’s leftist parties, to say the least.

All across the continent, socialist, worker, and environmentalist parties — many of which had risen from the ashes of the Eurozone crisis — lost ground as far-right authoritarian parties picked up new support.

The Greens, primary architects of the European Union’s ambitious Green Deal, lost 19 seats of the 70 they had secured in a triumphant 2019 election. And while the Left coalition in parliament actually gained two seats to control 39 of the 720 available, the country-by-country results paint a darker picture.

In my native Spain, Podemos only managed a meager 3.3 percent of the vote, down from over 10 percent at their apex in 2019. Syriza, which briefly turned Greece into an epicenter of the European left, only pulled in 14.7 percent support, a far cry from their first place finish at nearly 24 percent in 2014.

And in France, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party beat the field so badly that President Emanuel Macron called snap parliamentary elections.

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