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European Parliament polls to change EU political agenda - experts

May 23, 2014, 19:44 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, May 23./ITAR-TASS/. Upon results of elections in the European Parliament due in EU states on May 22-25 the political agenda of the EU legislative body may change drastically. Russian experts believe that new lawmakers mainly from right-wing parties will pursue a policy that will be less dependent from US pressure, so, that not targeted against Russia. The wing of “Eurosceptics” is expected to become stronger in the European Parliament.

Experts substantiate their views on statements of Western politicians and European moods. For instance, leader of France’s National Front Marine Le Pen believes that good relations with Russia are a required minimal basis for peace in Europe. In her words, EU actions against Russia contradict European interests, “I want to be at the helm of an off-bloc country which does not obey to the United States or Russia. I want to conduct equal talks with both powers.”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed radically to change the European Union structure creating an economic union between France and Germany. The UK Independence Party which may win at elections to the European Parliament opposes Britain’s membership in the EU. The Netherlands has a growing criticism to the EU future. The Jewish world is concerned over manifestations of neo-Nazism and extremist nationalism in Europe. Far from all Europeans like enforced pseudo-liberal values like legalisation of same-sex marriages and the inflow of migrants from Eastern Europe and Baltic states.

Sociological survey results indicated that Europeans have a falling trust in EU institutions which they blamed for secrecy and encroachment on sovereignty of EU states. Polls showed that European sceptically-minded politicians may gain up to one third of seats in the European Parliament. In this respect, elections in the European Parliament should become some kind of challenge for the European Union.

Experts polled by the ITAR-TASS Political Analysis Centre noted that an expected low turnout at the European Parliament elections would show mistrust that Europeans had to Brussels. “Rightist parties, European sceptics many of whom even say about an intention to disband the EU will take advantage of the situation,” chief of the Centre of German Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Europe Vladislav Belov said.

Britain’s concern cause centripetal tendencies in the EU that were aggravated strongly by creation of the Euro zone and its crisis, head of the Centre of British Studies in the RAS Institute of Europe Yelena Ananyeva said, noting that “Great Britain is discontent that the EU is moving to a banking and tax union and London is strongly alarmed over the wealth of The City, its financial centre.”

Head of the Centre of European Integration Studies of the RAS Institute of Europe Yuri Borko believes that many factors stir up nationalistic and right-conservative moods in Europe, “Elections in the European Parliament will certainly result in a radical wing getting stronger thanks to moderately rightists joining it.”

“Anti-American moods are strong as never before in such countries as Germany, France and Italy due to Washington’s pressure on the EU for imposing sanctions against Russia over Ukraine’s factor. If these anti-American moods are reflected in European Parliament election results it will be possible to say that democratic mechanisms exist in Europe and changes are made in the political vector towards Russia,” Director of the Institute of Globalisation Problems Mikhail Delyagin told ITAR-TASS.

“The EU is living through quite hard times as it is hardly getting out of the crisis and disagreements between Northern and Southern European countries are growing as everybody dislikes self-sufficient Brussels bureaucratic personnel. In this situation populists and demagogues will feel freely in the European Parliament that will become more sceptical to European integration, more right-inclined and loud-mouthed and improvement of relations with Russia is not expected from it,” President of the Association for Euro-Atlantic Co-operation and former First Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Adamishin told ITAR-TASS.

“The European Parliament will be re-elected by 40-45%, but not fully, therefore, radical changes are not expected in its activity. Another issue is more important that the European Commission composition will be replaced, its incumbent commissioners will resign, including its President Jose Manuel Barroso. Along with them ambitions and personal insults will go away and an opportunity to start relations from scratch and concentrate on the constructive work will appear,” Deputy Chairman of the Committee for International Affairs of the Federation Council upper house of parliament Andrey Klimov told ITAR-TASS.

“The European Parliament is becoming an increasingly more influential organisation. But the desire to participate in its elections is not high. Therefore, lawmakers from the parties which support European integration and do not want to depend from Brussels will most likely be elected in the EU legislature no matter how paradoxically this sounds,” the politician said.

“From June until autumn the Russian parliamentarian “European Club” will hold a marathon campaign from the Atlantic to the Urals during which lawmakers (from both houses of Russian parliament) will meet actively European politicians and will establish useful contacts. This event will help bring closer positions of the Russian Federal Assembly and the European Parliament,” the Federation Council member believes.

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