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Watching the eurosceptics | Presseurop

Opponents of the Lisbon Treaty, anti-capitalists, far-right extremists - dissenting parties may well be the major winners in the European elections, but what weight will they carry in the future parliament? wonders the European press.

Analysis of polls and results of the vote in the Netherlands suggest that Eurosceptics will be more numerous in the next parliament. As Polish daily Dziennik reports, the prospective alliance between British Conservatives, the Polish Law and Justice party and the Czech ODS has supporters of the Lisbon Treaty breaking out in a cold sweat, especially since this group may become the second largest force in Parliament, with the added anxiety that it will possibly benefit from the support of a extreme-right group led by Jean-Marie Le Pen and the Netherlands' Geert Wilders. If the Eurosceptics win enough votes, worries Dziennik, the European Union will have to postpone projects for common diplomatic initiatives, and plans to appoint a President of the European Union and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Not all Eurosceptics are extremists, however, though extremists may be well be major winners in the current elections. German weekly Die Zeit reports that at least 12 extreme-right parties are expected to send representatives to Brussels and Strasbourg. "The extreme-right has now established a powerful network in Europe," it claims, and traditional parties have been unable to devise a strategy to oppose them. "All too often, democratic parties avoid taking these groups to task in constructive debate, but simply tolerate them with a condescending smile," says political analyst Britta Schellenberg. They tend "to respond on a strictly local level instead of reasoning in terms of Europe."

by Fran on Sat Jun 6th, 2009 at 04:07:45 PM EST
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