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EU elections: what’s at the top of the agenda?

EU elections: what’s at the top of the agenda?
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European election campaign posters in Paris. (© picture-alliance/dpa/Frank Molter)

With just a week to go before the elections to the European Parliament from 6-9 June, commentators in European media focus on key issues and developments – and look at aspects that have received too little attention in the election campaign so far.

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Bring climate protection back into the debate

Climate and environmental protection must receive more attention in the campaigns for the European elections, urges Stéphane Sahuc, editor-in-chief of L’Humanité:

“We cannot combat climate change without asking what needs to change in our industrial, agricultural, commercial, energy and social practices. The consequences of these changes must be discussed politically. … Ignoring or downplaying scientific arguments in favour of clientelist interests or industrial lobbies is criminal and prevents the development of any short- or long-term solutions.”

Use social policy tools effectively

Despite an apparent lack of social aspects in the election campaign, the EU could easily be made more social, economist and former president of the EU Employment Committee Bruno Coquet writes in Le Monde:

“It’s simply a question of reincarnating the founding ambition of social Europe, and of redefining a European employment strategy that is worthy of the name and not reduced to the European set of social rights. There is nothing to invent, nothing to renegotiate. It would be sufficient to ensure that the means, instruments, procedures and institutions provided for in the treaties are actually used.”

Not just criticism but policies needed against the far right

Kurier calls on the moderate parties to finally tackle far-right issues:

“As the EU elections approach, the monster of the impending ‘shift to the right’ in Europe that is being painted on the wall everywhere is growing. … If right-wing (and left-wing) populist politicians espouse a few reasonable stances and opinions of the ‘populus’, the people, this doesn’t make these stances and opinions wrong per se. Popular is not automatically populist. And for politicians and the media alike, as long as they paint seemingly invincible monsters on the wall instead of confronting the issues or working on them, these monsters won’t be defeated.”

Interests of the far-right parties too disparate

Despite all the fears, De Volkskrant believes that the chances of a super group emerging to the right of the EPP are not great:

“Working together has never been the strong suit of parties that want to break with the established order and that thrive on conflict and provocation. Moreover, those who put their national interests first will clash with like-minded people who have their own, completely different national interests. … Le Pen and Meloni have never had a particularly good relationship. … Meloni is now an influential head of government in Brussels. She won’t be eager to jeopardise this position by forging closer ties with Le Pen, who is deeply mistrusted there.”

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