Anti-establishment right-wing parties are expected to increase their share of seats significantly, and could become the second force in the European Parliament (20% with 147 seats) ahead of S&D should they agree to coalesce in spite of their differences. Eurosceptic parties across the continent will improve on their positions and could possibly make up a third of the European Parliament seats after the elections in May.

Evolving political cleavages and the expected outcome of the European Parliament elections will influence the political balance and direction of the new European Parliament and European Commission for the next five years. The next European Parliament will likely be more fragmented and contain a larger number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) belonging to the anti-establishment right. This will in turn make the formation of strong and stable majorities at European level more difficult. Moreover, changes in the political landscape could lead majorities in the European Parliament to be increasingly based on cleavages related to societal values on selected topics. The latter may end-up reviving the left-right divide on policy choices related to salient issues such as immigration, whereas differences of views on European integration are expected to underpin majorities on EU constitutional issues. The increased political and arithmetic difficulty of forming majorities risk resulting in less ambitious legislative proposals in the next five years and in a strengthening of intergovernmentalism to the detriment of the Community Method.

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