The Progressive Post

A paradoxical EP election

23/06/2014

A swing of the electorate to the left brought victory to the moderate part of the right.

The electoral campaign for the European parliament started in the framework of a terrible national political crisis, with the fall of the centre-left government due to the split of the Positive Slovenia party. A number of lists and parties emerged, combining moderate neoliberalism with strong human rights stances and a rule of law agenda. An unpopular leader of the Social Democrats (SD) put himself on top of the SD list, instead of an excellent woman candidate, and opened fire on newly-established parties on the left of the SD. These new left parties, which emerged from the 2011 protest movement, were not able to cooperate and unify either. What’s more, in the middle of the campaign, the leader of the biggest right wing party, a corrupt former Prime Minister, was sentenced to jail. It galvanized his hardcore activists and pushed the more moderate ones towards the right-wing list led by New Slovenia (NSi) and the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS).

A change of consciousness

In this turmoil, the European election had a hard time trying to catch the attention of the public: the turnout fell to 24.43 %. Nevertheless, this was the first time that voters realized that the EU is at the crossroad, and that its election matters for their everyday life. It was also the first time that they were aware that both the PES and the new left are offering a different approach of the EU than the EPP’s and the far right’s. The visit of Martin Schulz and Aléxis Tsípras in Slovenia did help in making these differences clearer. Slovene voters did not support any of the new Eurosceptic parties that emerged. Although their support for the Victor Orban-like EPP party (Slovene Democratic Party) stayed high, it remained at its 2009 level, while voters doubled their support for the NSi/SLS list.

The slovene contradiction

Due to the dispersion of liberal democrats and infighting within the left spectrum of the “left” block of Slovenian parties, the swing of the electorate to the left paradoxically materialised in a victory of the moderate right. 2014 EP elections in Slovenia are not in tune with the EU megatrends, yet at the same time, the challenge for the Slovene SD is the same as the one for the PES: how to forge an effective coalition of diverse progressive political forces in order to create a strong alternative to a neoliberal Europe.

Find all related publications
Publications
05/03/2024

A European feminist foreign policy?

The need for a progressive and transformative approach
01/03/2024

The transformation of the mainstream right in Western Europe

Implications for social democracy
01/03/2024

Next Left Vol. 15

Progressive Ambition: How to shape Europe in the next decade
29/02/2024

The European Political Community

Informality as a key to success
Find all related news
News
05/04/2024

FEPS supports the declaration of Portimão calling for affordable housing in the EU

Affordable housing needs Europe, Europe needs affordable housing
05/04/2024

FEPS stands with Zita Gurmai against persecution from Orban regime

02/04/2024

Interview with Maria João Rodrigues on the need for EU treaty changes with Euronews

18/03/2024

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

NATO extension, Portuguese elections, far-right and gender equality were the topics of the debate
Find all related in the media
In the media

EU-VÍZIÓ, Dull Szabolcs újságíró Andor Lászlóval beszélget

by MÚOSZ Magyar Újságírók Országos Szövetsége 11/04/2024
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the EU great Eastern enlargement, FEPS Secretary General László Andor talks, in this video interview to the Hungarian Journalists' Association, the functioning of the Commission and its further development.

Sustainable democracies need a sustainable media sector, says Jourová

by EURACTIV 02/04/2024
FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues discusses AI and journalism at Stars4Media event

Does the European Union have the resources to match its ambitions?

by Euronews 02/04/2024
Maria João Rodrigues discusses reforming EU institutions. Available in ES, PT, & FR

Women leaders in CSOs – overworked, overwhelmed

by Social Europe 27/03/2024
Eloïse Bodin, author of "Women CSOs for systemic change" by FEPS & partners, writes for Social Europe on the main findings of the study