Markus Haverland saw a number of differences between these most recent and previous European elections. Before, politicians used to mainly discuss national themes during the campaign. “This time around, European themes were actually debated, like climate and migration policies”, he says.
Haverland is struck by the fact that the old political structures seem to be breaking up. “In the past, large parties had a traditional constituency; the Christians would vote for Christian parties and labourers would vote for labour parties”, Haverland explains. This is no longer the case. There is a wide distribution of votes, which leads to a fragmented Parliament. “One of the consequences of this is that cooperation in the European Union becomes harder”, Haverland continues. “Europe is increasingly becoming like the Netherlands: the Parliament contains more parties, which makes it harder to get things done.”