The E.U. Votes: What We’re Watching For

The European Union is gearing up for a major event this week as citizens across the 27 member states head to the polls to elect members of the European Parliament. The elections, which take place every five years, are crucial as they shape the direction and policies of the EU for the next legislative term.

As we approach the voting day, there are several key factors that are being closely watched by political analysts and citizens alike. Here are some of the things to keep an eye on as the results come in:

1. Populist surge: One of the biggest trends in European politics in recent years has been the rise of populist parties. These parties, which often espouse nationalist and anti-EU sentiments, have gained traction in several member states. Analysts will be watching to see if this trend continues in the upcoming elections, and if so, how it will impact the balance of power in the European Parliament.

2. Brexit fallout: The UK was originally scheduled to participate in these elections, but with the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the country may end up not taking part. If the UK does participate, the results will be closely scrutinized to see how Brexit has influenced voter sentiment in the country.

3. Voter turnout: Historically, voter turnout for European Parliament elections has been relatively low, with only around 42% of eligible voters participating in the last election in 2014. Analysts will be watching to see if this trend continues or if there is an increase in voter engagement this time around.

4. Green wave: Climate change and environmental issues have been at the forefront of political discussions in recent months, with young people leading the charge for more ambitious action. The Green Party is expected to make gains in several countries, and analysts will be watching to see if they can capitalize on this momentum.

5. Coalition building: With 751 members in the European Parliament representing a wide range of political parties, coalition building is crucial in order to pass legislation and shape policy. Analysts will be watching to see which parties are able to form alliances and work together to advance their agendas.

Overall, the European Parliament elections are shaping up to be a crucial moment for the future of the EU. As citizens across the continent head to the polls, all eyes will be on the results to see how they will shape the political landscape for the next five years.