Europeans provide national egotism policy
Pro-European forces won the recent elections to the European Parliament. Even though extreme right-wing and nationalist parties in Italy, the UK, France, Belgium, and Poland took the first place, it won’t affect the balance of pro-European power in the EU.
Assessing results of the elections, Nikolay Topornin, an assistant professor of MGIMO, said that right-wing populists’ influence grew but not enough to seriously affect the policy of European Parliament. “Some say that importance of the European Parliament is minimized. However, most of laws are adopted within a joint procedure between the European Parliament and the European Council, according to the Lisbon Agreement. Thus, no serious prescription can be signed without an approval of the European Parliament. I think all leaders in Brussels understand that perfectly. It is necessary to attentively assess the balance of forces and understand what can happen.”
According to the expert, the Europeans do not pay attention to sanctions against Russia today: “Europe has forgotten about sanctions because projects which the Europeans find important and beneficial go on, for example, Nord Stream-2. The Europeans won’t abandon them. It is a national egotism policy. We will do whatever is beneficial for us, despite any sanctions, the U.S. position, China’s position. We follow our national interests or European sectoral regional interests. Nord Stream-2 is a bright example of a European sectoral regional interest. The participating countries, primarily Germany, Austria, France, will fight for it till the end.”
Topornin thinks the European Parliament will stand on pro-European positions in most cases: “It means nothing threatens the EU. Yes, everybody says that reforms, modernization, and changes are needed. Probably, they need to discuss giving more power to national parliaments or countries’ governments. However, there is nothing about dissolution. Even the UK cannot provide Brexit. They calculated and realized that Brexit will mean huge losses – economical, political, and even humanitarian, as several million British citizens work in Europe.”
The expert stressed that the EU unites 28 countries not only on the basis of their development. They have different histories, cultures, languages, and religions: “So it’s naïve to expect that all of them will vote for staying in the EU and doing something with it or vice versa. At the same time, the political core among the EU leaders includes politicians who stand for further modernization of the EU. They believe the experiment which was started in 1951 is successful. The way which they went for 70 years shows that they turned the EU from an economical union into a political union. Now they want it to be strategic.”