There is quite a wide range in opinion from the moderate wing of the ERC to the fringes of ID, but political currents and the desire for influence can result in some odd bedfellows, especially in the opaque and fluid world of European politics.

It is unlikely that the EPP would be willing to work directly with ID any time soon, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be important. History has shown us repeatedly that it’s possible to influence policy from outside the tent. Suppose that parties associated with ID start putting center-right politicians under pressure in their own countries. You might find the center adopts their policy ideas – as has previously happened in France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

And there are more than enough hot topics in Europe now for the right to get its teeth stuck into. Migration, climate change, border security, military spending, rule of law – all of these have been flashpoints in pan-Europe politics for a long time and are not going away any time soon. And it is ultimately the newly-elected Parliament that vets and approves the make-up of the European Commission – the EU’s executive body.

It’s worth noting that support for Ukraine is expected to be safe for the time being, with the pro-Kremlin groups appearing very isolated. But almost everything else will be handled on a case-by-case basis if the numbers work out that way. And the more MEPs elected that are to the right of the EPP, the more their influence could grow over time.

Five years is a long time in politics, and that is how long this Parliament will last. In that time, France will hold an election that Marine Le Pen, who is affiliated with ID, might win with her National Rally party. Geert Wilders, also ID, is soon expected to form a government in the Netherlands after emerging as the biggest party in their November elections. In other words, the domestic politics in member states could shift even further to the right, which naturally changes calculations in Brussels.

The European Parliament can often seem like looks like a boring, bureaucratic blob, tediously grinding its way through process. But the EU is an increasingly geopolitical player – able to impose sanctions on Russian and Chinese political figures, provide funds to Ukraine and use its economic heft as the world’s largest trading bloc in diplomacy. If its political center is indeed shifting to the right, its influence will inevitably have meaningful and perhaps far-reaching consequences for people living beyond Europe’s borders.

Source: CNN