European Council on Foreign Relations warns far-right could do well enough to bring about 'a qualitative change' in EU
'The growth of anti-EU parties in the European Parliament elections in May could “paralyse” the bloc in a range of policy areas, a stark report seen by The Independent has warned.
Nationalist, eurosceptic, and far-right parties could bring about a “qualitative change” in the union after winning a third of seats, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations, a pro-EU think tank.
The result would give the populists significant influence in the union and the ability to block some legislation, says the study, which is set to be released on Tuesday.
The parties would be able to appoint the chairs of a third of European Parliament (EP) committees and block the body from triggering so-called “Article 7” procedures against rogue member states that flout the rule of law – as it did with Viktor Orban’s Hungary last year.
Even more significantly, unless all the other political groups consistently vote together, populists might also be able to block the election of the next European Commission president to replace Jean-Claude Juncker, shape EU law, and influence the union’s budget.
The Eurosceptic votes could also help derail already controversial international agreements – such as a possible free trade deal with a post-Brexit UK.
Read more: European elections: Anti-EU populists set to win enough seats to gain influence and ‘paralyse’ bloc