Europe’s two major parties suffered considerable losses to smaller parties—both Euroskeptic and pro-European integration—in elections to the European Parliament from May 23 to May 26.

While the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and center-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) remain the two largest parties in the European Parliament, both parties suffered double-digit seat losses, according to preliminary results. The big gainers of the night were the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), which benefitted from the debut of French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party, and an array of far-right Euroskeptic parties who made gains throughout Europe.

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This is a series of analyses produced by the Atlantic Council on the European parliamentary elections.

 

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The best Europe in history is facing some of its greatest challenges ever. They will test the sustainability, effectiveness and relevance of the European Union and its related institutions that helped end centuries of conflict.

Despite all the focus on this week’s European parliamentary elections – the most closely watched and most widely reported in their four-decade run – this vote shouldn’t distract anyone from the more existential questions facing Europe. 

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British Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation

British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered the ultimate political indignity, announcing her own political demise after just three years as prime minister of the world’s fifth-biggest economy.

May announced on May 24 that she will resign her position as leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on June 7, but will stay on as prime minister until a new leader has been chosen, a process that will probably not be completed until late July.  

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Unable to unite her Conservative Party around an acceptable deal to facilitate the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on May 24 that she would be leaving her post.

While May maintained that she had done her best “to honor the result of the EU referendum,” she conceded “that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort.” The resignation goes into effect on June 7.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his party to a resounding electoral victory on May 23. Modi, who leads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), defied most predictions by expanding his party’s presence in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament. The BJP is projected to win 303 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The main opposition alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, has admitted defeat.


The big question now is how Modi will use his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s largest democracy. India faces plenty of challenges: a high unemployment rate, slow economic growth, changing geopolitical relationships, border security issues, and a deepening religious divide.

Here is a quick look at how Modi handled these issues in his first term and what he will need to focus on in the next five years.

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Voters across all twenty-eight member states of the European Union, including the potentially departing United Kingdom, are voting to elect new members of the European Parliament. While Europe has caught election fever, were you paying attention to what else was going on in the world? Take seven questions on this week’s biggest headlines.

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The vast amount of foreign meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was a wakeup call for the European Union (EU). It was obvious the next big target of malign actors would be Europe, with twenty-eight countries electing more than 750 lawmakers in May 2019.

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On the weekend of May 5, a month after a truce was agreed between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, violence again rose to levels not seen since 2014. Reports indicate that over 600 rockets were fired into Israel by Palestinian militants and were met by Israeli airstrikes on more than 300 targets. Upwards of twenty-three Palestinians and four Israelis were killed.

But the headlines from the weekend—at least in cybersecurity circles—focused on a single strike by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against an office building in Hamas territory. According to a May 5 tweet from the IDF, after successfully preventing an alleged Hamas cyberattack against Israeli civilian targets, IDF forces targeted and destroyed the building housing Hamas’s cyber capability.

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Over the past two years, the US-Mexican relationship has been marked by challenges on trade, immigration, and security. In June 2018, the United States, citing national security concerns, placed tariffs on Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel. These tariffs cast a shadow over negotiations on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the subsequent processes to ratify the trade deal. The Trump administration’s May 17 decision to lift the tariffs is good news for the ratification of the USMCA.

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