In the current term, the far-right parties’ – European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) – impact on the European Parliament’s foreign policy positions have remained rather modest.

Mainstream parties, in general, have worked well to ‘make the center hold’ on the most crucial issues, such as Ukraine support.

Because, let’s face it, foreign policy is usually not a strong suit and most certainly not a uniting factor of the majority of those far-right parties.

While they have closely followed the bloc’s response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, EU foreign policymakers have drawn comfort that they were mostly sharply divided on the issue.

Positions were largely linked to geography rather than group affiliation, with Eastern far-right parties deeply mistrusting Russia compared to their Western counterparts’ close alignment with the Kremlin’s propaganda.


‘Russiagate’ was an interesting symptom of this divide.

According to current polling, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the left-leaning Socialists and Democrats (S&D) are again expected to finish in first and second place, losing some seats, give or take.

But both ECR and ID can expect considerable gains, and even the emergence of a far-right supergroup is not unthinkable anymore.

Far-right parties will likely come out on top in nine countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, France, Hungary, Poland, and Italy.

In nine others, including Spain and Germany, they could emerge in strong second or third place.

Ultimately, the two far-right groups together might cover around 25 percent of MEPs in the new parliament.

A significant rightward turn of the house is likely to result in a clear majority of MEPs supporting more restrictive immigration policies and their attempts to leverage development aid to obtain reductions in migration flows.


And it certainly will become even more polarized in its resolutions on critical foreign policy issues, such as Ukraine’s military support against Russia and the bloc’s position on the Israel-Hamas war.

However, let’s forget the European Parliament for a second, which does not carry much weight regarding the bloc’s foreign policy course.

A surge in far-right representation in the European Parliament would not happen in isolation but could be a precursor of what’s to come in the next five years on a national level across Europe.

Far-right parties participating in a growing number of national governments would have a much more significant impact on member states’ impact on the bloc’s foreign policy, particularly in the European Council, where decisions on EU foreign policy are taken unanimously.

The worry is that if certain EU member states regularly exercise their vetoes, others will be increasingly tempted to do the same.

Just look at Hungary, which is responsible for the largest number of blockages in EU foreign policy-making, and that only in the past two years.

Slovakia, under Prime Minister Robert Fico, to some extent, has been on a similar trajectory. The Netherlands could be the latest country to join those ranks once it manages to form a government.


Italy, with pro-Ukraine, pro-NATO and pro-EU Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, has been the notable exception. Poland, under the Law and Justice government, at least when it comes to foreign policy decisions related to Russia and security, has been the same.

But several parties, including Austria’s FPÖ, Hungary’s Fidesz, Bulgaria’s Revival, the Slovak National Party, and the German AfD view Russia favorably and favor a sovereigntist turn over EU consensus.

A return of former US President Donald Trump to the White House could lead to new divisions on the EU and national levels, especially as some member states are likely to align with Washington at any cost.

Mix that with the far-right’s anti-NATO and anti-US sentiments, which are usually tied to broader antiglobalist or sovereigntist ideologies.

The only one not in the mix yet is China, which has so far not managed to develop deeper ties with the European radical right.

And then there’s EU enlargement, which has the chance to become the most important component of EU foreign policy in the next cycle.

While radical-right parties remain skeptical towards enlargement, some support particular EU candidate countries for their very own reasons.


Poland’s PiS considers Ukraine’s accession a matter of national security; Romania’s AUR looks at Moldova as part of Romanian territory; and Hungary’s Fidesz hopes like-minded Western Balkan countries would up Budapest’s own position inside the bloc.

It will be one of the big challenges for the next EU institutional cycle to address the overall trend.


NEXT TERM | In the next European Commission mandate, the enlargement and neighborhood file is expected to be one of the most prized possessions when it comes to distributing EU top jobs between member states.

ACCESSION TALKS | The European Commission this week made clear that both Ukraine and Moldova are sufficiently ready for the formal opening of EU accession talks. Will EU member states be able to convene on June 25 to formally start the process? Maybe.

Before that, EU member states need to agree on a negotiating framework for both countries, a step Hungary has been delaying for Ukraine for some time now, including concerns over Kyiv’s treatment of its Hungarian minority in the country.

A dozen EU member states have made a joint push to move forward the accession process for candidates Ukraine and Moldova and formally kickstart membership talks by the end of June, according to a letter, first reported by Euractiv.

EU ambassadors are expected to revisit the issue next week on Wednesday ( June 12).



BRACE FOR G7 | Eurozone finance ministers this week gave their political backing to a G7 plan to provide loans to Ukraine by using windfall profits generated from Russian assets, which they are ready to discuss after a G7 leaders’ summit later in June.

Speaking of the G7 summit next week, host-country Italy has compiled an unusually long guest list reflecting Rome’s desire to broaden the horizons of the format.

Diplomats had already released a list of many of those expected at the gathering, including the leaders of India, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Algeria, Kenya and Mauritania. Add to that Saudi Arabia and Jordan, who confirmed their attendance this week. 

Ukraine’s President Zelensky is also expected to attend – and to lobby for the Ukraine Peace Summit later that week in Switzerland.

ISRAEL TALKS | The EU invited Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to attend an ‘ad-hoc’ EU-Israel Association Council to discuss the country’s compliance with its human rights obligations under the deal. However, it remains unclear whether Tel Aviv will respond to the summons.


OVERREACH | Referring to the EU’s position on the Gaza war, where the patchy and messy European response impacted the bloc’s credibility in the region, European Council President Charles Michel this week verbalized what a growing number of policymakers have thought in the past months. Read the full interview here.


KEY FILE | Two years after Russia invaded Ukraine, European arms and defense stockpiles are running low, and the bloc’s industry is hesitating to invest in more production capabilities. Here’s the file that the new European Parliament will have to tackle.

MILITARY INSTRUCTORS | At the end of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s two-day visit to France, French President Emmanuel Macron said he aims to put together a coalition in the coming days to send military instructors to the war-torn country.



  • European elections| Thu-Su, 6-9 June 2024 | Europe-wide
  • BRICS foreign ministers meeting| Mo-Tue, 10-11 June 2024 | Nizhny Novgorod
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Israel, Egypt| Mo-Wed, 10-12 June 2024 | Tel Aviv, Israel / Cairo, Egypt / Amman, Jordan
  • NATO Bucharest Nine (B9) Eastern Flank Leaders meet| Tuesday, 12 June 2024 | Riga, Latvia
  • Emergency aid summit for Gaza, jointly organized with Egypt| Tuesday, 12 June 2024 | Sweimeh, Jordan
  • International conference on reconstruction of Ukraine, Zelenskyy attends| Tue-Wed, 11-12 June 2024 | Berlin, Germany
  • G7 Leaders Summit| Thu-Sat, 13-15 June 2024 | Apulia, Italy
  • NATO defense ministers meet| Thu-Fri, 13-14 June 2024 | Brussels, Belgium
  • Ukraine Peace Summit| Sa-Su, 15-16 June 2024 | Burgenstock, Switzerland
  • Informal EU top jobs dinner| Monday, 17 June 2024 | Brussels, Belgium
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