The results of the elections to the European Parliament have created quite a stir in the media. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) managed to secure 25 percent of France’s seats pushing Francois Hollande’s socialist party to second place.
The results of the election came as a bit of a shocker to some including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who said that this result was “more than just a news alert... it is a shock, an earthquake.”
Le pen’s victory, combined with the reports of the Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) winning in Great Britain is leading to fears over the possibility of the European Union (EU) disintegrating.
While commenting on her party’s performance in the elections, Le Pen called her party’s victory “a first step in a long march to liberty” away from the EU.
The pertinent question to ask here would be, is it fair to assume that this is the beginning of the end of the EU? The answer is, not quite.
There are a few factors which need to be taken into account while analyzing the far-right’s victory in France. Firstly, the percentage of seats Le Pen managed to secure in the European Parliament, while high according to French standards, is not a very significant when it comes to the party’s standing in the Parliament itself. With just 24 seats, the NP’s share is not more than 2.5 percent in the Parliament.
Secondly, a very low turnout of voters in the elections enabled Le Pen to capitalize the abstentions and secure a firm place for herself.
Finally, the overwhelming majority of the pro-union parties, including the European People's Party (36%) and the Party of European Socialists (25%) is shows that despite the abstentions, people still want to be a part of the EU.
While the elections are a signal that European governments need to rethink their approach and meet the growing demands of the population, the possibility of a disintegrated EU is not something the world will have to deal with, not atleast in the near future.