The 2019 EU Elections: Moving the Center

Issue Date October 2019
Volume 30
Issue 4
Page Numbers 20-34
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The 2019 European elections brought the transformation wrought by the so-called “refugee crisis” of 2015–16 deeper into the heart of EU institutions. Right-wing Euroskeptics took between a quarter and a third of the seats in the European Parliament, with populist radical-right parties making the biggest gains. But the strengthening of the populist radical right is only the most visible aspect of a more fundamental transformation of European politics—a transformation whose elements also include shifting voter priorities, a sea change in mainstream-party agendas, and the growing influence of Hungarian premier and “illiberal democracy” booster Viktor Orbán.