Outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium (Yves Herman/Reuters)It’s real, but the best hope for managing it remains the EU.
The recent European Parliament elections have laid bare the growing polarization of opinion on the future of the Union. With the widespread success of nationalist parties such as National Rally and Alternative for Germany, and enthusiastic supporters of the European Union such as the Greens and the Liberal Democrats, voters have signaled that the political landscape is becoming more fractured between those who resent and those who fully endorse the EU.
Much of the press coverage has focused on the continued rise of populist and nationalist parties on the right, with their growing discontent traced back to the decision of German chancellor Angela Merkel to open Germany to refugees in 2015. As the narrative goes, opposition to the European Union is inseparable from opposition to migration while a full-throated endorsement of the European project requires taking Merkel’s position.
But is the backlash against migration — note that the desire for various “exits” seems to have died down as the Brexit debacle grows — really a result of, and therefore a revolt against, the EU