“Populist tide rises but fails to flood EU,” read a headline in the pan European online newspaper Politico.eu on Monday.
Indeed, the day after the European elections, a feeling of relief has been expressed by all those who believe in the European Union project all over Europe: even though anti-European parties have gained support across the continent, their numbers are far from enough to form a majority.
“We are far away from the dreaded black wave. We are far away from the mass victory of the unrestrained nationalism,” wrote French author and intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy in an op-ed published by the Italian daily La Stampa on Monday.
“If we consider that in certain countries traditional parties managed to hold – for example the Democratic Party in Italy – the balance of powers within the new European Parliament will not be so different from the previous mandate,” he added.
In Italy, the center-left Democratic Party won 22.7 percent of the vote. However, the right-wing League received 34.3 percent of the preferences, doubling the vote they received at the national elections in 2018. At the same time, the Five Star Movement, which won 32 percent of the vote in 2018, plummeted to 17 percent.
The results will likely affect the dynamics between the current ruling coalition in Italy, formed by the League and the Five Star.
At the European level, though, the time for a populist-nationalist government has not come.