Greens risk losing seats amid 'right-wing backlash and voter fatigue'

As the European Union (EU) gets ready for the upcoming European Parliament elections, concerns linger over the performance of Green parties. Despite their successful run five years ago that resulted in the enactment of landmark environmental legislation, Green parties are predicted to slip in the polls this time around.

Polls suggest that Greens could lose one-third of their 72 seats in the EU Parliament as right-wing backlash gains traction and voters prioritize other issues. Economic concerns, unemployment, and security have taken precedence over environmental policies amid the war in Ukraine, high inflation rates, and the need to boost growth.

Nathalie Brack, a political scientist at Belgium's ULB university, argues that the conservative European People's Party (EPP) has attempted to "discredit the ecological agenda" to some extent. Right-wing parties have seized on the disillusionment with the Green Deal laws to paint environmental policies as a burden on economic recovery.

The Green Deal has also faced opposition from farmer protests across the bloc, angered by the excessive regulations they believe are imposed on them. In Germany, where the Greens are part of the ruling coalition, support is projected to drop from 20.5 percent to 14 percent due to concessions made on reopening coal power plants in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Despite the forecasted losses, Greens are hoping to emphasize the potential threat of the far right to environmental ambitions in the EU. They may also play a pivotal role in forming a majority after the elections, hoping to secure guarantees on sticking to environmental goals in return for backing Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as EU chief.

In conclusion, the EU Parliament elections in May 2023 will be a test of Green parties' influence, as they face challenges from other political factions and the waning of voter concerns over environmental issues. Despite potential setbacks, Greens will strive to remain influential in shaping the EU's future, emphasizing their commitment to combating climate change and environmental protection. As the elections approach, it will be interesting to see how Green parties strategize to address these challenges and maintain their political presence. Regardless of the results, Green parties will continue to play a key role in advocating for environmental policies in Europe and globally. This is a significant development worth following, as it reflects the evolving dynamics of European politics and the changing priorities of voters across the region. Let's see what the actual results will be once the real elections take place and how this will affect the political landscape of the EU and environmentally-focused policies down the line. Plenty of interesting developments await us.

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