Anti-migration parties are making major gains across Europe and it should have a substantial impact on European migration policy.
The recent Spanish elections saw the anti-immigrant Vox party double its seats and become the third-largest party in the country. In Austria, the People’s Party of Sebastian Kurz is conducting coalition talks with the Greens and at the European Union level, incoming EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen promised a new European migration policy by next summer.
Those are just a few items from recent headlines, but they point to the central role migration plays in today’s Europe.
Kurz’s coalition talks are of particular interest because his center-right People’s Party (OVP) won the elections on a ticket of continued strong anti-migration policies while the Green Party, their potential coalition partner, are very much pro-migration.
The outcome of the coalition talks is currently unpredictable, but we do know that the previous technocrat government of the independent Brigitte Bierlein has been consistently dismantling barriers to illegal immigration in Austria.
In Spain, the gains of the anti-immigration Vox party are very telling, albeit the liberal elite is doing its best to marginalize them.
In an enthusiastic speech last Friday lacking in detail, Ursula von der Leyen was quite optimistic regarding the new European migration policy that she promised will be drafted by next summer, saying it would take into account all relevant points of view.