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What the far-right victories in the European Union could say about US elections this year

The just-concluded European Union elections were yet another milestone for far-right parties on the continent. They racked up gains across many of the EU’s 27 countries, and the surprising scale of their victories is rattling the political establishment there and drawing attention in the United States.

The parties’ success embarrassed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz by outpacing his party and prompted French President Emmanuel Macron to call snap legislative elections.

While votes were still being tallied Tuesday, the gain for the right is just the latest example of how discontent with globalization and immigration have fueled a conservative, populist backlash in affluent Western democracies. Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 win was the strongest example of this, but it’s unclear whether the trends that powered the right in Europe will enable him to win another term in November.

That’s because, along with the striking parallels, there are key differences between the dynamics in Europe and the U.S. And even with the right’s gains in the most recent European elections there, the political center still is likely to retain control of the EU parliament.

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