The big news from the 2024 European parliamentary elections is undoubtedly the rise of the populist right. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally became France’s leading party in the European Parliament; Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy now leads the Italian delegation; and Alternative for Germany (AfD) took second place in the European Union’s largest country, outranking every party in the current German government. Centrist parties in the liberal Renew group suffered the biggest losses. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo resigned in the wake of his party’s crushing defeat, and French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly after his party fell to under half the vote of National Rally. 

Flying under the radar, however, is the thumping that European voters delivered to green parties across the Continent. Having won 74 seats in 2019 and sitting on 71 going into the election, the Greens/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament is projected to hold only 55 in the new legislature. It has fallen from fourth to sixth place behind not only European Conservatives and Reformists (Italy’s Brothers of Italy, Poland’s Law and Justice, Spain’s Vox) and the right-wing populist group Identity and Democracy, but is even short of the group of non-attached parties whose numbers are dominated by AfD and Hungary’s Fidesz.

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