Skip to main content
Voters Rebel in Europe’s Big Three
British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive for a family photo during the G7 Summit in in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. (Photo by GEOFF ROBINS / AFP) (Photo credit should rea
(Photo by GEOFF ROBINS / AFP) (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Voters Rebel in Europe’s Big Three

Walter Russell Mead

The past week has seen the leaders of the three most important European states fighting for their political lives. In London, Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to hold power as opinion in Parliament moves against her Brexit agreement. In Paris, a firestorm of public rage has humbled President Emmanuel Macron and forced him into an undignified retreat before street protests he previously vowed to ignore. Even Berlin experienced its share of political drama as Chancellor Angela Merkel officially stepped down under pressure as leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Her preferred successor was able to eke out only a narrow win over anti-Merkel challengers.

The turbulence in these countries, pillars of European and indeed world order, isn’t just about particular leaders. Their entire political systems have come under strain. In the U.K., even before the Brexit referendum, the rise of the Scottish National Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s victory over the moderate wing of the Labour Party had already transformed the political system. In France, Mr. Macron came to power as the existing party system imploded. In Germany, the antiestablishment Left and Alternative for Germany parties have been steadily gaining strength as centrist parties falter in the polls.

Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal’s website here

Related Articles

The Hollow Center

Peter Rough

Angela Merkel’s CDU will soon have to choose between competing with AfD for the hearts of law-and-order conservatives, or with the Greens for the hear...

Continue Reading

Poland Could Play Pivotal Role as Leading American Ally in Europe

Blaise Misztal

Poland can remind both sides of the Atlantic of the value of political, and not just security, cooperation....

Continue Reading

Austria's Lessons for Europe

Peter Rough

Sebastian Kurz and his government have been ousted by Parliament following a recent scandal... what's next for the Austrian government and citizens? ...

Continue Reading