EU elections: What are the biggest issues at stake?

EU elections: What are the biggest issues at stake?

The European Union is counting down to the upcoming European Parliament elections, set to take place from June 6th to 9th.

Our journalists, who have been closely monitoring European developments, now offer insights into what is at stake for the election, drawing from their observations of current affairs.

What are the biggest issues ahead for the EU?

Jack Schickler, Finance correspondent: "The rising cost of living is going to be one of the big issues people care about when they go to the ballot in June. We did a poll of people across Europe and two thirds of them said that tackling rising prices needs to be a priority for the EU. You've got energy prices rising by 40%. One in three Europeans have said they wouldn't be able to pay for an unexpected bill. They're really feeling the pinch. So when th EU thinks about its energy policy, its climate change policy, they're really going to have to think about how that's going to impact on people's pockets."

Will the new Migration Pact end decades of division on asylum policy?

Méabh McMahon, EU affairs correspondent: "Migration has been a massive topic for the past decade. Ever since the Lampedusa tragedy of 2013. Now we finally do have a Migration Pact. It took years to get to this starting point. It's perfectly imperfect. Nobody ;likes it. For the left it's too right. For the right it's too left. But it's a starting point. And of course the next mandate will be very much occupied by looking into how member states transpose that into law and how it works then on the ground. We need migration. We need managed migration. Europe is getting very old very fast. Many would point out to the Ukrainian case that we can very much manage asylum seekers, those who are in need of protection"

Where will the EU stand on defence?

Shona Murray, Europe correspondent: "Defence will certainly be one of those issues that will be front and centre of the mandate of the next European Commission and Parliament, not least because of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. There's a realisation this war will continue for the foreseeable future. Because for the last few months Ukraine's been on the backfoot militarily. And for the first time in many years there's a war on the European continent. But there's also an acknowledgment that Ukraine may not be the only conflict the world will be facing in the coming years. And the EU and Europe feels that it needs to stand on its own two feet when it comes to its defence and security, and not always rely on the United States.

Can Green Deal survive far-right victory in elections?

Robert Hodgson, environment and energy correspondent: "They've [EU] set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by the end of this decade. Which basically means it's got to be done during the mandate of the incoming Commission and Parliament. It's an enormous task and it's going to be made even bigger when they adopt the new climate targets. Going into the election, we have right-wing parties who are basically going on a platform of supporting the farmers, putting a hold to all this Green Deal...So, yes the momentum is definitely there, but whether it continues after the election is another question."