Elections to the European Parliament took place last week and the outcome showed that Europe is clearly changing.
Every five years, European Union citizens vote for who will represent them in the EU's legislative body, which can vote on legislation that governs the union. It represents the second-largest democratic vote in the world after India with 400 million eligible voters in 28 countries. This year's election had the highest participation in 25 years, with over 50 percent of citizens showing up to voice their views over a four-day process.
A stable political climate dominated the European Parliament for years, with the socialist and centrist parties maintaining absolute majorities since 1979. But since the last election in 2014, Europe has suffered anemic economic growth, refugee crises and security anxieties. This year's election results show shifting attitudes, with shrinking centrist influence and increasing influence from populist and environmentalist parties. Also of note was that in the United Kingdom, an anti-EU party made sweeping gains, humiliating both the pro-EU Labour and Conservative parties.
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