Most recent polls indicate a right-wing majority, led by gains from far-right party ID and Eurosceptic ECR

Likely relaxation of climate policy casts doubt on achieving 2050 Net Zero ambition

The likely success of right-leaning parties in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections is expected to have large ramifications for the EU’s coveted Green Deal. Multinationals should review long-term strategic planning to factor in a shifting and unpredictable regulatory outlook, which is likely to prioritize economic stability over environmentalism.

Multinationals operating in the automotive and ancillary sectors should closely monitor developments relating to the 2035 combustion engine ban, which is likely to be delayed or repealed if the left’s majority is lost, as polling indicates. Multinationals should further review scenario planning to account for the increasing likelihood of this downside in scenario planning, which is likely to have a significant impact on planned investments.


  • Polling suggests right-wing parties EPP, ECR, and ID will take 56% of seats, up 14% from 2019.
  • Left parties are likely to lose the majority, expecting collective losses of 11%, taking 39% of seats from 50% currently.
  • If polling proves accurate, policy direction centred around environmentalism is likely to be delayed or halted if coming at the expense of economic or social cohesion.
  • Anti-establishment parties are polling in first place in France, Poland, Austria, and Italy, and second or third in Germany, Spain, Finland, and Sweden.
  • The elections are likely to propel anti-establishment parties across Europe ahead of parliamentary elections in the coming years.
  • The renewables sector is unlikely to be majorly affected despite a weakening focus on climate, as it is seen as key to energy security across parties.

Our View

We expect left-wing parties to lose their majority within the EU Parliament, and right-wing parties collectively are likely to gain a working majority. The rise of right-wing factions will push the EPP to seek far-right support instead of aligning with left-leaning parties, which would likely spark backlash among the EPP’s base. Though the formation of a grand right-wing coalition seems improbable, as the EPP is unlikely to align with the populist values of the ECR and nationalist values of the ID, the EPP will need this far-right support to pursue its agenda and effectively govern. The influence of far-right parties on the EPP, which has historically been mostly centered on immigration and environmental policies, is thus likely to rise. This anticipated surge in far-right representation, projected to capture nearly a quarter of parliamentary seats, threatens to unsettle the traditional balance of center parties moderating more radical factions. Multinationals must prepare for a potential divergence from green transition agendas and evaluate the consequences of potential delays or cancellations of critical deadlines, such as the Electric Vehicle transition mandate slated for 2035.

The discourse surrounding the 2019 elections, primarily focused on advancing the green agenda and addressing dissatisfaction with EU migration policies, has evolved significantly. In the aftermath of global upheavals including the pandemic, economic downturns in China and the EU, energy crises, and escalating conflicts, the 2024 elections reflect a shifting political landscape across member states. Key issues now include resistance to the green transition, solidarity with Ukraine, regional defense strategies, and global trade dynamics.

Despite the recent approval of the Green Deal—a comprehensive roadmap aiming for climate neutrality by 2050, requiring substantial annual investments surpassing EUR 700 billion until then—a right-wing majority threatens its long-term viability. March saw the setback of the anticipated Nature Restoration Law after two years of planning, signaling potential declines in support for green-affiliated parties. Moreover, efforts to address farmer protests resulted in policy reversals, highlighting the challenge of reconciling environmental goals with economic realities—a narrative exploited by right-wing factions.

Central to these debates is the electric vehicle mandate, straddling environmental imperatives and political interests. This mandate, slated to prohibit combustion-engine vehicle sales by 2035, intersects with economic concerns, given the EU’s automotive sector accounts for 7% of GDP and jobs across the bloc. With China dominating the electric vehicle market, accounting for 66% of EV sales and 75% of battery cell production in 2022 (and growing), arguments against tariffs by influential entities like the German car lobby, in which Chinese consumers are a key market, pose a threat to the mandate’s viability. A right-leaning EU parliament would likely prioritize industry protection over green commitments, potentially weakening the Green Deal, especially given the prominence of far-right parties in regions most vulnerable to automotive sector downturns.

The implications of the EU elections extend beyond Brussels, shaping national politics across Europe. The success of anti-establishment and far-right parties in these elections could embolden similar movements in upcoming general elections, with projections indicating significant far-right influence in numerous member states. As countries like Croatia, Romania, and Austria gear up for general elections in 2024, and others like the Czech Republic, Germany, and Ireland follow suit in 2025, the EU election outcome may serve as a barometer for the trajectory of European politics for the foreseeable future.

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