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The upcoming European Parliament elections are facing a challenge as anti-European parties are gaining traction and mobilizing their voter bases. This poses a threat to the pro-European parties, who need to inspire their voters with a clear vision of a strong and united Europe rather than relying on fear as a campaign strategy. Historically, European Parliament elections have struggled to attract interest from voters, with low turnout and a perception of inconsequentiality. However, this year, anti-European parties are highly mobilized, with supporters recognizing the high stakes of the elections.

One of the main reasons for the increased mobilization of anti-European party voters is their success in “detoxifying” their image and normalizing their motives. Mainstream voters may be hesitant to participate in the elections due to disillusionment with mainstream national governments and a feeling of inevitability towards a shift to the right. This negativity among progressive voters is benefiting anti-European parties that are calling for change. However, in Poland, the Civic Coalition has managed to mobilize voters with a positive vision and a convincing case for change, showing that confidence and a clear message can make a difference.

Progressive parties across Europe need to change the mood and inspire their voters with a positive vision of a strong and united Europe. Fear as a campaign strategy is losing its effectiveness, and pro-European parties need to focus on inspiring their supporters with tangible ideas and reasons to believe in the importance of the elections. By igniting confidence in Europe and liberal democracy, and offering a compelling case for why the election results matter for their voters’ future, pro-European parties can overcome apathy and mobilize their base. This approach may help dispel the gloom not only in Europe but also in the US and Ukraine.

The diverging mobilization between pro and anti-European parties may stem from the differing moods of their voters, with the far-right energized and feeling momentum on their side. Progressives must find a way to shift the tide of the prevailing mood that has led to the rise of anti-European parties across Europe. Turning the sense of inevitability felt by progressives into a sense of possibility and hope will be a key challenge for pro-European parties. By offering a positive and inspiring vision of Europe’s future, they can rally their supporters and make a convincing case for the importance of the upcoming elections. Only by changing the narrative and inspiring their voters can pro-European parties hope to overcome the challenges posed by the rise of anti-European sentiment in Europe.

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