Too hard to imagine.

Attribution: Bob Gruen.

Attribution: Bob Gruen.

No countries?

Tonight across Europe, it’s hard to imagine how the EU, let alone the world, will be as one.

As the greens, the anti-migrant right and far-right appear to be storming home in the European elections, the old two-party centrist days appear to be a distant memory.

As progressives compete with far-right nationalists for control of the 28 member state union, not all are in favour of the free movement of people and products across borders which are not meant to exist.

It made me wonder how many parties of different ideological persuasions are involved in these elections, and in turn, how many political and ideological ‘soft’ borders still stand in the way of John’s dream.

13 ideological collectives.

There are 13 parties recognised by the EU as political parties at the European level.

These include: European People's Party (EPP), Party of European Socialists (PES), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), European Green Party (EGP), Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR), Party of the European Left (PEL), Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE), European Democratic Party (EDP), European Free Alliance (EFA), European Alliance for Freedom (EAF), Alliance of European National Movements (AENM), EUDemocrats (EUD), European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), and Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF).

However, these are not your typical party. They are pan-European umbrella organisations or collectives made up of hundreds of national parties with tentacles reaching into many of the 44 individual countries which make up Europe.

500 parties.

In total, there are around 500 parties, each with a different ideology and a leader with political ambitions for what the EU should, or should not be.

Around 314 parties are associated with the 13 collectives, and 186 are standalone parties persuading either to the left, centre, or right - with far more leaning to the right and centre, than left.

Take the centre-right EPP, for example, it is an aggregation of 73 political parties across most individual European countries (other than for about 13 countries).

All in all, 500 parties and different national ideologies are assembled within 13 Europe level ideological collectives, across 28 union states, situated within 44 continental countries.

I wonder if John would have said, it’s easy if you try?


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