Despite democratic forces in the European Parliament maintaining a majority, the significant growth of the far right is deeply troubling for workers across Europe. In the EU and at national level, far-right representatives have consistently voted against workers’ rights, threatening the hard-won protections and benefits that millions rely on.

The rise of the far right is not an isolated phenomenon but a symptom of deeper economic and social unrest. Years of policies from an EU with its back turned to workers have driven inflation up, while the welfare state has been eroded by neoliberal policies all over Europe. This has led to widespread economic and social insecurity, leaving many struggling to make ends meet.

The EU Green Deal’s ambitious goals are badly needed to fight climate change. However, so far, the EU has failed to deliver robust proposals that would make the ‘just transition’ a reality.

In times of high inflation, with war returning to Europe, underfunded welfare states and the concrete risk that the price of the environmental transition is placed on the shoulders of working people, many feel abandoned and vulnerable to far-right populistic rhetoric.

As talks are taking place to build a majority within the European Parliament, we must join the European trade union movement in its call on democratic parties not to form any coalition with far-right parties. In Ireland, we must demand that the Government transposes the EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages in a manner which gives substance to its necessity that more workers are provided with an opportunity to collectively bargain through their union with employers.

The recent election results have made it clear that business as usual cannot continue. Democratic forces have a crucial role to play in rebuilding security and hope by delivering on these promises.