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Europe is beset by global threats. How will a destabilised EU cope with them? | Nathalie Tocci

From Putin to China, the continent faces dramatic challenges – a rightward lurch leaves the union less able to protect its people

The European election results both confirmed and invalidated a widely expected rightwing surge. But what does this mean for Europe’s place in the world at a time when Putin has the upper hand in Ukraine, war in the Middle East shows no sign of ending, Trump is a threat on the US electoral horizon and China is throwing its weight around?

The far-right surge was felt most acutely in Europe’s two largest countries. If you glance at the electoral maps of France and Germany, they are stunning. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally’s victory on the map of France is ubiquitous; in the latter, the east-west cleavage is as deep as ever, with the far-right AfD tightening its grip on eastern Germany. In other European countries, such as Italy and Austria, the far right also topped the polls.

Nathalie Tocci is a Guardian Europe columnist

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