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Next year could be a serious challenge to the unity of the European Union. According to the findings of Stratfor, the upcoming elections in the EU could lead to differences on the continental block and, as a result, changing positions on the Ukrainian issue. "Despite the promise that the new year holds for Moscow, however, Russia's comeback is far from guaranteed. Because the United States and NATO are unlikely to withdraw from the European borderlands completely, Russia will not have free reign over Eurasia. Furthermore, various parties in the United States and European Union will contest the removal or easing of sanctions against Moscow. Facing the prospect of diminished support from the West, Ukraine and Georgia may look to build their own blocs with nearby countries such as Poland and Turkey for reinforcement against Moscow. Russia, meanwhile, will be cautious not to act too aggressively in its borderlands as it contends with lingering economic and political problems at home. These factors will keep Russia from taking full advantage of the turmoil and uncertainty in the West as their standoff stretches into a new year. Nonetheless, the country could make significant headway in its negotiations with the West and in its former sphere of influence in 2017," Stratfor analysts claim.
Netherlands. Electoral race in Europe, will be launched in the Netherlands: here the parliamentary elections to be held in mid-March. According to Independent, “public support for controversial far-right leader Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom, PVV) continues to rise in the Netherlands… The incumbent Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, would be pushed into second if the vote was tomorrow according to the poll, with their coalition partner Labour Party trailing behind in third place. As the PVV currently holds 12 seats, it could conceivably triple its representation in parliament.”
It is said that PVV leader Geert Wilders is an open enemy of Islam, and he is even under investigation for inciting ethnic hatred. “I have a message for the judges who convicted me: you have restricted the freedom of speech of millions of Dutch people and hence convicted everyone. No-one trusts you anymore. I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me,” he states. According to sociologists, the victory of his party, which now might get about a quarter of seats of the Lower House of Parliament, mightseriously strengthen the anti-emigrant positions in Europe against immigrant crisis.
It was PVV that organized a referendum on the signing of the Association between the EU and Ukraine. The results of the referendum showed that 61% voted against signing.
France. In April, the presidential election to start in France. They will be held in two rounds - 23 April and 7 May. According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, candidates for the presidency of the Fifth Republic are Republican leader Francois Fillon and National Front leader Marie Le Pen. According to a poll in the first round, Francois Fillon might 26%, while Marie Le Pen - 24%. However, the final victory sociologists give to Fillon, who is projected to bypass Marie Le Pen in the second round - 67% versus 33%, respectively.
However, the victory of both candidates can lead to major changes in European politics. Speaking for the preservation of the European Union, Francois Fillon has repeatedly spoken against cancellation penalties and Russian cooperation with Moscow on a number of issues, according to the publication in NewYorkTimes. He is also a supporter of anti-Islamic policies. His opponent from the "National Front" is more radical: Marie Le Pen has repeatedly urged the French to "divorce" with the European Union and start closer cooperation with Russia. In March 2014, Marie Le Pen announced her official recognition of the results of the referendum in Crimea.
Germany. Another severe blow to the unity of the European Union might occur in Germany, September 2017, the country to hold Bundestag elections. According to the results of opinion polls, the leading position are held by "Christian Democratic Union" headed by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now about 31% of Germans support it. Another 20.5% would vote for their colleagues in the coalition - "Social Democratic Party of Germany." Rating of "green" and "left", according to the DW publication, are at around 10% and 11.5% respectively, they could also provide them with seats in parliament. Against the background of the events that took place in Germany, dissatisfaction with the liberal policies of the ruling Islamic forces on refugees is growing in society. Almost immediately after the attack in Berlin (December 19), killing 12 people and injuring about fifty, rating "Christian Democratic Union" fell by 1.5%. The rating of more Eurosceptic "Alternative for Germany," which advocates withdrawal from the euro area, by contrast, grew by 2.5 percent and amounted to 15.5%. According to Bloomberg, this situation is associated with a record influx of immigrants and the policies pursued by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
By the way, the members of " Alternative for Germany" have repeatedly highlighted the need to turn the eastern course of the country. It also requires the abolition of all sanctions against Moscow and restore normal relations between NATO, EU, and Russia; “and annexation of Crimea cannot stand on its way," quoted Die Welt the party member Alexander Eberhardt Gauland.
It is too early to speak on the final scenario of the situation in Europe. However, we can state that important for Ukraine issues can be reviewed by the new-elected European leaders. "A question related to visa-free regime is connected with the elections in the Netherlands; so it might be postponed until the election results in France and in Germany. And for the new European politicians, the price issue might be much more important than the question of values, - the political scientist Andriy Zolotarev notes. - All this can seriously affect Ukraine, because the European countries can radically reconsider their views on their relations with Russia. But this does not mean that we should dramatically "shift the wheel" and do a U-turn from the EU."