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Election results from across Europe yesterday show that the world's old guard remains on the defensive in the Trump era, with both right and left abandoning mainstream parties for more emotionally exciting alternatives.

What's new: European Parliament elections (28 nations, 200 million voters) ended the domination of the center-right and center-left parties. Now, far-right, pro-business groups and environmentalists will be bigger forces, the AP reports.

  • On the right, nationalist groups saw strong gains, though not as decisive as some had forecast. Steve Bannon emailed me from Paris: "Earthquake!" Italy hard-liner Matteo Salvini bragged: "[T]he rules are changing in Europe."
  • On the left, a "Green wave" swept in environmentalist candidates in Germany, France and Ireland. Axios Science Editor Andrew Freedman tells me this was tied in large part to frustrations with climate policies that don't go far enough.
  • The twist is that the center held: Pro-EU parties retain control, but with new pressures and a changed landscape. Eurosceptic and far-right parties secured roughly a quarter of all seats in Parliament, per the Financial Times.

Why it matters: The democratic world is continuing to see pushback against insiders and traditional pols, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass told me:

  • "My sense is this mood and movement has not crested."
  • And it's not just Europe and America: "In Turkey and China and Russia, we are seeing some pushback against their authoritarian leaders," said Haass, author of "A World in Disarray."
  • Haass called last night's results "very sad and worrying": "The European project, which began as an historic innovation, one that has been an important foundation of post-WW2 stability and prosperity, is now seen as the establishment and is widely rejected by the left and right alike in Europe."

The big picture ... Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media sees a more divided and polarized Europe, but still a pro-Europe Europe.

  • As in the U.S., institutions prove resilient and stable: Americans are plenty angry, but Trump isn’t about to break the United States.

Be smart: Trump advisers take this global mood as a bullish sign for his re-election in 2020. But American presidential campaigns command so much voter attention — and Trump is so Trump — that trends are relevant but not predictive.

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Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.