Europeans reflect on EU elections

Syriza Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In Greece, the far-left Syriza coalition came first with 26.6% of the vote

EU leaders are to begin consultations on ways of changing the union after spectacular gains by far-right and Eurosceptic parties.

Here people across EU countries share their views on the election results.

Mateusz Lacki, Krakow, Poland

Image copyright Mateusz Lacki

I voted in the European elections for Polish Eurosceptics - the New Right Congress, the KNP. The party has secured four MEPs out of a total of 51 Polish seats. I am thrilled with the results of both the KNP and UKIP. I hope that red tape will be cut down a little bit.

In the long run I hope for the transformation of the EU from a political monster to a free-trade and free-movement zone with no political structure.

I'm not fond of central government from Brussels. I believe in the nation state.

What is remarkable is that, according to exit polls, many students voted for the KNP, which gives it potential for the future.

It is difficult to find even fairly objective reporting of the KNP in the Polish media. That is why it has had a high turnout among students who use social media.

I am completely sure that none of the anti-European parties that were elected will be able to fulfil their programme because they have strong opposition from existing parties. But I believe they will move the debate in the right direction.

Blagovest Chopakov, Sofia, Bulgaria

I did vote in the EU elections, but what makes me feel worried is the rise of the far-right parties, the Eurosceptic parties, which will put the entire EU in a much more difficult position.

Image copyright Blagovest Chopakov

[National Front leader Marine] Le Pen in France, [UKIP leader Nigel] Farage in the UK - two of the main EU countries decided actually to vote against the union.

This raises questions. Will the euro survive? Are Germany and the German population prepared to continue pushing forward for more integration within the union?

Is this form of the EU - divided and weak - giving more ground for Russia's Eastern European expansionism?

In my opinion Europe has two choices. Either go back to nation states, destroying the European Union, or take the path to a more integrated union - but not one dominated by France and Germany, one with new rules which will be implemented by everyone, to upgrade on what has been achieved so far.

Ioannis Ioannisdis, Athens, Greece

The Europe of the banks and austerity has crumbled.

Most people in Greece voted against the current political leaders, with many voting for the far-right Golden Dawn.

I voted for Syriza, not because I am against Europe as such, but because I am against how the country has been run.

Image copyright Ioannis Ioannisdis

I am against the way that banks have been bailed out and the people will never get back.

As a result of new taxes because of austerity measures I was forced to close my business in 2011. Since then I have been taking short-term contracts across Europe. As a result of this, I am also in danger of losing my home.

The victory of the far right is the result of inhuman and anti-democratic policies tested here and transferred to Italy, Spain and Portugal, regardless of the imminent consequences for all European citizens, here, in the cradle of democracy!

[German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, [Greek PM Antonis] Samaras, [French President Francois] Hollande, [Italian PM Matteo] Renzi, [European Commission head Jose Manuel] Barroso, [Greek opposition leader Evangelos] Venizelos, the full house of the banks' crew, can now reflect over the ruins of Europe, harvest the fruits of fear and economic imperialism.

I only expect a superficial reaction from the EU following these elections, and discontent with the EU will grow.

Edmund Szybicki, Meyrin, Switzerland

I am a Swedish citizen and voted in the European elections.

I am, to a certain extent, happy because there may be changes in the management of Europe. And it is really necessary, as there have been many stupid decisions.

Europe must show more independence. As it is now, Europe acts as some sort of a "hunting dog" for the US. The case of Ukraine is an example and finally is a disaster for Europe.

The expansions of Europe do not make any sense - there are many immigration problems from countries which have nothing to do with Europe.

People are electing the parliament expecting it to work for those who elected it. It does not seem to be always the case. On the contrary, it allows finance, banks, big companies and millionaires to keep the population as hostages.

Although in the beginning I was for Europe, today I do not recognise my vision of Europe any longer.