This combination photo shows Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini at a press conference at Stampa Estera (Foreign Press) in Milan, Italy, Friday, May 17, 2019, left, and French president Emmanuel Macron delivering a speech at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2019. France's pro-EU president and the leader of Italy's euroskeptic, far-right movement are jockeying for the role of chief powerbroker on the continent after elections to the European Parliament hollowed out the traditional political middle. (AP Photo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — France's pro-EU president and the leader of Italy's euroskeptic, far-right movement jockeyed for the role of chief powerbroker on the continent Monday after elections to the European Parliament hollowed out the traditional political middle.

The four days of balloting that drew to a close Sunday across the European Union's 28 countries ended the domination of the main center-right and center-left parties in Parliament and established the anti-EU forces on the right and the environmentalists on the left as forces to be reckoned with.

Voters delivered the highest turnout in 20 years, rejecting mainstream politics in France, Germany, Britain and Italy.

The results could make the business of governing Europe even trickier, leaving the Parliament deadlocked over key issues to come, including immigration, a major trade agreement with the United States, global warming, regulation of the tech industry and, of course, Brexit.

The outcome of the election is already setting off a power struggle.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron's party narrowly lost to the French far-right, led by Marine Le Pen. Macron, whose party was poised to secure 21 seats to 22 for Le Pen's National Rally, spent Monday busily amassing allies ahead of a summit Tuesday in Brussels, hoping to build a durable pro-EU coalition.

In Italy, Matteo Salvini's right-wing League party won a third of the country's vote and is poised to become one of the biggest parties in the European Parliament with 28 seats in the 751-seat legislature. But his ambitions reached higher.

By midday, he had already spoken to Le Pen, Hungary's hardline anti-immigrant prime minister, Viktor Orban, and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and was promising to singlehandedly bring together a contradiction in terms — an international group of nationalists.

"We want to be a group that has at least 100 members and has the ambition to be at least 150, if everyone can overcome jealousies, sympathies, antipathies. To create an alternative, you play. You don't do it by turning up your nose," he said.

The center-right European People's Party and the center-left Socialists & Democrats have dominated the parliament with a combined majority since direct elections were first held in 1979. With results still coming in , the EPP was on track to secure 180 seats, down from 217 five years ago. The Socialists were slated to win 145, down from 187.

Riding what they called Europe's "green wave," environmentalist parties seeking action on climate change made strong gains, notably in Germany. Another mainstream formation, the free-market ALDE group backed by Macron, saw its stake in the Parliament rise to 109 seats, from 68 in 2014.

For the Parliament to choose a European Commission president and ultimately to pass legislation, new and uncomfortable alliances must be forged, and nearly all will require some combination of ALDE and the Greens.

Well aware of the far-right's potential to turn against itself, Macron launched a flurry of meetings ahead of the dinner summit Tuesday where the EU countries' presidents and prime ministers will take stock of the election results.

He started with Spain and was due to hold talks with the leaders of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

"The future majority of the European Parliament goes through us, without question. There isn't one without us," Pascal Canfin, one of the leading candidates from Macron's party, told France Inter radio.

In Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right movement also lost ground, leaders of the country's governing parties met to weigh the fallout from their worst post-World War II showing in a nationwide election.

"We are facing a shrinking center," a subdued EPP candidate Manfred Weber said. "From now on, those who want to have a strong European Union have to join forces."

Senior figures from the EPP hold the top posts in the EU's three main institutions: Parliament president; head of the EU's powerful executive commission; and European Council president, who chairs summits of European presidents and prime ministers.

Just over 50 percent of the EU's more than 400 million voters cast ballots.

While real power in Europe remains in the hands of the 28 member states, the Parliament's influence has grown. It has helped improve air flight safety in Europe, cut down on plastics use, end mobile telephone roaming charges inside the bloc, boost data privacy, and cut carbon dioxide emissions from cars.

Steve Bannon, who helped propel Donald Trump's populist campaign to the White House, was in Paris on Monday to celebrate the victories of like-minded parties in Europe and gird for the battle ahead.

"You see the trend, and it's definitely nationalist-versus-globalist," he said. He predicted the far-right will prevail by grinding the European Parliament to a halt: "Every day will be like Stalingrad."

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Associated Press writers Lorne Cook and Mike Corder contributed to this story, along with Colleen Barry in Milan, Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Jill Lawless in London, and Geir Moulson in Berlin.

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For more news from The Associated Press on the European Parliament elections go to https://www.apnews.com/EuropeanParliament

Italian Interior-Minister and Deputy-Premier Matteo Salvini meets reporters at the Interior Ministry headquarters in Rome, Monday, May 27, 2019. Hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's League party - who is casting himself as the standard bearer for populist far right in Europe - won the Italian vote and jumps from 6 to 28 seats in the European Parliament. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
French President Emmanuel Macron smiles to a supporter after voting in the European parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, northern France, Sunday May 26, 2019. France is looking at an epic battle between pro-EU centrist President Emmanuel Macron and anti-immigration, far-right flagbearer Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament vote, a duel over Europe's basic values. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
French President Emmanuel Macron exits a voting booth before voting for the European parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, northern France, Sunday May 26, 2019. France is looking at an epic battle between pro-EU centrist President Emmanuel Macron and anti-immigration, far-right flagbearer Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament vote, a duel over Europe's basic values. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)
Two women walk near EU flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Monday, May 27, 2019. Europeans woke Monday to a new political reality after European Parliament elections ended the domination of the EU's main center-right and center-left parties and revealed a changed political landscape where the far-right, pro-business groups and environmentalists will be forces to be reckoned with. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
People walk past portraits of former European Parliament Presidents in the corridor of the European Parliament in Brussels, Monday, May 27, 2019. Europeans woke Monday to a new political reality after European Parliament elections ended the domination of the EU's main center-right and center-left parties and revealed a changed political landscape where the far-right, pro-business groups and environmentalists will be forces to be reckoned with. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Candidate to the presidency of the European Commission, Denmark's Margrethe Vestager, speaks at the European Parliament in Brussels, Monday, May 27, 2019. From Germany and France to Cyprus and Estonia, voters from 21 nations went to the polls Sunday in the final day of a crucial European Parliament election that could see major gains by the far-right, nationalist and populist movements that are on the rise across much of the continent.(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
A woman exits a voting cabin with curtains depicting the European Union in Baleni, Romania, Sunday, May 26, 2019. The ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) suffered a major blow in the European Parliament elections according to the country's only exit poll. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Europeans woke Monday to a new political reality after European Parliament elections ended the domination of the EU's main center-right and center-left parties ;
Two men walk past a projection of the composition of the next European Parliament on a large screen outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Monday, May 27, 2019. Europeans woke Monday to a new political reality after European Parliament elections ended the domination of the EU's main center-right and center-left parties and revealed a changed political landscape where the far-right, pro-business groups and environmentalists will be forces to be reckoned with. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
A child waits outside voting cabins with curtains depicting the European Union in Baleni, Romania, Sunday, May 26, 2019. The ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) suffered a major blow in the European Parliament elections according to the country's only exit poll. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Far-right leader and chairman of the Vlaams Belang Tom Van Grieken speaks during a media conference at the party headquarters in Brussels, Monday, May 27, 2019. Vlaams Belang was the biggest winner in the Belgian elections Sunday after it had been consistently shut out of coalitions over the past quarter century. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon poses prior to an interview with The Associated Press, in Paris, Monday, May 27, 2019. Steve Bannon says European integration is
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arrives at the party's HQ, prior to an event to mark the gains his party made in the European Elections, in London, Monday, May 27, 2019. In results announced Monday for all regions of the U.K. except Northern Ireland, the Brexit Party had won 29 of the 73 British EU seats up for grabs and almost a third of the votes. (AP Photo/Vudi Xhymshiti)