Radicalizing Europe – Revival of Right-wing Extremism in Europe
Warsaw, Monday 6th May 2019
A pan-European phenomenon. In almost all European countries, there has been an increase in the electoral results of far-right parties: this is true for local, national and European elections.
Between 23 and 26 May, 28 elections will be held to appoint members of the future European Parliament. Forecasts indicate that around 150 far-right members will sit in the European Parliament. In view of these elections, parties have already initiated alliances: this is the case of the French National Rally, the Italian League...
Since 2017 in Austria and 2018 in Italy, the far right has been a government junior partner. This participation has led to a normalisation that allows these formerly marginalized parties to broaden their bases and build alliances. More than a normalisation, these parties dictate the political agenda and set the terms of the public debate.
What are extreme-right parties? Unlike the extreme right-wing movements of the first half of the 20th century, today's parties do not promote or support a totalitarian regime such as the Nazi regime or Fascism. Nevertheless, in their speeches advocating the unity of the people, we recognize identity and xenophobic accents.
What unites the different European far-right parties?
The basis: rejection. These far-right parties have in common a nationalist aspiration (each country having a population unified around the same religion, the same identity...), and a rejection of globalization and multiculturalism, through a marked opposition against immigration and by targeting Islam. These common points do not hide differences, particularly in terms of economics.
A destructive project. In 2018, the American and alt-right promoter Stephen Bannon set up "the movement", a ten-person organisation based in Brussels that works to bring together extreme right-wing parties. This organisation foreshadows the parliamentary group that Mr Bannon wishes to create, in order to block the European Parliament, and to bring "Europe to its knees".
On 6 May in Warsaw, the IED organised jointly with Stronnictwo Demokratyczne a seminar open to the public on the rise of the far right in Europe. Starting from a historical perspective with the Polish example, a session on the Greater Hungary project helped to understand the bridges between the right and the far right. A final roundtable was dedicated to Europe's far right and Kremlins sources.