The crisis in Europe and the success of right wing populism – RLS Papers Series

In the aftermath of the economic crisis in Europe parties from the extreme right, right-wing populist parties, movements and individuals get more and more support from Europe’s citizens.

In times of European and global competition for production sites, employment, and social standards, rightist parties manage to gain support from voters. Their response to the confusing reality of global capitalism is the protective warmth of the national community. Established democratic parties often act as (in-)voluntary supporters by adapting to nationalist and populist ideas. Rightist parties do no longer confine themselves to campaigns against “undesirable aliens”, but work on economic, ecological and particularly social issues. They connect these political programmes with calls for a re-nationalisation of politics, while ethnical concepts of community play a dangerous role.

Right-wing parties from national-conservative to right-wing populist and right-wing extremist have been elected to the European Parliament for years. Again in- and after the elections of 2009 a right-wing faction has established itself in the European Parliament. Meanwhile in Hungary (currently holding the presidency in the Council), the national-conservative party Fidesz is restructuring the state at its own convenience, while the neo-fascists around the radical Jobbik party are publicly threatening Roma – widely undisturbed by the authorities. In Finland, the “True Finns” are challenging the political system. Similar processes can be observed in different EU Member States. …

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