Magazine article European Social Policy

Fight against Discrimination : Far-Right Parties Score Points Thanks to Euroscepticism - Report

Magazine article European Social Policy

Fight against Discrimination : Far-Right Parties Score Points Thanks to Euroscepticism - Report

Article excerpt

In the current climate in which the popularity of extreme right parties in Europe is on the rise, "anti-European discourse could be a factor of success for this political family": this is one of the conclusions of the annual report of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), published on 21 March. More generally speaking, the report focuses on the impact the economic crisis has had on the rise of racism and discrimination.

On top of the usual leitmotifs, such as hostility towards immigration, Islam, homosexuality and the Muslim, Jewish or Roma communities, Euroscepticism has seeped into the speeches of parties, such as the Northern League in Italy, the True Finns, Geert Wilders' Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the National Front in France, etc. "Wasting money," "insufficient external border control," "loss of our cultural identity," "more crime" and "bureaucracy" are some of the criticisms that characterise the far-right's supporters, according to ENAR's report. But the specifics of this negative vision of Europe are tied to the interests of each party. For instance, the Flemish nationalist party ideologically represents a "Europe" that is starkly contrasted with the EU - with the latter made responsible for excessive non-European immigration, while the former imagined as a positive construct and attached to the idea of an independent Flanders.

Although the anti-European discourse of far-right parties is nothing new, the euro crisis has fuelled it by providing the spokespersons of these parties with further arguments; the euro crisis also makes these discourses a bit more commonplace. …

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