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Europe's rising right

Emma Wallis / nh
May 20, 2014

French politician Marine Le Pen and her British colleague Nigel Farage are both opponents of the European Union. They may well rally significant support in the 2014 European elections.

An anti-EU campaign poster from UKIP
Image: Reuters

Europe's euroskeptic parties are united by their distrust of the European Union and have been strengthened by electoral successes in numerous countries. Mainstream politicans are concerned parties like Marine Le Pen's National Front in France or Nigel Farage's UKIP in Britain will bring home further victories in the European elections in May 2014.

Le Pen and Farage oppose the concentration of power in Brussels and policies they say it promotes, such as multiculturalism and mass immigration - and they are not alone. Anti-EU and populist sentiment can be observed in other European countries, such as Germany, Denmark, Greece and Italy.

In Germany, a new party, The Alternative for Germany (AfD), wants to abolish the euro and almost made it into parliament at elections in September 2013.

In Italy, the national-conservative right has been deeply ingrained within civil society since World War II. Its most visible figure is parliamentarian Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the wartime dictator.

Extremist nationalist parties have also benefited from the unpopularity of the EU. In Hungary, anti-Semitism has been expressed as part of mainstream discourse, and at the same time, Greece's Golden Dawn party has established itself in the country's political landscape.

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