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Germany's far-right AfD derides EU as 'failed project'

August 6, 2023

The populist party stopped short of calling for Germany to leave the EU. Instead, the AfD proposed a "federation of European nations" that preserves the members' sovereignty.

Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel, the co-leaders of the AfD
AfD leaders have railed against Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government, as the far-right party picks up support among the German publicImage: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's far-right AfD on Sunday derided the EU as a "failed project" during a party conference in the eastern German city of Magdeburg.

A text adopted by hundreds of party delegates at the event said the bloc "completely failed" on issues such as climate and immigration. The party also said it does not support the Euro as a currency.  

However, the text did not urge Germany to leave the EU. The AfD also did not call for the bloc to be dissolved entirely, as suggested by an earlier party draft in June.

The AfD rather wishes to establish "a federation of European nations, a new European economic and interest community that preserves the sovereignty of member states."

The party conference this weekend was tasked with preparing a program for next year's European Parliament elections.

The AfD's chosen top EU election candidate, Maximilian Krah
Maximilian Krah has called for an 80% reduction in personnel and departments at EU institutionsImage: dts Nachrichtenagentur/IMAGO

Last month, the AfD selected EU Parliament member Maximilian Krah as its top EU election candidate. Krah, an incumbent lawmaker in the European Parliament, has called the AfD "the most exciting right-wing party" in Europe.

AfD could pose threat to Chancellor Scholz

The AfD's deliberations on its EU strategy come as the anti-immigration party rises in support among the German population. The party has capitalized on rising inflation in Germany as well as higher energy costs following Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Recent surveys indicate that the AfD has between 18% and 23% support of the German public.    

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), has so far appeared unfazed by the AfD's rise. But with Germany due to hold another election in 2025, Scholz's fractious ruling coalition could be put at risk.

During his summer press conference in June, Scholz said he was "confident that the AfD won't do any better in the next general election than it did in the last one." In Germany's 2021 federal election, the AfD only garnered 10.3% of the vote.  

wd/dj (AFP, AP, dpa) 

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