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The far-right in Europe

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The far-right in Europe: Some keys to understand.
    1. The end of workers movement.
    2. The EU and the inertia of the political community.
    3. The immigration issue.
    4. The far-right movement: How it works.
    5. The need for a new political representation?
  3. Some examples of far-right parties across Europe.
    1. Case of Belgium.
    2. Case of Netherlands.
    3. Case of France.
  4. Conclusion.

The far-right in Europe has been a permanent feature in the European countries since the fifties. But for some years the far-right movement, most of the time a mix of populism and nationalism, has an increasing audience among the European population. Earlier it was indeed seen as a marginalized and weird movement; nowadays all these parties have electoral pretensions. In the main European countries, such as in France, Germany, Italy or Belgium the far-right obtains on average 20% of the valid votes in local, legislatives, European and?even in presidential elections sometimes! The far-right is currently a political force which can come to power. Across Europe these parties have been modernized: they have erased the most racist and xenophobic parts in their platforms; they became more respectable. J-M Le Pen in France, Christoph Blöcher in Switzerland, Jörg Haider in Austria, Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, the Norwish Progress Party, the North League in Italy, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium. No country seems to spare the far-right movement.

[...] The national elections become also an?electoral release? (since they have no power any more, we can vote anything for showing our discontent) The soaring rising of the far-right is also the result of the current political life in the European democracies: one French philosopher speaks of ?unique thought?. It is indeed more and more difficult to find big differences between the left-wing and right-wing programs; this is emphasized when the countries have been ruled by coalitions (and so consensus) or as in France with the cohabitation. [...]

[...] This far-right movement can be explained in the Netherlands by the really boring political life based on the consensus and on perpetual coalitions. The far-right movement appears as something different, innovative and with new ideas Can have driven on the political debate. What is worrying is that the current government has applied the Fortuyn's ideas. The former coalition composed of liberals, social-democrats and centrists reduced such the welcome of the asylum seekers that the number decreased from 43,000 persons in 2000 to 13,400 in 2003. [...]

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