Europe’s extreme right

Rome – A number of far-right parties across Europe have made political gains in recent years.

It’s been fuelled by fears about Europe’s largest migration crisis since World War Two and bolstered by Brexit and Donald Trump’s triumphant election campaign in the US.

Austria is the only country in Western Europe with a far-right party in power. Founded by ex-Nazis in 1956, the Freedom Party formed a power sharing government with the conservative People’s Party after elections in 2017, securing key government posts.

In France, National Front leader Marine Le Pen made it to the second round of the 2017 presidential election. Despite losing to Emmanuel Macron, she still achieved a record score, winning more than 10 million votes with her anti-Europe, anti-immigration campaign.

These are common themes for Europe’s populist parties.

The Alternative for Germany party – known as AFD – won nearly 13 percent of the vote in Germany’s 2017 general election, making it the third biggest political force in the country.

The entry of dozens of hard-right nationalist MPs to the Bundestag chamber breaks a taboo in post-World War II Germany.

The AFD started out in 2013 as an anti-euro party and transformed into an anti-migrant, anti-establishment party.

Jobbik, Hungary’s radical nationalist party, has proved instrumental in blocking EU migrant quotas, although the right-wing ruling party has also adopted a tough anti-immigration stance.

In Italy, the success of the right-wing coalition led by the far right League party, coupled with a push by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, challenged the political status quo following the 2018 general election.

In the Netherlands, firebrand Islamophobia Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders came second in 2017’s parliamentary election.

In Bulgaria, ultra-nationalists entered government for the first time in May 2017 when an alliance of far-right parties, the United Patriots, formed a coalition government with centre-right prime minister Boyko Borisov.