Nationalist parties in Europe have been on the rise since the early 2010s due to, according to some, austerity measures and immigration.
Ruth Wodak (Austrian linguist author of: The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean, 2015) stresses that the rise of populist parties across Europe has different reasons in different countries. In a March 2014 article she divided these parties into four groups:
- Parties that gain support via an ambivalent relationship with fascist and Nazi pasts” (anti-Jewish) (e.g., in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and France),
- Parties that “focus primarily on a perceived threat from Islam” (e.g., in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland),
- Parties that “restrict their propaganda to a perceived threat to their national identities from ethnic minorities” (e.g., in Hungary, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom)
- And 4. Parties that “endorse a fundamentalist Christian conservative-reactionary agenda” (e.g., in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria). According to the Economist, the main attraction of far-right parties in the Scandinavian countries is the national culture is under threat.
Nationalist parties are the ruling parties in the two former Yugoslav countries. In the Republic of Macedonia, the VMRO-DPMNE is one of the two major parties in the country. The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), founded in 2008 by former Serbian Radical Party members and is led by Tomislav Nikolić. The SNS won plurality in the 2012 parliamentary election and is since the senior party in the Serbian government. In all other countries, nationalist parties are in opposition.
The 8 Most Prominent Nationalist Parties in Europe:
Germany, Alternative for Germany started in 2013 and won up to 25 percent of the vote in German state elections in March. In September, the party took second place in the Legislature in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the home state of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The party’s policy platform says “Islam does not belong in Germany” and calls for a ban on the construction of mosques.
France, the National Front is a nationalist party promotes anti-immigration and anti-European Union positions. The party favors protectionist economic policies and would clamp down on government benefits for immigrants, including health care, and drastically reduce the number of immigrants allowed into France. The party was established in 1972 and now is led by Marine Le Pen
The Netherlands, Party for Freedom is anti-European Union, anti-Islam. In early November, the party was leading in polls ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections. The Party for Freedom is led by Geert Wilders, one of Europe’s most prominent far-right politicians. The party holds 15 seats in the lower house, down from the 24 it won in elections in 2010. (more…)