The rise of the far-Right in Europe is not a false alarm –

5 months ago Comments Off on The rise of the far-Right in Europe is not a false alarm –

In France, where on current polling Marine Le Pen will force Francois Hollande out of the second round of next year’s presidential election, the nationalist dynamic already makes it harder to resolve the refugee crisis and – should it a happen – will surely toughen any post-Brexit negotiations.

And across eastern European EU member states – not so long ago taken as a symbol of the inexorable triumph of Western values over Communism – leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Slovakia’s Robert Fico, talk about defending a “Christian culture” against Muslims and foreigners.

It is the same barely concealed dog-whistle rhetoric that leads the AfD to propose banning mosques – it doesn’t need to happen to have an impact that ripples across Europe, pushing mainstream parties into more extreme positions and causing an open East-West rift among EU member states.

These far-Right parties also tend to sympathise with Vladimir Putin, whose own brand of nationalism led to the annexation of Crimea and now menaces the Baltic States, where nationalism is also on the rise again.

The growing influence of the far-Right in countries like Austria may also yet erode the economic sanctions on Moscow that remain one of Europe’s few concerted diplomatic actions in recent years.

Thanks to the failure to keep control over the migration crisis and escape austerity-economics in the Eurozone, the far-Right drumbeat has now become the constant knocking in the pipes of Europe’s politics at a time when the plumbing looks increasingly fit to burst.

The solution cannot be suppression or “more Europe” – that will have the opposite effect – but the urgent creation of what David Cameron called in his Bloomberg speech a Europe of “flexible cooperation, respecting national differences”.

This may – as Mr Cameron’s negotiation showed – be difficult for Europe’s inner-core, but as the Freedom Party inches towards power in Austria, and Britain seriously considers the EU exit door, they should carefully consider the alternatives.

The rise of the far-Right in Europe is not a false alarm –