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POPULISM IN EUROPE

A brief, up-to-date overview

July 24, 2018

( 7th. ed.)

 

Populism

The biggest political challenge of the continent

Europe – and many other parts of the world – experience a significant rise in populism. A populism, which to a large extent is built on emotions and instincts – no longer on facts and knowledge.  It has become modern to neglect, what experts and other people with knowledge say.  Or like a Danish prime minister already said many years ago:  If that’s a fact, I deny facts! 

It is at the same time parties and movements, which are often based on a single or only a handful of topics. Not on all the political issues, which political parties normally address.  Furthermore, the selected issue or issues are frequently presented in a very simplistic way. Easy to present. And easy to understand.  And as emotions and not facts are the rule of the day, it makes it possible to get a lot of followers, also in a short period of time.

Another typical aspect of political populism is that it normally has big problems in getting many seats in elections for parliaments. Therefore, they focus on referenda – and on elections to the European Parliament, which the traditional political parties use less efforts to address.  Many populist parties are strong supporters of what they call direct democracy, meaning that they by collecting a few hundred thousand signatures (which is easy to do today via the Internet) can force governments to launch referenda or public debates on single issues.

Which topics are then the most frequent ones raised by the populist parties and movements?

Here are the most frequent issues:

                    1) anti-establishment

                    2) anti-immigrants

                    3) anti-globalisation

                    4) anti-Europe

 

Hereby a scheme showing the priorities of the different parties and movements:

                         Anti-             Anti-               Anti-     Anti-        Anti-                 Anti-

                     establ.ment   globalisation.   €-zone     EU      immigration         Islam

AfD  (D)              x                                            x                              x                      x

Boris Kallar

Party (SK):         x                                                         x                 x                      x

Danish

Peoples' P:                                 x                     x           x                 x                      x

ELAM (CY):      x                     x                                                     x                      x

Five Star (I):       x                     x                     x                              x

Freedom &

Solidarity (SK):                                                           (x)                 x                     x

Freedom P. (A):  x                     x                     x                              x                     x

Freedom P. (NL)                        x                     x          x                  x                     x

FN  (F):                x                     x                     x          x                  x                     x

Jobbik (H):          x                     x                     x                              x                     x

Lega Nord (I):     x                    x                     x                               x                     x

Our Slovakia:     x                     x                     x            x                 x                     x

SK National

Party:                                         (x)                                                    x                    x

Sweden Dem.:     x                     x                    x            x                  x                    x

True Finns:         x                     x                    x            x                  x                    x

Vlaams Belang:                                                              x                  x                   x

UKIP:                  x                    ( x )                  x           x                  x

 

Hereby a short overview of the most active and most influential populist parties and movements in Europe today:

 

AUSTRIA:

                      National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

Freedom Party:  

                            40 (183)                                    4 (18)                                   30-39

The size of the party:

 

In the Parliament? 40 out of 183 mandates (20,5%).

 

Also in the Länder Parliaments? Vienna: 34 o.o 100 (30,8%); Lower Austria 4 o.o 56 (8,2%); Upper Austria 18 o.o. 56 (30,4%); Salzburg 5 o.o. 36 (13,2%); Tirol 4 o.o. 36 (9,3%); Vorarlberg 7 o.o.28 (23,4%); Carinthia 7 o.o. 36(16,9%); Styria 14 o.o. 48 (26,8%); Burgenland 6 o.o. 36 (15%)

 

 

Its 2-3 most important political priorities?

 

Austria(ns) first; EU: renationalization of politics

 

What the party says about Europe and about Austria's participation?

 

Highly EU sceptical, but not asking for ÖXIT. Chairman Strache: „Wir sind nie eine EU-Austrittspartei gewesen“, sondern „eine EU-kritische Reformpartei“, die darauf bestehe, dass die EU aus den Fehlentwicklungen lerne. (ORF- Austrian Broadcasting Cooperation - "Sommergespräch", Summer 2016).

 

Power back to member states instead of institutions (migration, sceptical on free movement of labour, asking for referendum on Turkey’s EU membership, insisting on Austria’s neutrality....)

 

 

BELGIUM:

 

Vlaams Belang:

 

National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

      Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                  3 (87)                                      1 (12)                                       8

 

1. Size :

 

VB lost significantly both at the regional level and federal level between 2010 and 2014 ( latest regional and federal elections. In Flanders, VB is party number 6 out of 7 , just below 6% of votes ( - 9,3 % !!! ). This translated into a loss of 9 seats at the federal chamber of representatives

 

2. Main political priorities

 

First and foremost, VB wants a total autonomy for Flanders.

VB aims to establish a " global Flemish independent state " which would include the Flanders part of North of France as well as the Netherlands.

 

VB is vehemently anti-immigration and in particular anti-Muslim: immigrants should be sent back to their countries of origin. Where the original Vlaams Belang , i.e Vlaams Blok  was headed by individuals who were denying the scope of the nazi gas-chambers, the present leaders are pro-Israel.

 

As for VB's economic views : the party is definitely " Neo-liberal ".

 

3. Attitude towards EU and Belgium

 

The autonomous Flemish State which VB wants would be a full member of a European Confederation. Thus sharing the views of other extreme-right wing parties ( Le Pen's Front National ) . VB has one seat in the EP and joined Le Pen and Wilders' group.

One of the main features of VB's European stance is clearly against Turkey's membership. Obviously, VB wants the end of the Belgian state ....

 

 

 

 

C Y P R U S

 

ELAM:  National Peoples’ Party

 

                National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

                     Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                                    2                                              0

 

 

Party: ELAM ( National People’s Party)  Founded 2008 in Cyprus. Extreme right, nationalist party along the lines for Golden dawn Party in Greece of which it really is an unofficial branch.

 

It has won 2 seats in the Cypriot Parliament in the last elections.

The rhetoric centres round the Turkish occupation of Cyprus mainly . it is against the attempted solution of bicommunal bizonal federation.

 

Vocally anti immigration. These two are the issues it has strong opinions about. it is antiestablishment in theory and extremely populist, had a strong presence during the banking crisis distributing food and helping disadvantaged people but the only things it really talks about are the Cyprus problem and its opposition to the solution every government of the Cyprus republic has been striving for since 1977.

 

The anti establishment and anti-globalisation positions are inherited from the Golden Dawn sister party but I have never heard ELAM speak against the eurozone or the EU possibly because as Cypriots they see the EU as some kind of protection against Turkish expansionism.

 

 

CZECH REPUBLIC

 

                National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

                     Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

Freedom and

Direct Democrary:

                         3 (197)                                        0

Dawn:

                         8 (197)                                        0

Party of Free

Citizens:      0                                           1 (21)

 

All three parties are Eurosceptic.

 

 

DENMARK:

 

Danish People's Party:

 

National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

      Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

            37 (179)                                  4 (13)                                      16

 

History:

The party was created in the beginning of the 1970ies under the name: The Progress Party. Its main aims at the time was to get taxes dramatically down and to reduce public administration to an absolute minimum.  The party did not have much direct influence, and it was also hit by a lot of internal fights.  When its leader Mr. Mogens Glistrup was jailed for years because of tax evasion the party changed leadership and focus.

The name of the today is Danish Peoples' Party. It is the third biggest party in Parliament - and sometimes the second biggest in the opinion polls. It has over the years increased its influence enormously, especially due to the fact that a number of minority governments to a large extent have been depending on the party on many issues.   The party has never been willing to be part of any government. This means that it at all times can choose its priorities without having to follow the common line of a government on all issues.

The party has, though, in autumn 2016 lost a considerable part of its support - partly because of wrong use of money from the European Parliament, and partly because its promise that Denmark could easily continue as a partner in Europol despite the Danish reservation on EU legal affairs has today proved to be false.

The president of the Danish parliament is the former president of the party.

Political priorities:

1. free and independent national states are the only efficient protection against international and European interference into the daily life of Danish citizens

2. total stop for immigration into Denmark

3. Denmark has to refuse to contribute to the bail-out of EU countries which haven't order in their own economy such as Greece, Spain and to some extent Italy

4. international conventions giving refugees and migrants the right to stay in Denmark have to be revised, and if necessary Denmark has to leave these conventions

5. Danish politicians have to decide everything which concerns Danish citizens.

 

Attitude to the EU:

The party is basically anti-EU.  But recently it has underlined that Denmark must try to get a similar arrangement with Europe as the United Kingdom will get in some years.

 

 

 

FINLAND: 

 

True Finns:

 

                 National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                 37 (200)                                    2 (13)                                     8

The roots of this party go back to an earlier protest party:  The Smallholders’ Party, founded by Veikko Vennamo. It changed its name to the Finnish Village Party (FLP) and grew by 1970 from 1 to 17 mandates. Disagreements split the party, and those who left it created a new part called: The Unity Party for the People of Finland.  It disappeared quite quickly, and after Vennamo’s son took his party into government it also disappeared.

 

Both parties sympolised general disagreement, but without any special ideology.

Following another change of name under the present leader – and Finland’s foreign minieter ) Timo Soini they managed to mobilize the dissatisfaction, and the party got in the elections in 2011 39 seats in Parliament.  They managed with 17 % of the votes to keep 38 seats after the elections in 2015, and they are now part of the government.  The support to the party has decreased due to the participation in government. It is at the moment around 8 %.

The party is no longer just a protest party. It is an ideological party.  The main points in its ideology are:

a)      a chauvinistic ultra-nationalism

b)     a xenophobic attitude, sometimes close to racism

c)      a strong belief in state capitalism

d)     a social redistribution of wealth à la Robin Hood

Many people compare the party to nazism.

 

 

 

FRANCE:

 

Front National:

 

National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

       Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                   2 (577)                                   21 (74)                                     28

 

                Regions:

               358 (1758)

 

Latest opinion polls:

The latest polls concerning the first round of the presidential elections on April 24 2017, give : Marine Le Pen (26,5 %), Emmanuel Macron (25,5 %), Francois Fillon (18,0 %) , Benoit Hamon (13,5 %) , Jean Louis Mélenchon (11.0 %)….

 

Whoever will face Le Pen in the second round ( Macron or Fillon) will win significantly over Le Pen – according to the latest polls.

 

Two specific important points about the FN is that, on one hand, its sympathizers are loyal and will rarely be attracted by other parties, and, on the other hand, two French voters out of three continue to reject any possibility of voting for it at the second round. However, rather than choose between two “evils”, some might then prefer to abstain, and this would primarily benefit the FN.

 

 

Main political priorities of the FN:

 

Restoring France’s sovereignty, independence, defense and authority is the overall message.

 

This includes: withdrawal from NATO’s integrated command; conclude a strategic alliance with Russia, to which Germany will be invited to join with the aim of founding of a Pan-European Union (without Turkey).

 

The repercussions for the EU run as follows:

 

Negotiation on the basis of article 50 a new treaty privileging concrete projects such as Ariane or Airbus, without any interference by the EU institutions. The supremacy of European law would be done away with, the euro would be replaced by some system of national currencies, there would no longer be a CAP, but a PAF (politique agricole française), the French net contribution to the European budget would be used to finance the French peasants.

 

To complete the picture add: rejection of asylum seekers; limitation of new immigrants to a maximum 10.000 persons a year, French nationality reserved to children of French origin rather than born in France; absolute priority to workers of French nationality; and generally speaking more policemen, more judges, more prisons and, if the French decide so at a referendum, reintroduction of the death penalty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GERMANY:

 

ALTERNATIVE FÜR DEUTSCHLAND  (AfD):

 

              National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                               0

                   (Länder: 145 (1857))                          2 (96)                                    11

 

  1. Strength:

 

At present the AfD has being elected in 9 regional parliaments ( with an average of 13 % ). It is not yet represented in the Bundestag ( in the last election 2013 it failed to pass the quorum of 5 % )

 

The latest forecast for the national elections in September 2017 gives the party 10 % ( same figure, by the way, as for the Greens and the left ). This figure indicates a certain decline to earlier opinion polls. 

 

  1. History and development:

 

The AfD started as an anti-EURO-party under the leadership of Bernd Lucke und Prof.Dr. Olaf Henkel and was as such successful in the elections 2014 to the European Parliament. Both leaders have left the party after internal rows in 2015, when the party changed its main objective from anti-EURO to an anti-refugee party ( mit Schwerpunkt gegen jede Form von Islamisierung der deutschen Gesellschaft ).  And as the refugee-problem does not figure any longer as the no. 1 on the national agenda, the party follows at present the strategy of national-populist parties in the NL, in France and in the US :  being against the old traditional parties, short against the "establishment" and sympathizing with the idea of national identity ( comme  le mouvement identitaire en France ). 

 

  1.   Europe and Germany’s participation:

 

The party is not against the EU, nor against the NATO. But it is strongly against a kind of federal Europe, where - following the German model - stronger countries would support the others ( like Greece ). It is consequently against the "Banken Union" and a kind of Transfer-Union. It proposes a European Referendum in order to stop the EURO and to limit the competences of the EU and giving them back to the member states. 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The structure of their supporter groups

 

Die demographische Struktur der Wählerschaftr der AfD : Die Analyse der rund 1,8 Millionen AfD Wähler zu den 9 regionalen Parlamenten hat folgendes ergeben : 

Rund 1 Mio Wähler waren Nichtwähler in den voraufgegangenen Wahlen

Rund 800,.000 Wähler kamen von anderen Parteien ( 357.000 von der CDU, 187.000 von der SPD, 114.000 von der Linken, 83.000 von den Grünen. 

 

Schlußfolgerung : auch wenn die AfD rechts verordnet ist, liegt ein guter Teil ihrer Wähler in der Mitte und selbst auf der linken Seite. 

 

Ferner : Die Wählerschaft der AfD ist männlich geprägt : Männer wählen die AfD zu 16 %, Frauen nur zu 11 %, 

 

 

 

GREECE

 

Independent Greeks  ( ANEL ):

 

            National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                    Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                          10 (300)                                   1 (22)

 

The party's main political priorities:

 

                    a) national conservatism

                    b) social conservatism

                    c) right-wing populism

                    d) euroscepticism

 

The party is a member of the present government led by Syriza.

 

Golden Dawn:

 

            National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                    Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                        18 (300)                                     3 (21)                                      9

 

1)       Strength:

 

The G.D. has 18 deputies at the Parliament, and it is the 3rd party. It seems also that it will be again the 3rd at the next elections.

In the European Parliament it has 3 members.



2)      Its leaders still in prison?

 

No. But there is now a trial for the murder of a young man, by an alleged supporter of the G.D.



3)      Its political priorities:

 

They say that they are patriots. They are as the other European far-right parties. They support Trump and are hard eurosceptic, xenophobic and anti-globalist (see also Wikipedia).



The link of their site in english: http://www.xryshaygh.com/?/en/

 

 

 

HUNGARY:

 

Jobbik:

 

                 National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                            24 (199)                                  3 (21)                                      12

 

Jobbik is the second most popular party in Hungary. 10 to 12 pc of the total population support it.(the ruling parties (Fidesz-KDNP) have 35 pc according to the November polls.

 

Unemployed persons, skilled workers and the youth are its main voters. Many university students are very enthusiastic about Jobbik.

 

This the only party from the Parliament which has never won government seats, so it never discredited itself.

 

They consider themselves as a radical, right wing party on Christian basis.

 

Their strategy underlines the nationalization of industrial sectors, the revision of privatization, disapproval of migration, the introduction of compulsory moral and religious education in schools,stigmatization of gipsies as guilty persons.

 

It is interesting to see that a lot of issues from it had been picked up and implemented by Fidesz in the past 2 years.

 

Concerning the EU they believe in  Europe of Nations and they are convinced that the present activity, the way of work of EU is not good for Hungary. They want a referendum about the membership and speak about modification of the accession agreement. They refuse the Lisbon agreement.

 

As the left party side is very weak Jobbik is a potential winner for 2018. That' s why Fidesz constantly implements a discrediting campaign against Jobbik and tries to introduce radical solutions such as the construction of fences at the borders to halt refugees.

 

 

 

IRELAND

 

No populist parties or movements of importance.  The previous Libertas has disappeared.

 

 

ITALY:

 

  • The Five Star movement   ( aligned with UKIP ):

 

                      National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

 

                              91 (630)                                17 (73)                                      27

 

 

The Five Star Movement is an anti-establishment party that has long threatened to change the landscape of Italian politics. Founded in 2009, it has slowly but steadily showed a trend of progressive growth. It is presently the second Italian Party, after the PD-Democratic Party ( the party of the Head of Government Matteo Renzi). In the European Parliament, it has chosen to sit in the same Group as the UKIP anti EU British party. In the local elections last summer, the 5 Stars Movement scored its biggest success yet, taking control of two of the country’s largest cities, Rome and Turin.

It boasts a form of direct democracy, ruled by the contact with the citizen and its electorate through the e-network ( fans have a word on the selection of political candidates, are consulted on major issues of political strategy, and so on). For years, the Five Star Movement has been dominated by its founder, the comedian Beppe Grillo, and his rants against the euro and immigration. But Mr Grillo recently left the scene and the party is now showing a new face to voters. In Rome its candidate, a 37-year- old lawyer called Virginia Raggi, has become the first female mayor in the Eternal City’s history ( and has since clashed against major difficulties in setting up her cabinet office and in tackling the huge difficulties facing the administration of the capital city). On the other hand, in Turin, the new mayor Chiara Appendino, a 31-year- old business graduate, easily defeated a prominent rival on the centre-left and is steadily getting local political approval and respect.

The Five Star Movement’s performance largely reflects the determination of voters to protest against the government after years of sluggish growth, stagnant wages and high unemployment. The party is also popular because of its strong stance against corruption.

Even so, the party founded by Mr Grillo is still a long way from being a credible contender at the national level, not least because of its incoherent economic policies. It is in favour of a universal basic income but sets out no explanation on how to pay for it. It advocates a referendum on membership of the eurozone, an event that would be highly destabilizing for Italy and Europe. Its fiscal policies are focused on lowering taxes and raising spending.

This is something Italy cannot afford because of high national debt/ GDP ratio.

The Five Star Movement will now be tested. After its victories in Rome and Turin, the party will have to move beyond its easy populist rhetoric and demonstrate that it is capable of running two of Italy’s biggest cities. Success at these local polls, however, cannot make up for the failings of its policy programme. The party has introduced fresh faces into Italian politics, but it is nowhere near capable of running Italy.

 

  • The Northern League ( Lega Nord ) – aligned with Front National

           National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

                 Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                             14 (630)                                 5 (73)                                       13

Matteo Salvini, since 2013, is the leader of the Northern League Party.

The party, which had decreased in importance at the last political Elections of 2013 ( it got only about 5% of votes), since the Salvini leadership has increased its political weight.  The persistent difficult situation of the Italian social and economic environment, the high migration inflows, the general feeling of having been abandoned by the EU partners in the migration issue, etc. have allowed Salvini to appeal to the guts of public opinion with his racist, demagogic and protest issues. One could compare him to Marine Le Pen ( he’s a great fan of her..). He preaches the opposition to the Euro, a referendum for the EU, and all the demagogic rubbish.

 

Salvini is a serious contender for the leadership of a potential centre-right wing political coalition ( Northern League + Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, + Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia). 

 

 

LATVIA

No populist parties or movements of importance.

 

LUXEMBOURG

No populist parties or movements of importance.

 

 

NETHERLANDS

Freedom Party ( PVV ):

           National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

                 Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                            19 (150)                                  4 (26)                                       13

General description of PVV:

The PVV is NOT a party in the classical sense, i.e. there are NO members, except MR WILDERS himself. Apart from that there are the representatives in the different parliamentary gremia, national, regional and local.

In the national polls he was for a long time between 28 and 30 seats /total seats 150/, more or less at the same level as the VVD, prime minister RUTTE´s party. If this figure will be confirmed is is expected that WILDERS will not become part of the next coalition government provided that the other traditional parties VVD- CDA-D66 -Greens manage to agree between themselves.

In the parliamentary elections on March 15, 2017, the party got 13 % of the votes and 19 seats in Parliament.

Outsiders who might give surprises are the 50PLUS i.e is the party for elderly, and DENK a party very sympathetic towards TURKEY. Also the GREENS are very much in the lift with possibly 15 seats.

 

Main political priorities of PVV: 

Anti EU and anti EURO. Anti immigrants. Anti Islam. No mosques anymore. Left wing social policies.

Two years ago Mr. Wilders hired a British think tank to demonstrate that leaving the EU would be beneficial for the Dutch economy .

 

 

Taken these standpoints it seems rather impossible that PVV can be part of a next government, although in particular the VVD has shown to be rather flexible, if it must be. The CDA, taken its experience as partner of a previous government with the VVD and tolerated by the PVV, will be extremely hesitant to enter into such an experiment again.

 

By the way, the programme of the PVV has been presented one ONE A-4!  

 

 

 

 

POLAND

 

 

               National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

Liberty: 

(Korwin)                 0                                               2 (51)

 

Congress of

the new Right:    1 (450)                                     2 (51)

 

Right Wing of

the Republic:      1  (450)                                    1 (51)

 

 

All three parties are Eurosceptic and not enthusiastic about Poland's membership of the EU.

 

 

 

SLOVAKIA

 

 

                National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                              (150)                                     (13)

                              Seats                                       Seats                                        %

Boris Koller:     11                                       0

Our Slovakia:   14                                              0                                            10                          

 

Freedom &

Solidarity:         21                                              1

 

Slovak Nat.

Party:                15                                              0

 

 

 

 

SWEDEN

 

Sweden Democrats:

 

           National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:  

                 Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                           49 (349)                                   2 (20)                                       21

 

The size of the party:
 

In the 2014 elections they got 12.9 percent of the votes, which translates into 48 seats (out of 349). None of the two traditional blocs (red-green-reformed communists [159 seats] or non -socialist Alliance-parties [141 seats]) has a majority and none of them wants to govern based on the SD. Rather a stalemate at present.  

 

In the opinion polls? 


In recent national polls they get some 17-18 percent, sometimes even approaching 20 percent. It was even more in the polls during the fall of 2015 at the time of the great influx of refugees. After the minority government of Social Democrats and Greens together with the Alliance parties turned the previous generous refugee policies 180 degrees and closed the boarders, the SD went back to their "normal" levels.

 

 

Its 2-3 most important political priorities:


Immigration. Immigration. Immigration.


Possibly mixed with a little bit of "law and order" if it's directed towards crimes committed by immigrants. All other political fields are permeated by their wish to limit immigration and criticize the "multicultural society", which they detest.

 

 

The party's attitude to Europe and to Sweden's participation

They are against the EU and against further integration.

 

To this I would like to add my own comment that SD is different from the populist movements in e.g. Denmark and Norway. Sweden Democrats as a party has its original history and roots in a nazi party. They have spent the last decades trying to clean up that history and has a more decent image nowadays, but their roots were not a popular uprising against taxes and government in general (as in Denmark), but something much worse. Every now and then there are anti-semitic comments and suggestions. Though party leadership then reacts strongly (as nowadays they dislike Moslims more than Jews).

 

 

UNITED KINGDOM:

UKIP:

                National Parliament           European Parliament         Opinion polls - latest:

                        Seats (of all)                           Seats (of all)                                %

                             1 (650)                                    20 (73)                                      12

History:

The UK Independence party (UKIP) was founded in 1993. It was preceded by the Anti-Federalist League.  It has developed over the years. In the national elections in 2015 it got 12,6 % of the votes. But due to the British system of first-past-the-post it only obtained one member of the House of Commons.

It sees much more success in the European elections, especially in 2014, when it got 20 (out of 73 UK seats) in the European Parliament.

The party’s website is:  www.ukip.org

Size:

UKIP has altogether about 33.000 individual members. Its parliamentary representation in the different for a is as follows:

House of Commons:   1 (650)

House of Lords:          3 (809)

National Assembly of Wales:       6 (60)

Northern Ireland Assembly:        0 (108)

Scottish Parliament:                     0 (129)

Local government:                        492  (20.690)

 

Political priorities:

a)      To get the United Kingdom out of the EU

b)     To ensure that the Brexit vote is followed efficiently through

c)      To work for economic liberalism

d)     To limit immigration to the UK  (where by far the largest group of immigrants are Indian citizens, but UKIP is in particular focusing on immigrants from the EU)

 

Attitude to Europe:

To accept a so-called hard Brexit  (no access to the EU single market, no acceptance of free movement of EU citizens, no jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK).

Here is a link to their latest statement on this issue:

http://www.ukip.org/the_eu_and_ukip_agree_on_the_single_market

 

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT GROUPS:

Europe of Nations and Freedom:

President:  Marine le Pen, FN

Members:  Front National, France

                    Alternative für Deutschland, Germany   ( 1 of their 2 MEPs )

                    Vlaams Belang, Belgium

                    Freedom Party, Austria

                    Lega Norte, Italy

                    PVV, The Netherlands

                    1 Polish MEP, 1 Romanian MEP and 1 British MEP

 

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy:

Co-presidents:    Nigel Farage, UKIP and a member from Alternative für Deutschland

Members:            UKIP, UK

                              Alternative für Deutschland  ( 1 of their 2 MEPs )

                              Five Star Movement, Italy

                              Sweden Democrats

                              1 MEP from France, 1 from Poland and 1 from Lithuania.

 

European Conservatives and Reformists:

Members:    British Conservative Party, UK

                      Law and Justice, Poland

                      ( those two parties are by far the biggest parties in this group )

                      True Finns, Finland

                      Danish People's Party, Denmark

                      Freedom and Solidarity, Slovakia

                      And a number of parties with 1 or 2 MEPs.

 

Steve Bannon’s plans in Europe:

 

Very dangerous development. An efficient counter strategy should be worked out quickly.

 


https://thebea.st/2Ly1m1G?source=email&via=mobile

Inside Bannon's Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right

Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

 

 

 

Niels Jørgen Thøgersen

7th ed.

niels4europe@gmail.com   

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09.07 | 15:10

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