Visiting Writer: Far-Right extremism must be combated by the European Union

Dmitry Gurbanov is an immigrant, who is interested in politics and is currently studying political science. He is monitoring the world-wide development of the far-right. 

73 years ago, Nazi Germany capitulated and the ideas of National Socialism were defeated. Most the ideas proclaimed by Nazi Germany were debunked and swept under the rug for the next 30 years. Even during the early 2000s, most of the people in Europe were laughing at the bald-headed neo-Nazis who mostly focused on drinking and fighting. At the same time, ideas and the language used by neo-Nazis became more and more common in EU member states.

At this very moment, right wing populists have entered the EU politics and are growing their support all over Europe. Polish and Hungarian state machinery are in almost total control by the right-wing populists and what it means for the liberal and pluralist society is widely known.
Right now most of the far-right and right-wing populist parties are represented by the new Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the EU parliament. The parties inside the group oppose things like feminism, liberalism, secularism and immigration. Especially one thing unites these parties and it shows how radical the right wing in Europe has become.
This is the move towards ethnic-nationalism. While “cultural nationalist” see culture as the main factor distinguishing immigrants from state nationals, ethnic-nationalists consider the culture to be a product of ethnicity. What this means in practice is that ethnic-nationalist view non-white people as “foreigners” even if these people are culturally fully Finnish/Polish/Hungarian etc. Ethnic-nationalist will claim that only white nationals can reproduce the national culture.
This shift in ideology has not only caused a major rift between mainstream conservative parties and right-wing/far-right parties, but also between different right-wing populist parties. Parties that have moved towards ethnic-nationalistic approach are Italian Legia, Hungarian Fidesz and Austrian FPÖ, while Swedish Democrats have moved towards opposite direction towards more cultural approach.
This radicalization of the right-wing parties happened partly as a result of the 2015 refugee crisis. Around that time, many far-right politicians began speaking about “the great replacement”. During 2016, Salvini told that the arrival of immigrants is “an ethnic substitution”. Orban told recently that, according to him, “There are political forces in Europe who want a replacement of population for ideological reasons”.
Right-wing populist parties have always been suspicious of foreigners and foreign cultures, but not bothered with immigrants that became employed. However, after the shift to ethnic-nationalism this policy changed. Now all non-white immigrants are considered “invaders” even if they work or even convert to Christianity. If mainstream Conservative parties want immigrants to integrate, the ethnic-nationalist want the immigrants to leave. There is nothing worse for an ethnic-nationalist than a non-white well-integrated immigrant.
Not only is this movement of radicalization against the European values of freedom and solidarity, it may also lead to large-scale internal conflicts which may threaten the peace and security in Europe. This is why it must be politically combated by the European Union.
TEKSTI Dmitry Gurbanov
KUVAT Katerina Panina
Vieraskynä-artikkeleita tuettu ulkoministeriön Eurooppatiedotus-hanketuella