EUP 2014


EU ‘Parliament’ elections - Ultras Rising

The 28 member states of the European Union (EU) begin voting today in elections to the 751-seat EU parliament, May 22-25. Though it has generated little public interest, the election will nonetheless give a certain measure of the political temperature across the EU, with far-right parties expected to at least double their representation since the last elections, held in 2009.

Turnout for the vote is not expected to better the 43 percent mark of the last parliamentary election, commensurate with what is seen as the limited political importance of the assembly. The EU parliament (EP) in fact has no lawmaking power. Directives and regulations are ‘proposed’ by the unelected, executive Commission, after consultation with lobbyist ‘stakeholders,’ and then rubber stamped by the parliament before being incorporated into the member states’ laws.

As for the extreme Right surge, in France, England and Denmark, far-right nationalist parties Front National (FN), UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Danish People’s Party (DPP) are leading in their respective national polls, with the FN, founded by a convicted racist and now run by his daughter, set to gain a record 24 percent nationally, according to an Ipsos poll in Le Monde. (When the FN landed for the first time in a run-off vote for the presidency in 2002, French youth took to the streets of Paris to march in protest of what they viewed then as a fascist threat to the constitutional order of the Republic. The FN lost in a landslide to the anti-war Jacques Chirac.)

Politically there may not be much at stake in these campaigns but well-paid seats in a talk shop assembly within an increasingly opposed Union. But the EP campaigns have nonetheless stood out for the resurgence of divisive identity politics on the Old Continent. Immigration--a favorite far-right bugbear--particularly from Muslim North Africa, has been an important focus of party campaigns, several of which have included banned (or not) racist ads, with 14 EP candidates here feeling the need to sign anti-racism pledges. 

From a historical perspective, while anti-Islam would seem like Europe’s new anti-Semitism, we are now seeing as well the original article itself. According to the World Jewish Congress, cited in the Israeli press, an “alarming rise of neo-Nazi political parties and anti-Semitic incidents in several European countries” has been of concern.

In Germany today, the National Democratic Party (NDP), heir of the German Reich Party, is poised to enter the mainstream, with a seat in the European assembly in Strasbourg expected for the first time, following the Merkel government’s lifting of Germany’s previous three percent vote threshold. The NDP will likely be joined there by other neo-Nazi parties Jobbik of Hungary and Golden Dawn of Greece, as well as the fascist British National Party (BNP), with new highs of a few seats a piece in the European parliament.

The polarizing trend should also see a modest increase for the Left, according to Vote, with the European United Left group expected to pick up about 15 seats for a total of 50. Still, the surge on the racist hard Right would far outpace this gain at about four times that number of new seats won, according to the same source, for a total of around 125.

Rounding out the far-right are the anti-Islamic or anti-Semitic Freedom Party (PVV) of the Netherlands, Danish People’s Party (DPP), (the late Jorg Haider’s) Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), the Swedish Democrats (SDP) and the fascist Northern League (LN) of Italy.

Overall, the two majority parties in the current parliament are expected to remain on top however, with the Christian Democrat ‘European People’s Party’ (EPP) group tipped to edge out the ‘Socialists and Democrats’ (SAD), 217 to 201 seats, VoteWatch predicts.

Besides the worrying climate of fascist xenophobia, another result of trends evident in the elections will be that the EU will be paying more money than ever to sustain Europe’s eurosceptic far-right, to the tune of an estimated several million euros in annual sponsorship of the seated political parties, through national public funding. These will now include numerous racist or neo-Nazi parties, several of which have associated criminal convictions for racism (DPP, FN) or have been targeted with legal bans for same (NDP). 

While the composition of the parliament may be put down to national political sentiments rather than those of Brussels, the continued funding of racist political parties and their hateful propaganda is an indicator of where Brussels’ sympathies lie. The EU’s stated raison d’etre has always been its claim to subsume dangerous nationalism but in point of fact it funds, supports and exacerbates this, as the current campaign and its expected results would show. 

Foreign policy is another indicator of Brussels' affinities. And we need look no further than Ukraine, where a democratically elected government was overturned in favor of a pro-EU accession junta of fascists (Svoboda)--who promptly committed a massacre of Russian minorities in Odessa--to see the dark reflection of the political character of the all powerful EU executive, under NATO. Not to mention the new NATO-wide gay eugenics policy, which like the current rise of the extreme Right and the events in Ukraine all harken back to Europe’s darkest days.

It must be remembered that the first EU Commissioner, Walter Hallstein, was himself a Nazi (jurist), charged to implement what had been Nazi plans for rule (from Brussels) over a conquered Europe. Their former industrial base and old money banking support would have only grown bigger since then.

But the EU’s sponsoring of new nationalist and eurosceptic parliamentary groups, who would withdraw their nations from the Union, is still ironic. It could be that it’s both a measure of the powerlessness of the parliament and a symptom of the pressing need for foreign scapegoats in the beleaguered European corporate and banking Union. In former times, the sacrifice of scapegoats in tribal cults to lift (or shift) blame was sometimes a substitute for the earlier practice of sacrificing kings.


Farage’s EUP coalition denied EU funding despite its strong election showing, in what members called anti-democratic sabotage by EUP president Martin Schulz, who knocked the coalition below threshold requirements for recognition and funding by promoting a Baltic state rep. out of the UKIP coalition.



Thursday 22 May 2014