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The EPP and Renew must stop normalising the extreme right in Europe

Date

19 Oct 2022

Sections

Global Europe

The socialists and democrats are urging the conservative EPP Group and the liberal Renew Group to cut ties with the far right in Europe and stop normalising anti-European extremist values in government through far right coalitions.

The S&D Group put the debate on Whitewashing of the anti-European extreme right on the European Parliament’s agenda today to highlight the dangerous trend developing in Europe, most recently seen in the aftermath of national elections in Italy and Sweden.

The S&D Group believes that any political group that cooperates with the far right in government is guilty of normalising extremist views in society and guilty of undermining the European Union and its hard-fought values. S&D MEPs also warn against the risks of bringing such practices from the national to the European level.

S&D Group leader Iratxe García Pérez said:

“The problem is not that they are ultra-conservative or Eurosceptics. That’s part of the political pluralism. The problem is that far-right populism undermines institutions. They use democracy to weaken freedoms and rights. When they enter the institutions, they use them for their sectarian interests. They are the friends of Trumpists in the US, who do not accept an electoral result when they lose. They are the friends of Putin, who violates human rights and promotes anti-system movements in Europe.

“Having a parliamentary majority does not justify laws that violate minority rights. Liberal democracy presupposes political pluralism, cultural diversity, respect for minorities, the rule of law and the separation of powers. Let’s be clear: Abandoning the post-war consensus on these principles only leads to chaos, polarization and the inability to reach agreements. Without respect for legality, it is impossible for this Union to function, because we are a community of law. Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals have historically worked on that consensus, to which new pro-European parties have been added. I call on EPP and Renew to go back to this consensus to keep working for a Union of peace and democracy.”

Gaby Bischoff, S&D Group vice-president, said:

“This debate is about urging pro-European political groups like Renew and the EPP to come to reason and to put an end to their cooperation with extremists, fascist and populists’ parties. Following elections in Italy, the leader of the European conservatives, Manfred Weber, expressed support for the centre-right becoming a minority coalition partner in a far-right Fratelli d’Italia government. In Italy, the price for power is the support of a neo-fascist government of Putin sympathisers that questions a number of Europe’s basic democratic principles. There are not good extremists and bad extremists unlike what Manfred Weber insinuates in recent statements. In Sweden, the centre-right government is now made up of parties from the EPP Group and Renew Europe, but firmly relies on the support of the far right Swedish Democrats to govern. The price for power is a strong reliance on the far right giving them control over Sweden’s policy agenda thorough important political positions but without electoral accountability. Europe’s centre ground urgently needs to stop normalising these extremist parties that are disruptive, divisive and dangerous.”

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