The rise of far-right parties across Europe

Far-right parties are gaining strength and being voted into power in many European countries. Their typical hot button issues include keeping out refugees and scepticism towards the European Union.

AUSTRIA: Freedom Party (FPOe) candidate Norbert Hofer entered the Austrian presidental run-off race as the favourite after winning the first round of elections in April, but he lost out on the top office by just 0.6 percentage points. Labourers, young men and older voters make up most of the support for the anti-European, anti-foreigner party, whose motto is "Austria first."

SERBIA: The Radical party (SRS) of Vojislav Seselj, who was cleared of charges by the UN war crimes tribunal in March, returned to parliament on April 24 after a two-year break. The even more extreme Dveri movement also entered parliament for the first time. However, the leader of the Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vucic, once opposed to all things Western, also won in the latest elections after toning down his extremist rhetoric and voicing support for pro-EU reforms.

BRITAIN: The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has made leaving the EU its main priority. Led by Nigel Farage, it has also argued that "uncontrolled immigration" must be stopped. In recent elections, the party made gains in local councils in England and won its first seats in the Welsh regional assembly.

DENMARK: The Danish People's Party (DF) represents "Danish values," opposes the EU and supports strong limits on immigration. Denmark's strict asylum policy carries the party's signature.

FINLAND: The second-largest party in parliament since 2015, the Finns Party (PS), has been pushing to deport 20,000 asylum seekers.

FRANCE: Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front was the country's biggest vote-getter in the 2014 European Parliament elections, but was defeated in regional elections in December. The party often warns of the "Islamization" of French society.

GERMANY: The right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) saw double-digit success in regional polls in March, only three years after it was founded. The party is known for its anti-Muslim stance and has been sharply critical of Germany's open-door policy for migrants fleeing Syria.

HUNGARY: The right-wing populist Fidesz party has ruled the country with an absolute majority since 2010. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has put limits on press freedom and data privacy despite protests from the "bureaucrats in Brussels." He has allowed the erection of fences along parts of the Hungarian border to keep out refugees.

ITALY: The far-right Northern League, which branded itself as an anti-migration party and has close ties to France's National Front, found success in Italy in 2015 regional elections, notably taking Veneto, the north-eastern region that includes Venice.

LATVIA: Since 2011, the National Alliance has been a part of the government. In light of the refugee crisis, the party has stoked fears that the country will be overrun by migrants.

NETHERLANDS: Geert Wilders' eurosceptic Party for Freedom (PVV), which has been in parliament for 10 years, supported the successful rejection of an agreement to strengthen ties between the EU and Ukraine this month.

NORWAY: The anti-immigration Progress Party has been in power with the conservatives since 2013. The right-leaning government has proposed tougher asylum rules in its bid to make the country "less attractive" for those not in "real need" of protection, in the words of the immigration and integration minister.

POLAND: The Law and Justice party (PiS) has ruled with an absolute majority since 2015. It has called freedom of the press and the independence of the courts into question and does not welcome Muslims. Even less accommodating on the refugee question than PiS is the Kukiz15 party, which has demanded the construction of a wall along the Ukrainian border.

SWEDEN: The Sweden Democrats (SD) party portrays itself as a nationalist and eurosceptic party that opposes the "multicultural experiments" of other powers. In the 2014 general elections, it more than doubled its support, but no other party in the national legislature cooperates with it.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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