Sunday

3rd Jul 2022

Podcast

Tiptoeing Around the Far Right

  • There are around 150 far-right lawmakers in the new European Parliament that companies can lobby for favourable votes and amendments (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Should lobbyists engage with far-right and extremist lawmakers?

After the EU elections in May, about 20 percent of members of the European Parliament have far-right agendas. That's a big gain — up from 10-to-15 percent five years ago. That's also around 150 far-right lawmakers companies can lobby for favourable votes and amendments.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Many people are uncomfortable with that prospect. Far-right parties are rife with misogyny, homophobia and islamophobia; many have members who openly admire Italian and German fascism and Putin's Russia.

Lobbyists who work with these lawmakers risk normalising hate-mongering and anti-democratic values.

Those concerns prompted EU Scream to take an ambitious step for such a young podcast: holding our first event. We had great support from Res Publica Europa, a new group mainly made up of European Union officials, and from Open Forum Europe, the think tank for the open source software community in Brussels.

Our mission was to draw up some preliminary guidelines for lobbyists. We knew that was going to be ambitious. We nevertheless reached areas of consensus thanks to Alberto Alemanno, a law professor at French business school HEC Paris, and thanks to some dazzling panelists:

Maris Hellrand, a journalist and activist from Estonia; Benedikt Herges, the head of the Brussels office for German technology and engineering company Siemens; Heather Grabbe, the director of EU affairs for Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic group founded by George Soros; and Michiel van Hulten, a former member of Parliament and the director of Transparency International EU.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also follow via @euscreams subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Opinion

Blocking Brexit will boost the far-right

Mainstream British politicians have a responsibility to find ways how to counter the growing far-right extremist threat. Overturning Brexit will only serve to intensify it.

Lobby register transparency talks collapse

Efforts to set up a better transparency register for lobbyists have collapsed after two years of talks. The impasse revolves around the European Commission's insistence that the register also become mandatory for the European Parliament and Council.

Feature

Le Pen warns against pushing Russia 'into arms of China'

French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, is campaigning to 'save' Europe by transforming it into what she calls a De Gaulle-inspired 'Alliance of Nations'. She also warns against pushing Russia into the arms of China.

Don't Fall For Fascist Porn

Far-right trolls commonly target women and minorities and seek to subvert the work of politicians, journalists and activists. But technology platforms and their supporters tend to resist legislation that could help tame the trolls.

Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow

Vladimir Putin's Ukraine war has threatened to be a public relations disaster for hard-right gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference — now meeting in Budapest and featuring Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who remains highly-cordial with the Kremlin.

To Kyiv — and back

Would you pick up a gun and fight for Ukraine? The injustice of the Russian invasion has led white-collar professionals like Florent and Thomas to trade suits and ties for camouflage and Kalashnikovs.

News in Brief

  1. EU Parliament 'photographs protesting interpreters'
  2. Poland still failing to meet EU judicial criteria
  3. Report: Polish president fishing for UN job
  4. Auditors raise alarm on EU Commission use of consultants
  5. Kaliningrad talks needed with Russia, says Polish PM
  6. Report: EU to curb state-backed foreign takeovers
  7. EU announces trade deal with New Zealand
  8. Russia threatens Norway over goods transit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. Nato's Madrid summit — key takeaways
  2. Czech presidency to fortify EU embrace of Ukraine
  3. Covid-profiting super rich should fight hunger, says UN food chief
  4. EU pollution and cancer — it doesn't have to be this way
  5. Israel smeared Palestinian activists, EU admits
  6. MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship
  7. If Russia collapses — which states will break away?
  8. EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us