Saturday

24th Oct 2020

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 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.

News in Brief

  1. UK scientists fear Brexit blow to joint EU research
  2. Greek migrant camp lockdown extended
  3. Lukashenko and 14 others in EU crosshairs
  4. EU imposes sanctions over 2015 Bundestag cyberattack
  5. Italy reignites Mont Blanc border dispute with France
  6. Commission to press Croatia on migrant 'abuse' at border
  7. Belarus opposition awarded 2020 Sakharov Prize
  8. Belgium's foreign minister in intensive care for Covid-19

Ylva Johansson on Migration and Drama Queens

Commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, would like to win the approval of all EU member states for a new proposal for a common asylum and migration policy - something her predecessors failed to do.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. South Caucasus death toll much worse than feared
  2. Polish court effectively bans legal abortions
  3. MEPs urge EU to be ready to dump disputed energy treaty
  4. EU commission on defensive over 'revolving doors'
  5. Why German presidency is wrong on rule of law
  6. Nato and EU silent on Turkey, despite Armenia's appeal
  7. EU tells UK to decide on Brexit as deal 'within reach'
  8. EU farming deal attacked by Green groups

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us