Sunday

20th Aug 2017

Growing racism spurs rise in extremist parties, commission says

  • Political leaders need to take a stand against extremist parties, says Malmstrom (Photo: eu2013.lt)

Creeping racism and xenophobia in Europe may contribute to an upsurge of far-right MEPs following European Parliament elections next May.

Speaking to reporters in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the EU has never before seen so many far right parties in elected bodies since the Second World War.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“In many countries, xenophobia, populism, [and] racism is on the rise,” she said, noting such political parties will most likely be sending emissaries to the EU’s Brussels-based parliament next year.

“Some of these parties have existed for a long time in the European Union, some are quite new, some are very close to entering into government,” she said.

She described the growing phenomenon as counter productive for a struggling EU economy that is need of skilled workers currently not available in Europe, despite the high unemployment numbers.

Immigrants make up just over 4 percent of the EU population out of a total of some 504 million people, says the EU statistical office Eurostat.

The commission says immigrants are needed to counter declining birth rates and offset the widening age gap between the young and elderly.

Most residence permits in 2012 were issued to Ukraine nationals at around 204,000, followed by US nationals at 189,000, and nationals from India at around 179,000.

The immigrant arrivals and pro-migration policy of the EU are common cannon fodder for Britain’s eurosceptic party, UKIP.

On Wednesday, the right-wing party said it expects a strong anti-EU vote in the May EU elections.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage. told Reuters in an interview that it will win most of the British votes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland next May.

"Lots of eurosceptic groups with varying shades of euroscepticism will get elected from lots of European countries,” said Farage.

But Farage's UKIP popularity claims do not match an ICM poll out Tuesday in the Guardian newspaper. ICM says his group polled at only 7 percent - down 5 points compared to last month.

Meanwhile, Malmstrom’s concerns on the rise of EU-wide xenophobia come in the context of an informal meeting of EU justice ministers in Vilnius.

Ministers at the morning round-table session discussed the European Commission report on immigration and asylum and the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The commission’s fourth annual report on immigration and asylum, published in June, noted a 10 percent increase in 2012 in the number of asylum applications.

The increase is due in part to the Syrian crisis that has seen some 1.8 million seek refuge, mostly in neighbouring countries like Turkey. Around 45,000 have attempted to enter the EU.

For its part, the European Commission announced it would contribute an additional €400 million in humanitarian aid, on top of the €877 million pledged from member states and the EU budget.

“We have from the commission added another €400 million to the neighbouring countries who are doing a fantastic job for 1.8 million Syrians who have left the country,” said Malmstrom.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides