Question from Vivi, Ioannina, Greece:
“Hi. We are students from the Ioannina University of Economics in Greece. Our question is: how can Europe act with political consistency and harmony while the far-right is on the rise in Greece and many other European countries?”
Answer from Jean-Yves Camus, political analyst and associate research fellow at the French Institute of International and Strategic Relations:
“Europe is indeed struggling to remain consistent faced with the rise of xenophobic and populist parties – a rise which started back in the early 1980’s.
“One of the founding elements of Europe – it’s even one of the main reasons for the creation of the European Union – is a desire to never see again, on the European continent, the advent of authoritarian, xenophobic or racist regimes, like the ones we saw between 1940 and 1945.
“But after a while, reality takes over, and Europe is a federation of states. So, each nation’s government is determined by elections, and then the European Union, the Commission or the Parliament can only take stock of the results of these democratic elections, and give recommendations or issue warnings like : ‘Beware, what is happening in such or such a country – like what’s happening vis-a-vis Greece or Hungary – well, that doesn’t suit us, because it goes against our fundamental values.’
“And there comes a point when it’s up to each state to set out its own legislation and take responsibility for the political problems, which cause the rise in popularity of far-right movements.”
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