26 December 2016

Right-Wing Crises and Setbacks within Europe

Poland continues to struggle with Brussels and the conflict is reaching a point of crisis. Neither side is willing to back down.

The Right-wing PiS currently controls the Polish parliament (Sejm) and has come into conflict with the EU over its politicisation of judicial appointments and its moves toward censorship and restrictive pro-Catholic social policies.

Brussels has never faced this kind of opposition before. Forced to assert its authority, the bureaucrats who run the EU are undoubtedly nervous over a possible backlash. Sanctions are being discussed. Poland may respond by taming or even forcing out the Law and Justice Party (PiS) or the citizenry may turn on the EU itself. In this time of uncertainty it would seem that anything is possible. While the US does not want to see an EU break-up right now, Poland's position within NATO seems secure.

Finnish Independence has suffered a setback.

While anti-EU sentiment is growing within Finland, it's clear there's not yet enough support to break with Brussels. This is probably not the final word on this matter.

In Romania, the Right has taken something of a backseat since the early 2000's. While various Right-wing parties and movements seemed ascendant in the 1990s and WWII fascist era figures were being rehabilitated, the country turned to the EU and NATO in the early 2000s and most of the population continues to support this posture. Despite various crises and deeply-seated corruption, the pro-market Centre Left as well as the more Social Democratic Left continue to dominate the country's politics.

The European Right is sure to be astonished and will react if the following scenario comes to fruition:

Unlike Greece and Spain, and of course the United Kingdom, Romania has remained largely pro-European. You can be sure that if the political instability continues, and now with a potential Muslim candidate for prime minister... the Right both domestically in Romania and within the larger European framework will seek to capitalise on this development.

If you know anything about the Tatar communities in the Balkans, there's precious little to worry about in the way of Islamic extremism, but that's not the point. It's the optics that will serve as a rallying point for Right-wing narratives. On the one hand, it could be viewed as a massive setback, but I think more likely it will provide an opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. A related follow-up to the Romania story: