Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Euronationalism is the process of bringing parties and issues that have been judged as far right to a more mainstream audience.
A mirror of the Eurocommunism of the 1970s, this is a strategy used by far right parties to start winning elections by underplaying their radicalism and aim for a more respectable image. On the one side it has been used successfully by movements such as France's Front National, Austria's Freedom Party and Italy's Alleanza Nazionale, the latter two of which are in government. In this guise it has transformed fascist influenced parties into mainstream, if hardline, Conservative parties.
The British National Party has been trying this strategy, with a measure of success, under the chairmanship of Nick Griffin. It has been alleged by the BBC that the BNP still has links with the avowedly Nazi Combat 18. There is some controversy about the new moderation of the BNP: its leader Nick Griffin has said he would "like" to "repatriate" all existing visible minorities, but recognises this as impractical. Many people regard this as disingenuous.
The magazine Right Now, the conservative pressure group the Conservative Democratic Alliance and the small Freedom Party are more self conscious attempts to create a euronationalist strain within British political thought.
Within Britain there has been opposition to Euronationalism. The main face of this has been Searchlight magazine and the Anti Nazi League with high profile members such as the cabinet member Peter Hain. The strategy has been to remind voters of the BNP's fascist roots. Left wing critics such as the militantly anti-fascist Red Action have derided the strategy followed, claiming that it is an Establishment strategy that is irrelevant to the working class targets of the BNP. Proponents claim that it has prevented it from being any more than a fringe movement.
There are regular marches against the Freedom Party in Vienna. Vlaams Blok is shunned by mainstream parties and has been unable to enter government anywhere in Belgium, and the Belgian state has attempted to sever its funding.
The main themes of Euronationalism tend to be some combination of:
- Apparent rejection of extra-Parliamentary tactics, with a stress on winning elections.
- Hostility to further immigration, although generally nomially accepting existing ethnic minority communities.
- Advocacy of traditional family mores
- Defence of traditional institutions such as the monarchy and the Church
- Rejection of the free market (with the exception of the FPÖ)
- A stress on concentrating on working class votes
- A stress on corruption among the political classes
These usually differ greatly from country to country and group to group. For example the Vlaams Blok is republican, and Pim Fortuyn was a homosexual and believed Muslim immigration is a threat to social liberalism.
It has been contended (by among others Right Now editor Derek Turner) that there is a regional variation in the way in which issues are dealt with. In the northern and western parts of Europe, such parties are often free market, tax-cutting, Atlanticist, pro-Israel , and sometimes even libertarian in tendency. In southern Europe they are more usually corporatist or semi-corporatist, with a strong traditionalist Catholic support base. In the east these parties often include many ex-communists and have a nationalist veneer; they fear their neighbors’ territorial ambitions, and are often strongly anti-American and anti-Semitic.
Although Euronationalism is a rather vague concept, a number of different organisations can be seen to be Euronationalist. These include:
Republican Party - Partei Rechtsstaatliche Offensive
Justice and Life Party
Liga Polskich Rodzin (League of Polish Families) - Alternative Social Movement
National Renovation Party
Liberal Democratic Party
Platform for Catalonia - Independent Liberal Group - Frente Espanol
A number of the more radical of these are grouped in an organisation controlled by France's Front National, called Euronat.
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