Right-wing populist and extremist parties did disturbingly well in the 2014 election to the European Parliament and in a series of national elections. It was time to pick up the gauntlet, rise to the challenge and work on counter-strategies.
Across Europe, democracies are increasingly under pressure from right-wing parties and movements that often combine radical anti-immigrant and Islamophobic positions with populist rhetoric. Those movements differ strongly in their party programmes, ranging from Eurosceptic to overtly racist but share a disdain for the existing political institutions.
From October 12 – 16 2015, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union hosted a capacity building for 16 young Europeans from France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Sweden and the UK. The aim was to give the participants the possibility to compare the right-wing movements in their respective countries of origin and to jointly develop policies to combat this disquieting trend.
What structural and short-term factors fuel Euroscepticism? How to explain the growing phenomenon of Euroscepticism in France? How the national background affects the configuration of Euroscepticism? How to transform the Euroscepticism trend to “Europtimism”?