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Extreme Right, Anti-Europe Parties Likely to Make Gains in EU Elections

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013

A new political alliance was announced in Europe this week. Meeting in The Hague, the leaders of the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, and France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, announced they would campaign together for the approaching European Parliament elections in 2014. Both parties oppose immigration, Islam and the European Union, and hope to rally a pan-European insurgency to their banner.

The meeting was focused on May 2014, when voters across Europe will head to the ballot box to elect their representatives in the European Parliament. European elections are held every five years to determine the composition of the EU’s legislative branch. Historically, far right and Euroskeptic parties like those led by Le Pen and Wilders have struggled to establish the unity required to form a significant parliamentary bloc. Unlike during previous European elections, however, the general consensus in Europe today is that these radical outsiders look set to enjoy record gains. This has concerned European elites, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who has warned about a discourse promoting narrow nationalism, protectionism and xenophobia. ...

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