The resistible ascension of the far-right in Europe: a critical assessment of the progressive counter-strategies

Workshop co-organised by transform! and the Green European Foundation at the 2nd European Forum of Progressive, Ecological And Leftist Forces


Palacio Euskalduna

Abandoibarra Etorb., 4,

48011 Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

The political foundations of the left and greens are joining forces


Since the last European election, the far-right and populist right-wing parties are electorally rising everywhere in Europe: the Afd in Germany, the FN in France, the PVV in Netherlands, the Lega in Italy, the FPÖ in Austria, the Sweden Democrats are the most illustrating examples of this breakthrough. Simultaneously, the xenophobic and islamophobic stances promoted by these parties have been gaining audience and are more and more impregnating the rhetoric of the Conservatives.

In some countries, far-right parties are now minority partners in government and are in position to impose their agenda in the policies implemented while in other countries, the electoral and ideological pressure of the far-right leads to an inflexion of the programmatic positioning of the Conservatives parties and led governments. In addition, a part of the European Conservatives is implementing parts of the far-right’s platform, as we can observe in Hungary or Poland.

Furthermore, with the Brexit, the structure of the far and populist right in the European Parliament will most likely be remodelled, due to the exit of Ukip and the Tories, thus boosting the “Europe of Nations and Freedom” group, which gathers most of the most dynamic far-right organisations and might become one of the main groups in the EP.

The coming reconfiguration of the far-right right forces on the occasion of the European election and the growing diffusion of their ideas and schemes constitute a major and multifaceted challenge for the left and progressives. In this workshop, we will look at several strategies for countering the far-right in Europe, through national cases and topical angles such as gender and social issues.

The left and progressive forces need an efficient, comprehensive and coherent strategy articulating three dynamics each corresponding to a specific time frame and task and set of actions. On the short term we need to continue organising systematic demonstrations and events of solidarity as to ensure the first defence antifascist barrier against the banalisation of hate and xenophobic speeches and actions. Our mid-term objective should be to strengthen our analyses of electoral movement across Europe to deepen our knowledge of the far right as well as our strengths and weaknesses. Finally, on the long term we need to formulate a political proposition for a Europe of the people that not embodies our struggle for hegemony but creates a new narrative capable of challenging the ones of the liberals and the far right without compromises on our internationalist and solidarity values.



· Paul Elek, Researcher, Espaces Marx (France)

· Walter Baier, Political Coordinator, transform! (Austria)

· Aurélie Maréchal, Director, Green European Foundation (Belgium)

· Cornelia Hildebrandt, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin (Germany)


Registration and information: