The future of the 28-nation bloc
It is often said that history repeats itself, with few modifications. The case with the modern Europe is not much different today. Many fear that Europe is again on the brink of breakup. The fear has originated from the recent populist movements that have shown remarkable performance in elections in many of the Western countries. For example, the German far-right party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) won 88 seats with 13 percent votes in elections held last year. The growing influence of such populist parties rings alarm bells that Europe may lose its unity and this wave could make it to revert to its tendency toward hard power. The history of the twentieth century bears testimony to the fact that the West prompted the two World Wars – the biggest event of the use of hard power.
Many view World War II as a war of vengeance that Germany started to vent its anger caused by the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, that contained some humiliating terms for Germany – this treaty was concluded at the end of the First World War and through it the European powers de-weaponized Germany and deprived it of overseas colonies and other European occupations, finally splitting the country into two parts. The interwar period witnessed the rise of the Nazi party in Germany which believed in a racist doctrine that asserted the superiority of the Aryan race. Adolf Hitler, the co-founder of this party, started to re-weaponize the country and the game of making rival camps was on again. Ultimately, Germany waged the World War II with an attack on Poland on September 1, 1939.
Some bracket AfD with Hitler’s Nazi Party for it has seeds of racism in its ideology. The party is working against immigration. The 20th century Nazi party was anti-Semitic while the 21st century AfD — that calls itself the follower of Nazi — is anti-Islam. The mainstreaming of AfD has added an impetus to the promotion of racism. Entering Bundestag is a giant leap for the AfD; it would help it materialize its racist agenda, and the state will be bound to give it the rights it is entitled to, e.g. right to speak, to utilize state funds and to exposure on the media. It will ultimately grant parliamentary protection to the neo-Nazi leaning. The entry of such a party into the German parliament is a problem of critical importance and no less than a shocking development. Who are responsible for this all? German voters, indeed!
The whole Europe is presently facing a wave of extremism, radicalism and separatist movements. All these vices are evident in Brexit – the exit of Britain from the European Union (EU) – Catalonia’s bid for separation from Spain and Flemish separatism in Belgium.
Said simply, euroscepticism, anti-Islamism and centrifugalism are unfolding new events in Europe. Not surprisingly, the populist movements on the continent got momentum after the election of the demagogue Donald Trump to the White House; in addition, Brexit put the weight behind such movements and, hence, populism is now soaring to new heights.
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