Europe Facing Radical Change 

February 13, 2019

Europe is in transition, a phrase we’ve heard repeatedly in recent years. The decline of the power of the traditional parties (conservative and social democrats) in United Europe and the increase of the votes of the parties and the nationalist and anti-Euro groups, and beyond that, confusion over European Union (EU) in confronting the current political and social phenomena, are all considered signs of the transition.

Although some political parties and groups in Europe raise the issue of “independence from the United States in the international system” as a goal to revitalize United Europe, the EU's tactics and tools have not been defined in pursuit of this objective. The political instability of the main European actors (especially the European Troika) has contributed to the formation of this equation.

The EU, which at the beginning of its establishment, described itself as a “strong set” with “steady stability” in the international system, today, does not have the desired strategic and even tactical stability. Obviously, in such a situation, the EU has fallen apart as an “independent variable” in today's world. Europe is dependent mainly on the United States for its insufficient knowledge and the weakness of domestic analysis of current developments, especially in the security spheres.

The UK is stuck in a quagmire. An issue that, even if it does not eventually come to fruition, will leave London for years to focus on the fateful role of the European Union. The total developments in Europe, especially since 2007 (the time of European Financial Crisis), show that the green continent is on the verge of a kind of political and social transformation. Undoubtedly, in such a situation, the European Union's behavioral, tactical and even strategic elements will face a number of challenges.

Macron has lost the power of becoming the leader of the united Europe, following the protests of France and the retreat of their economic reforms.

Following the formation of a coalition government in Berlin and the defeat of the Christian Democrats in the two local elections in Bavaria and Hesse, Angela Merkel has announced that she will step down as German chancellor in 2021. Certainly, Merkel's successor at the start of his career will have less maneuver in the European Union.

What is certain is that, given the current situation in Europe, we need to have a proper understanding of the “Europe of today”, or “the transitional Europe.” The “ideal Europe”, interpreted by the founders of its united Europe, has long since gone from reality and has merely become abstract. An idealized Europe, which at least has the character of independence in decision-making and resistance to the United States, today is virtually non-existent.

New conditions in Europe have required politicians and analysts to warn European political and social issues about the return of nationalism to the green continent. These alerts are being received as a result of the eruption in France (National Front) led by Marine Le Pen to reach the Elysee Palace in 2022. In Italy, the French neighborhood, the anti-European Union Five Star Movement has also been at the forefront of its political and executive equations.

What needs to be seen in Europe is what will happen. In the near future, radical right-wing parties and nationalist parties did not have a place in the political and social scene of European unity. These currents did not even succeed in getting at least the popular votes to enter the parliament of various European countries. But at the current time the equation has changed! For example, the Right-wing Democratic Party of Sweden has now become the third largest and most popular party in the country.

In other European countries, nationalist trends also experience a balanced growth. What's worrying the European authorities is the same and balanced growth. Perhaps if nationalist parties were to flex their muscles in one or two European countries, European leaders would have more power to control them.

The year 2018 was not only a year in which to curtail the activity of radical currents in Europe, but it was a year to revive this trend in various countries of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is expected that 2019 will be far more difficult for the traditional (center-right and socialist) currents in Europe to happen.

In Austria, the Freedom Liberal Party was able to make a coalition government. The nationalist fever has also reached Germany. In recent months, German political parties and organizations have made great efforts to curb the anti-European and nationalist currents in the country, but these efforts do not seem to have an effect on the prevention of the surge of extreme right currents. For instance, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is dependent on a radical stream, was put to the German parliament for the first time in 2017 elections.

At present, radical currents and nationalist parties have taken their full potential to lead the political and executive equations of various European countries, because they are confident that the failure of European governments to contain social, economic, immigration, security and political crises in the green continent, has provided its background.

Various surveys in Europe show that as much as the disappointment of European citizens is due to more traditional flows, they tend to be more extreme than the right. Also, some of the European citizens who have not basically ever participated in the political equations of politics have preferred to vote in favor of nationalist and extreme right-wing movements.

Basically, one of the extreme right-wing moves is to draw white and gray votes in various political platforms in different European countries. Ultimately, the voice of nationalism is now more than ever heard in Europe. Will the green continents be able to curb nationalism in Europe alone, or is 2019 the year the objective crystallization of the power of the right-wing extremism in Europe is? Will the nightmares of people like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron be interpreted as the emergence of re-nationalism in Europe and the collapse of the European Union and the Eurozone?

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