A look at the European Parliament’s eurosceptic parties
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Two days after eurosceptic parties from across Europe made major gains in the European Parliamentary elections, FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at the main groups and what they stand for.
National Front, France
The big winner in this weekend’s elections was unquestionably France’s far-right National Front (FN). Led by Marine Le Pen, it came away with almost a quarter of the vote to become the country’s largest party in the European Parliament. Known for its anti-immigration and anti-establishment views, the FN is also openly hostile to the European Union, pledging to undercut its power.
United Kingdom Independence Party, Britain
The right-wing populist United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in Britain also performed astonishingly well in the European Parliamentary elections, coming ahead of both Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives party and the opposition Labour party with 26.77 percent of the vote. Deeply opposed to the EU, UKIP advocates Britain’s immediate exit from the union.
Danish People’s Party, Denmark
The far-right Danish People’s Party (DPP) finished first for Denmark in the European Parliamentary elections, winning nearly 26.6 percent of the vote to double its number of MEPs from two to four. The DPP has campaigned on reclaiming its borders and cutting benefits to other EU citizens living within Denmark.
The extreme-right Jobbik party, known for its anti-Semitic and racist views, was second in Hungary, with 14.68 percent of the vote, winning three seats in the European Parliament. Despite being fiercely anti-Europe, the party’s policies have made it an undesirable ally for other eurosceptic parties, like France’s FN.
Golden Dawn, Greece
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was third in Greece with 9.38 percent of the vote, coming behind Greece’s far-left, anti-austerity Syriza party and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ conservative New Democracy party. Several of Golden Dawn’s leading members are in jail, awaiting trial on charges of belonging to a criminal organisation.
Dutch Freedom Party, Netherlands
The Netherland’s far-right Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) did not perform as well as expected in the European Parliamentary election, coming in third, with 13.2 percent of the vote. The PVV, which has already agreed to ally with France’s FN party, is fiercely anti-immigration, with leader Geert Wilders notoriously calling for “less Moroccans” in the Netherlands ahead of the vote.
Freedom Party, Austria
Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) made major gains in the European Parliamentary elections, winning four seats with 19.7 percent of the vote. Known for being anti-immigration, the FPÖ campaigned on the slogan “Too much EU is dumb,” calling for major reforms. The party has also demanded that Turkey be kept out of the European Union.
Finns Party, Finland
The nationalist and populist Finns (PS) party, previously known as the True Finns, came in third in Finland with 12.9 percent of the vote, earning it two seats in the European Parliament. The PS has been outspoken about its opposition to Europe and the bailouts given to countries like Greece.
Northern League, Italy
Italy’s far-right Northern League placed fourth in the country’s election for European Parliament, with only 6.15 percent of the vote. The Northern League, which has said it will ally with France’s FN and the Netherland’s PVV, campaigned on an anti-Europe and anti-immigration platform.
New Right, Poland
Poland’s far-right New Right party came in fourth in the country with 7.21 percent of the vote, securing itself four seats in the European Parliament. Led by the ultra-liberal Janusz Korwin Mikke, the New Right has criticised the EU over its financial mismanagement, threatening to destroy it from the inside. Mikke has also said that the European Parliament corrupts politicians, declaring he would like to put the building to better use by turning it into a brothel.
Alternative for Germany, Germany
Founded just last year, Alternative for Germany (AfD) did relatively well in the European Parliamentary election, gaining seven seats after coming in fifth in Germany with seven percent of the vote. Opposed to the eurozone, AfD regards most other eurosceptic parties, including UKIP, as too radical to ally with.
Sweden Democrats, Sweden
The right-wing populist Sweden Democrats (SD) won its first two seats in the European Parliament after taking 9.7 percent of the vote to become the country’s fifth party. SD campaigned on an anti-immigration and anti-European Union platform.
Vlaams Belang, Belgium
The far-right Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) managed to win one seat in the European Parliament, coming in as the country’s 10th party, with 4.14 percent vote. Vlaams Belang has voiced its support for French FN leader Marine Le Pen and is known for its harsh views on immigration.