INTRODUCTION history and migration movements have played a decisive

INTRODUCTION

During
the lasts years, we have seen extreme right-wing movements getting force all
across Europe. Within the political framework, why it is happening that is one
of the most important questions arising nowadays, together with the rise of
independent movements.

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The
answer to the question is very important in order to solve the problem. Europe
has already lived a massive rise of these parties in the 30s and led to
genocides all over the continent, in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc. And
it is clear that we are not going to let it happen again, so the question is
why there is so many people at the moment that are letting themselves guide by
populist politicians claiming racist, homophobic and protectionist ideals, when
we are supposed to be over it.

A
lot of explanations have been given by political analysts who have studied this
field. Ones claim the guilt of the euro crisis, other ones the refugee crisis.
In this study, I will mix both to see which is the one that explains better the
fact, although it is obvious that both play an important role.

The
main aim of this paper is to discover what have been the most important issues
for the rise of extreme right-wing movements and the main hypothesis is that
economy, history and migration movements have played a decisive role.

I
am going to use several indicators to measure the economy of the European Union
countries, as well as data on migrants and refugees that the countries have
gave shelter. Furthermore, I will use two dummy variables to see if the fascist
and imperialistic past that the countries have experienced have something to do
with this problem, although in theory, none of these parties appeal to the old
dictators.

The
paper is going to proceed as follows: first of all, a literature review
stressing the most important arguments that analysts give for this phenomenon,
then a presentation and explanation of the data and the research design,
afterwards a presentation of the results, and finally the section of
conclusions.

 

LITERATURE
REVIEW

 

Literature
on the topic is very broad on the journalistic field although very slight on
scholar papers giving empirical evidence of the reasons. However, there are
enough opinion articles on newspapers from all over the world, surprisingly
many of those are from Spain, since it is one of the countries in which these
movements are not important. Not only has been argued the why, but also why
2017 was going to be the year in which these forces would win mass support and even
win some elections, and at the end they only have got in parliaments of few
states. Nevertheless, the rise has been considerable, and some elections are
going to be held in 2018 too, so it is important in order to stop this process.

Protectionist
ideas have been important for the proliferation of these parties. It is
well-known that one of the most important ideals that have led to the exit of
the United Kingdom from the European Union (BREXIT) has been protectionist
ideas from extreme right-wing parties. The UKIP leader Paul Nuttal argues that
Islam is a ‘cancer’, when Britain has always been a multicultural country in which
a high percentage of population is foreign. Furthermore, although the BREXIT is
already a problem itself, the main problem now is the possible contagion to
other countries, as we are hearing now of the FREXIT, which is the exit of
France from the Union.

2017
has been a critical year for these movements, the rise of Trump in the United
States could have been beneficial, but at the end, it has damaged the views of
parties with the same ideas that Trump is promoting, because the image of the
new president of the US is very bad in Europe, contrary to his image on the
American continent.

These
ideas are argued in an article published in ElDiario, professor Velasco, an
expert on European identity and its nationalist threatens says that the
hangover of the Brexit and Trump alarmed the population, who in 2017 voted and
stopped the rise of the extreme right. He also argues that the context in which
the European Union is living right now with the economic crisis, the
immigration and the corruption of institutions is proper for the filofascist
nationalists use the policies of emotions.

But
these anti-immigration and anti-muslim ideas have been used by other parties in
Europe as well, here we can see a poster of the campaign of the German extreme
right-wing party, AfD, which the key to success has been to focus on migration
policies and anti-European ideals.

Photo published in
La Vanguardia

            There is a mix of opinions, but all
analysts contrary to these thoughts argue the same, that the rise of extreme
right-wing movements has been fueled by the failure of European governments to
guide the refugee crisis which have led to populism and lack of tolerance in
states that were open-minded.

            In East Europe, the situation is
even worst and started before, anticommunist parties of different countries from
the former Eastern Bloc have unified in the hands of Vaclav Havel in the so
called ‘Prague Declaration’ and equated communism and Nazism, so the anticommunism
finally brought back antisemitism and mistreatment to gypsies.

            When Lithuania wanted to prohibit
both communist and Nazis symbols, it was stated that the swastika belongs to
the cultural patrimony of Lithuania.

            Hungary is one of the countries
experiencing a highest power of these ultra parties. Citizens argue that when
there is no money to pay bills or to eat, values as democracy or diversity seem
superfluous, so they start thinking about a ‘Great Hungary’. They depreciate
the weak, they are racist, xenophobes and follow military values, and they are
able to get to the streets and fill the gaps that the European crisis is creating.

            However, as it was argued in the
Europe of the 30s, and now, it is not clear if these parties do really follow
right-wing ideas. They are an amalgam of ideas, because some of what they claim
is to protect low income classes, which is more left oriented, while the values
of racism and politically incorrect discourses are totally right oriented. But the
most confusing thing is that other values such as the rejection to
globalization and the European Union is oriented to both sides. Meanwhile this
debate is still opened, these movements will continue being oriented to the
right.

            Which is interesting is the fact
that the votes to these parties is more a question of anger than conviction,
according to another article published in ElDiario in collaboration with The
Guardian, only 34% of the votes to AfD was because of conviction. They feel abandoned
and betrayed.

 

 

RESEARCH
DESIGN AND DATA

As
explained in the introduction, several indicators are going to be used in order
to explain the rise of extreme right-wing movements in the European Union. The
data is obtained from Eurostat, the database for the European Union. The
indicators used are:

–         
GDP per capita, PPP. This indicator has been chosen
because of many reasons, first of all, GDP is an indicator of the economic
activity of countries, however, as the European Union has broadly different
countries, in order to compare, it is more accurate to do it with GDP per
capita numbers. Furthermore, The Purchasing Power Parity indicator is used for
cross-country comparison, being EU28=100.

–         
GDP growth rates. This is a good indicator for
measuring the economic situation of the country, whether if it is in a
recession or in an expansive moment, and it is easy to compare across countries
because it is measured in percentage.

–         
Unemployment rates (%) are used in order to measure
the incidence of the economic crisis in the population. The indicator is
calculated as unemployed persons as a percentage of the total labor force of
each country. The labor force is the total number of persons in the age between
15 to 74 years available for work. An unemployed person is defined by Eurostat, according
to the guidelines of the International Labor Organization, as ‘someone aged 15 to 74 without work during
the reference week who is available to start work within the next two weeks and
who has actively sought employment at some time during the last four weeks.’

–         
Inflation levels. This indicator is good in order to
measure the economic stability of countries. Although the European Union itself
gives a certain level of inflation as objectives to countries, most of them are
not following the advices, this situation was exacerbated during the crisis,
now inflation levels are being stabilizing.

–         
Fascist past. Marked with 1 if the country experienced
a fascist dictatorship and 0 if not. This indicator is important because
nowadays, a high number of extreme right-wing parties define themselves as
neo-Nazis, and they foster the same values as old fascist dictatorships.

–         
Imperialistic past. Marked with 1 if the country was
an old empire with colonies, and 0 if not. Usually these movements claim
imperial ideas such as reestablishing the important empires of the ancient
times.

–         
Number of immigrants: immigrants as a percentage of
domestic population. The immigrants are seen as people who go to other
countries to ‘steal’ the jobs of the domestic population.

–         
Number of refugees. This variable is measured by the
number of asylum applications. ‘Final decision on appeal means a decision
granted at the final instance of administrative/judicial asylum procedure and
which results from the appeal lodged by the asylum seeker rejected in the
preceding stage of the procedure.’ With refugees it happens the same as
with immigrants, but the reasoning is even worst and as they do not even
propose a solution to the problem, just not letting them enter into the
countries.

–         
Year of entrance in the European Union. This indicator
is useful for knowing if it is a country already adapted to the Union or if it
has just entered.

The
dependent variable is the force of extreme right-wing movements or parties, it
is measured as a dummy variable, marked with a 1 if one extreme right-wing
party was between the three major forces in elections.

The
unit of analysis is the country, and the research is conducted studying the 28
countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus,
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. The
United Kingdom is included in the study because it is officially part of the
European Union, until the exit is effective.

The
data used is panel data and it is going to be studied by a multiple linear
regression. In order to be able to use panel data, each country is labeled with
a number from 1 to 28 by alphabetical order, just as they appear in the
paragraph above.

The
time spam is between 2006 and 2017, because with this time we can see the
evolution in the lasts elections held in each country, and they comprehend time
before, during and after the economic crisis and all years of the refugee
crisis as well.