No normalisation of far-right politics, PES Democracy Network demands

PES Democracy Network meeting today by videoconference

PES Democracy Network meeting today by videoconference

Authoritarian, far-right, and nativist, movements are finding their way into the heart of government, progressives warned today.

The PES Democracy Network of the Party of European Socialists (PES) is made up of representatives of PES member parties and organisations, MEPs and others.

The Network met today to discuss the increase influence of regressive far-right movements in Europe. Alongside Hungary, Poland and Italy, Sweden’s government also relies on a far-right party to retain power. Increasingly, centre-right cooperation with the far-right is bringing nativist, authoritarian and far-right policies into European government programmes.

Chair of the Network, Italian MP Lia Quartapelle, said:

“This is a subject close to my heart. Italy is now led by a right-wing coalition with a far-right politician at the head of the government. In Sweden, the current right-wing government has been supported by the far right, which has imposed conditions on the government’s programme, including on migration and security.

“This is extremely worrying for our democracy and for the European project as a whole. It is even more alarming if we consider the rapprochement of the traditional centre-right with these movements – breaking the taboo and opening a vicious cycle that will be difficult to close. Increasing far-right influence will impact society significantly, especially rights for women, minorities and vulnerable groups.”

An emerging political landscape with a more powerful far-right is cause for alarm, especially as European elections grow closer. The PES family is focused on countering far-right narratives with socialist solutions which improve society for all.

The Network also received a presentation from MEP Evin Incir on Combating violence against women and domestic violence. The PES is focused on delivering solutions to protect women and support women’s rights organisations, including countering the rise in attacks against women human rights defenders and activists by individuals as well as anti-rights movements, including anti-feminist groups. Ahead of International Women’s Day, PES figures including PES Executive Vice-President Katarina Barley, showed their support for local action to support women.

In addition to this discussion, network members also reaffirmed their strong commitment to strengthening and improving integrity, ethics, and transparency in politics and society. They shared on some of the key measures, initiatives and best practices that they have in place, or that exist at national level to secure and protect those values.

Italian MP Lia Quartapelle chaired the meeting for the first. She thanked the previous Chair of the network, Tanja Fajon, leader of the Slovenian Social Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia, for her work with the PES Democracy network.