Similarly to trends across Europe, populism and radical right-wing politics have become an inextricable part of the political landscape in Bulgaria. Yet, some characteristics render the Bulgarian case unique and highlight the rather different underpinnings compared to, on the surface, similar political phenomena in the East and the West.
Paul Nolte argues that the United States and Europe are, for the first time in a long while, witnessing a strikingly similar political phenomenon of grave importance, namely populism as the “movement of the disaffected”. His analysis was presented at the roundtable “US 2016 Presidential Elections: Insights from the Campaign and Consequences for Europe”, which was jointly organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and Das Progressive Zentrum, and which took place on Friday, July 1, 2016.
Resentment of workers from other nations has buoyed right-wing politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Both Trump’s and the Johnson-led Leave campaign in the UK exploited the economic pessimism of the working class.
Farai Chideya asks in her article on FiveThirtyEight: Do we now witness a trans-Atlantic nativist moment?
“If there has been a feedback loop between U.S. and European nativism, it has been in the impression nativists on both sides of the Atlantic got that it’s kicking off everywhere,” said our chair, Dr. Tobias Dürr.
On Friday, July 1, we hosted a roundtable discussion on the US American Presidential Elections. We were delighted to engage in a discussion with Ken Gude (Senior Fellow with the National Security Team, Center for American Progress), Paul Nolte (Professor of Contemporary History, Free University of Berlin), and Barbara Junge (Deputy Editor, taz.die tageszeitung). The roundtable was chaired by Sudha David-Wilp (Deputy Director Berlin Office and Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States).
After successful Town Hall Meetings in Athens, Lisbon, Rome and Marseilles the fifth and last event within the Dialogue on Europe took place in Madrid, on 16 June 2016. Once again representatives from civil society, NGOs, local initiatives, startups, think tanks, the cultural sector and from the media gathered to discuss the most pressing challenges Spain and Europe are currently facing and exchanged ideas about how to work towards a strengthened and progressive Europe.
Cliquez ici si vous souhaitez lire l’article en français
After successful Town Hall Meetings in Athens, Lisbon and Rome the fourth event within the Dialogue on Europe took place in Marseilles, on 26 May 2016. Once again representatives from civil society, NGOs, local initiatives, startups, think tanks, the cultural sector and from the media gathered to discuss the most pressing challenges France and Europe are currently facing and exchange ideas about how to work towards a strengthened and progressive Europe.
The first stops of our Dialogue on Europe in Athens and Lisbon were now followed up by a Town Hall Meeting in Rome on 5 April 2016. Once again, we invited representatives from civil society, NGOs, local initiatives, startups, think tanks, the cultural sector and from the media to gather and discuss the most urgent challenges Italy and Europe have to face presently, such as the reduction of youth unemployment or the refugee crisis.
After its successful start in Athens, the “Dialogue on Europe” made its second stop in Lisbon, where the second #EuropeanTownHall Meeting took place on 7 March 2016.
In the context of the current refugee crisis the relationship between the Eastern and Western EU member states has become strained. In her contribution, Maria Skóra analyzes Central and Eastern European reactions to the refugee crisis. As conservative nationalism spiced with right-wing populism is on the rise in Central-Eastern Europe, the prospects for coordinated European immigration policies look very grim, indeed.
The recent Polish and French elections are especially topical and worrying reminders of the current rise of right-wing populist parties all over Europe. To debate this urgent European problem, Das Progressive Zentrum, with support of the German Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, organised an international roundtable, which took place on December 16, 2015 in Berlin.
The evening of the 16th of November 2015 saw the official launch of “TruLies Europe”, a joint project of the Institute for European Politics (IEP) and Das Progressive Zentrum. In the Berlin offices of the Stiftung Mercator, the project’s patron, the Minister of State for Europe in the German Federal Foreign Office, Michael Roth MdB, held a keynote address for some 100 invited guests. His speech was made in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Paris.
On the 10th of November Claudia Chwalisz’s book “The Populist Signal” was presented and discussed in the offices of Das Progressive Zentrum. The event took place in the context of the “TruLies: The Truth about Lies about Europe” project. Claudia Chwalisz advocates that democratic innovation as the answer to growing populism.
On July 6 and 7, Das Progressive Zentrum participated in the conference “Progressive Politics in Fragmented Times” in Oxford, UK, hosted by the Policy Network, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies FEPS and Renner-Institut. Together with participants from all across Europe, we engaged in discussions about new impulses for contemporary centre-left politics. The debate focussed on Labour’s future in Great Britain, an update for oldfashioned left-right narratives and the search for innovative ideas for party democracy, matching our project efforts in reforming German party organisations as well as the research on right-wing populism together with the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP).
The relationship between Greece and Germany has often been described as a game of chicken. Two teenagers in a car are heading towards each other. In a head on confrontation, the first to swerve would lose. If neither of them swerves, they both die. The only way to win is to tie yourself to an immovable position. That is why the newly elected Syriza government hammers on about its political mandate, on which it has to deliver.
The recent success of the PEGIDA movement spurs the debate on the current state of democracy in Germany. Even if the “movement” might cease to exist sooner or later, this does not mean that the underlying issues are going to vanish any time soon. Policy Fellow Dr. Sabrina Schulz in her latest contribution analyses these and concludes: Solidarity and a vibrant democracy are impossible if economic realities prevent people from identifying with the society they live in.
Policy Fellow Hanno Burmester provided an analysis for the Czech online magazine Česká pozice. Pointing out the difficulties German parties face by growing distrust in old-fashioned party politics, a polarization of the public debate on immigration and asylum and the rise of various forms of (right wing) populism – as currently visible with the anti-Islam demonstrations of ‘Pegida’ across Germany – he concludes:
The support for democracy is never a given. It has to be established continually – in every country.