The Spectre of Populism in Europe – A Brief IES Guide to Populist Political Parties in the EU

Jean-Claude Juncker, three months before being elected President of the European Commission in 2014, warned that if populism and extremism became the norm in Europe, the face of the entire continent would change.

SYRIZA’s electoral success in Greece set the stage not only for a tense standoff between the Greek government and the German finance ministry over the former’s €240 bn. bailout programme.

It has also stoked the anxiety of mainstream political parties in countries like Spain, where Podemos’s electoral victory in 2015 is no longer an untenable pipedream – even if it hinges on the result of the Greek debt negotiations.

Further, the above parties can be placed on the left of the political spectrum. What can be said of the mirrored rise of right-wing variants like France’s Front National and UKIP in the UK?

Is the spectre of populism haunting all of Europe?

This brief guide, prepared by the UBC IES and including information (latest electoral results, formation, policy drivers) on 25 populist political parties in 25 EU Member states, can help introduce the actors that constitute this spectre.

Raul Scorza
Feb 19, 2015

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