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Is danger from the "right" awaiting Europe amid migration crisis?

February 10, 2016, 19:32 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© AP Photo/Michel Spingler

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Economic problems and the migration crisis have confronted the European Union with a question about the danger of right-wing nationalist forces coming to power in Europe.

France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen confirmed her intention on Tuesday to run for French presidency in 2017. The popularity of her National Front party has risen three-fold in recent years, which gives her all the chances for success.

Le Pen has said that in case of her victory she will follow the UK example and seek the country’s exit from the Schengen agreements and the eurozone "to return its borders and settle the migration crisis." As refugees are flooding France and Paris has been shattered by recent terrorist attacks, the rating of French President Francois Hollande has plummeted to 10%.

The referendum in the United Kingdom on exiting the EU may be held already in 2016. As British Prime Minister David Cameron has said, London’s right to bar migrants from social benefits during the first four years after their arrival in the country is one of the conditions for keeping the UK’s membership in the EU.

In turn, the Netherlands is preparing for a referendum against Ukraine’s association with the EU as Ukrainians are considered as "poor cousins" in Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the initiator of inviting refugees to Europe, is losing popularity due to the migration crisis. US presidential candidate from the Republican Party Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Merkel’s decision to allow thousands of migrants into the country is wrong and may cause real revolutions in Germany. In his election campaign speeches, Trump has promised to deport millions of illegal migrants living in the United States and build a wall on the border with Mexico.

The European Union expanded too quickly and proved to be unprepared to become a supra-national formation, which has boosted the popularity of right-wing parties in Europe, Professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) Andranik Migranyan said.

"Great Britain, France and some other EU members do not want Balkan and South European countries and, all the more so, refugees from the Middle East and Africa to solve their problems at the expense of economically developed countries. The current migration crisis shows that the Federal Republic of Europe has failed and it is early to bury the idea of national states," Migranyan told TASS.

In the expert’s opinion, nationalists who are being supported increasingly actively by the opponents of an influx of refugees are in the first ranks to oppose the concept of united Europe.

"That is why, the parliamentary and presidential elections in the EU countries in the coming year or two will see a growth of support for right-wing parties standing against the excessive presence of ‘aliens.’ The ideas of multiculturalism and tolerance have failed. There is nothing good in that but as it turns out Europe has proved to be defenseless and has been unable to make newcomers respect the foundations of its life and cultural traditions," the expert said.

Migranyan, who was head of the New York office of Russia’s Institute for Democracy and Cooperation until late 2015, noted that law-enforcement agencies in the United States controlled migrant communities tougher than in Europe.

"But even in America, the surge in popularity of Donald Trump in the US presidential race is explained exactly by his sharp and even scandalous promises of all-out deportation of illegal migrants from the country. So, this is a trend common for the West," the expert noted.

Director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov believes that the danger from the "right" is awaiting the European Union because citizens are unprepared to lose their national identity at a speed offered by Germany.

"Nevertheless, there is no threat of ultra-right wing forces coming to power in Europe," the expert said.

In the opinion of Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies Sergei Oznobishchev, the European Union is dealing poorly with the migration challenge but is nevertheless coping with it.

"None of the alliance’s member states has withdrawn from the EU so far. Even Greece has not exited it, although much was said during the Greek crisis that the European Union was creaking at the seams. Divergences between Brussels and London are also being quietly smoothed. Of course, Europeans dislike overcrowded refugee camps and they are building fences on borders in the Schengen zone. But there is common understanding that it is disadvantageous for business and individual citizens to pay for the crossing of borders and stamps in passports. There is awareness that it is easier to exist together rather than separately. That is why, the project of united Europe will remain and will live further even amid a danger from the ‘right,’" Oznobishchev told TASS.

Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the Committee for International Affairs at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, believes that Brussels has got a good shake-up under the pressure of citizens dissatisfied with the EU migration policy.

"This cold shower will bring the European bureaucracy back to the understanding that it is of primary importance for electors to keep the sovereignty of their countries and will help avoid a scenario of nationalists coming to power. And this is for the better," the senator told TASS.

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