S&D working group to monitor the growth of populism and right-wing extremism in Europe.
When the S&D Group decided to set up a special working group to monitor the growth of populism and right-wing extremism in Europe five years ago, we were celebrating the economic and political success of a major enlargement of the European Union, but we were also observing a worrying dynamic both in Eastern and Western Europe: the silent rise of new nationalisms and populisms, the tendency to question minority rights, the use of racial hate speech in political discourse against a backdrop of a growing distance between citizens and institutions.
We decided to monitor these trends because, as Socialists and Democrats, we felt and still feel that these dynamics risked building a trench right through the heart of the European Union. Indeed what was at stake was the very
core of the European project as one based on democracy, citizenship, equality, non-discrimination. Growing populism and right-wing extremisms questioned the idea of Europe as a community of rights and values.