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August 14, 2014

The Rise of the Far Right in Europe: We're Not Nazis, but...

Today Human Rights First released an extensive report on the rise of far-right hate parties in Hungary and Greece, “We’re Not Nazis, but… The Rise of Hate Parties in Hungary and Greece and Why America Should Care.” These parties, Jobbik and Golden Dawn, are the bloody tip of the far-right spear in Europe. They undermine their countries’ stability, rule of law, and the safety of minority groups. As they court Russia and seek to destabilize the European Union and NATO, the United States must pay attention.

The report details the parties’ origins and rise, corrosive influence on public dialogue, fascist ties, and danger to the Transatlantic Alliance. As Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke, who co-authored today’s report, said, “Neo-fascist movements in Europe are no longer just an E.U. problem. To the extent that they damage the stability of our allies, they are an American problem, too.”

The economic crisis is not enough to explain Jobbik and Golden Dawn’s upswing – many other European countries with fascist histories have not experienced the same grip from their far-right extremist parties. Economic recovery will not alone be enough to destabilize them. The United States needs a strategic plan to help Greece and prevent democratic backsliding in Hungary.