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Isabelle DURANT • Daniel COHN-BENDIT • Martin HIRSCH •
Gesine SCHWAN • Jean-Michel DE WAELE • Michel HASTINGS •
Nicolas LEVRAT • Gerassimos MOSCHONAS • Takis PAPPAS
in collaboration with
and with the support of
The Rise of Populism
and Extremist Parties in Europe
2
The Spinelli Group
www.spinelligroup.eu
secretariat@spinelligroup.eu
European Parliament PSH 55C011 B1047 Brusssels
Tel. 0032 2 28 31 539
Production Editors
Isabelle Durant
Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Copyright The Spinelli Group - June 2013 - ISSN in progress.
1
PART 1.
The irresistable attraction of populism in
Europe
Point of view
Isabelle DURANT, Daniel Cohn-Bendit,
Martin Hirsch			 2
PART 2.
Is Europe powerless?
Analysis
Michel Hastings		 8
Nicolas Levrat			16
Gerassimos Moschonas	20
Takis Pappas	 		28
Conclusions
The rise in Populism demands a more
radical Europe
				34
Biographies
		
				42
Table of contents
“
2
Today the risk of widespread populism is a reality in Eu-
rope and could rapidly become a durable force.Today it is
still probably manageable but could spiral out of control.
It is the way Europe works that contributes to this rise in
populism alongside the social and economic context and
the specific agendas of each individual member state.
But on the other hand, couldn’t Europe be the motor for
fighting and defeating this trend? This is the key issue
with difficulties ahead. We need a European vision which
encourages member states to fight against whatever it
is that feeds populism and these “arrangements” with
democratic practices that influence private interests over
the general interest. We need initiatives that give a solid
meaning to the concept of what European citizenship is;
a space that gives real weight to civil society; a strong
capacity for decision-making with none of the inertia of
compromise. We have to prove that a better organized
Europe can improve the daily lives of European citizens.
All this justifies a strong mobilization in the coming
months.
So how do we respond to the rise of populism and to the
success of extremist parties in Europe? Several findings
and research factors have helped us to determine seven
observations inspired by the European political context.
These remarks have been subject to critical analysis from
different scholars. Outside a purely strict study of the
phenomenon of populism, contributors have outlined
avenues of research for ways and means of addressing
the risk that these populist tendencies are having on our
continent.
1. First observation:The growing electoral
success of extremist parties in Europe
The latest polls reflect the tenacity of extremist populist
parties and the popularized ideology on the political
scene in Europe. Since the 1980s, Europe has witnessed
the emergence of populist national forces; in 1984, the
Point of view
“Isabelle DURANT
MEP, Vice-president of the
European Parliament.
Daniel COHN-BENDIT
MEP, Co-President of the
GREENS / European Free Al-
liance (EFA) in the European
Parliament.
Martin HIRSCH
State Councilor and
President of the French Civic
Service Agency.
3
National Front won 11% of the vote in the
European elections in France; in 2010, Bos-
si’s Northern League in Italy strengthened
its position in regional elections with 12.7%
of votes; in Austria, the Freedom Party can-
didate Barbara Rosenkranz, came second in
the presidential election of 24 April 2010; in
the same year the Hungarian Jobbik party
made a breakthrough and came third in the
elections with 16.7% of the vote; in Greece,
the neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” party made its
debut in the Greek Parliament after the par-
liamentary elections of May 2012.
How can we explain the rise of these par-
ties which were marginalized before and
which have now become part of the political
scene?
2. Second observation: the major
European historical parties are
losing votes
Beyond the question of populism and the
rise of extremism, the people are appar-
ently no longer following the major Euro-
pean political families. The low turnout has
become a real European disease. Since the
fall of communism, the turnout in Romania
for each election has weakened by 10%; the
abstention rate in Hungary reached 45% in
the second round of the parliamentary elec-
tions in 2010. Reflecting the current trend
in Europe, participation is also declining in
Germany: the 82.2% in the 1998 Bundestag
elections fell to 70.78% in the last federal
election of 2009, with an abstention rate
increasing from 17 8% to 29.22%. It is the
same trend in Austria, where voter turnout
for the presidential election was 96.9% in
1951 against only 53% in 2010.
How can we explain the loss of public confi-
dence in the political discourse of the major
European political families? (Socialists, So-
cial Democrats, Greens, Liberals, Christian
Democrats ...)? Do the historical parties have
room to manoeuvre in order to regain votes
and counter extremist parties?
3. Third observation: Right-wing
and left-wing populism
The different populist movements all de-
fend our living standards which they claim
are threatened by globalization and the in-
ternational financial system, playing the ex-
acerbated opposition base against the elite.
The economic and financial crisis reinforces
the anti-European arguments by accusing
the European elite of complicity with glo-
balization, or by stigmatizing “technocrats”
who, they claim, are under the command of
international capitalism whose objective is
to relay its ideological and political message
and policy. This anti-globalization, anti-cap-
italist and anti-European rhetoric is widely
present in the discourse of extremist parties,
from the right-wing nationalist parties to
the extreme left anti-capitalist parties. But
is there a left-wing populism? What are the
similarities with the right-wing populism?
How does one respond to this rhetoric?
4. Fourth observation: The role
of the economic and social crisis
in the rise of populism
The consequences of the economic crisis
and the governance of the European Union
are frequently criticized as unsustainable
leading to the anxiety and disquiet felt by
those citizens hardest hit. The current crisis,
however, is not enough to explain the rise
of the populist movement. Putting aside
the economic factor, the rise in populism re-
4
flects the profound rejection of our society
model which due to the globalization pro-
cess disrupts both our living environment,
the configuration of European companies
and world governance. The framework of
the nation state no longer reflects the level
of power and national public policies seem
powerless against the global crisis. The na-
tional-populism movement claims that the
EU is guilty of wanting to replace the nation
state by imposing new rules of “austerity”
in times of crisis. Is the crisis the sole cause
of the rise of national populism? Would the
return to growth bring about the disappear-
ance of populist parties? Is the crisis indica-
tive of pre-existing xenophobic nationalist
reflexes which are the result of the current
national-populist movement?
5. Fifth observation: National
identity, SENTIMENT OF belonging
and European political identifi-
cation
Populist movements waver between a de-
monized view of the European project and a
discourse that resonates with the concerns
of citizens on the crisis and on the changes
in the nation-state within an integrated
Europe. Since 1992, populism sees the Eu-
ropean political project as an integrationist
and perilous enterprise for the nation which
will be crushed by a federal structure that
has no soul.
When speaking of national space which is
considered to be protective and nurturing,
the populist discourse refuses to give credit
to the European Union and thereby refuses
to admit that it could be a reference to a
space identity at the expense of ‘the na-
tion’. So the European Union has a very low
political identification power which hardly
gives rise to a collective identity. The issue
of the European Union’s external borders
makes it an even more complicated debate
as collective membership could not do
without a specific territory. So how can the
European Union win the support of citizens
and recreate a European imagination which
assumes a common identity without de-
nying the local and cultural particularities of
its citizens? How can we promote European
identity and belonging against the excesses
of the national-populist movement?
	
6. Sixth observation: Democratic
shortcomings of the Union
The European institutions are widely cas-
tigated by populist parties which consider
them to be distant, technocratic and un-
democratic. This criticism comes from the
current ambivalence between an integrated
union which is of a federal character and
an international organization where deci-
sions are made in the secrecy of the chan-
celleries. EU citizens do not feel politically
involved in the decision-making process of
the European Union which explains the lack
of interest that these institutions generate.
The results of a Euro-barometer survey
conducted a few months before the Eu-
ropean elections in June 2009 proved this
factor: 62% of respondents did not know
the dates of the next European elections,
and 53% declared they were not interested
in them. In fact, Europeans know very little
about the functioning of the institutions.
Asked whether members of Parliament are
directly elected by its citizens, only 53% of
Europeans replied in the affirmative, 36%
believe that MEPs sit by nationality and 20%
believe that each member state has the
same number of MEPs.
5
Must the European Union become a real
parliamentary democracy integrating Eu-
ropean political parties in order to win the
support of its citizens and fight populism?
How can the emergence of a transnational
civil society become a reality in contrast to
the nationalist reflexes? Is the European
Union in a position to initiate a transnational
democracy?
7. Seventh observation: The tradi-
tional moderate parties appro-
priate the populist discourse
Populist themes are spreading through
many discourses and practices of traditional
political currents by what we could call
capillary action. Is it a way to climb on the
bandwagon in order to marginalize the in-
fluence of populist parties or is it a sign of an
alarming radicalization of public opinion to
which the traditionally moderate parties are
trying to respond?
6
7
Accademic Papers
Is Europe powerless?
How can we understand this upsurge in populism?
8
The success of extremist parties in Europe
How can populism/national populism be defined in
Europe today?
The term populism first of all poses more problems than
it solves: it refers historically to diverse experiences and
its use is now saturated with standard-setting judgments.
It is considered to be a negative term in the media and
in the political and academic arena. But the effects this
has on the populist movement should not be underes-
timated and the increasing belief that there is a growing
condescendence from the elite circles.
An understanding of populism cannot just be reduced to
partisan terms and to political leaders, this is only the tip
of the iceberg. Populism must also be studied as a set of
values, arguments, opinions, not always expressed pub-
licly, not always leading to an extremist vote, but which
is seen as a reference to citizens’immediate environment.
Besides populism being an ‘institution’ which is widely
studied, there is a populism seen as a real ‘conviction’,
something that has ‘meaning’, albeit less obvious, and
this must not obscure its current popularity.
Following the broad lines of the two previous points,
populism today cannot only refer to the “shameful mar-
gins” of society, those that are usually built on the ab-
sence of clarity in indicators: lack of financial resources,
lack of educational capital, lack of capacity to adapt to
the demands of mobility, low socio-professional inser-
tion, etc. Sociological surveys show that the middle and
upper classes in European society are equally won over
by populist ideas. Similarly, populism is a‘style’that more
and more government party leaders adopt. Populism is
not only‘popular support’.
Analysis by
Michel Hastings
“Michel HASTINGS
After studying law and
history, Michel Hastings
received the aggregation
of Political Science, he is
currently University Profes-
sor at the Institut d’Etudes
Politiques in Lille (France).
9
It is no longer possible to raise the issue of
populism by confining it to the phenomena
of local idiosyncrasies, to the old-fashioned
ways which progress and Europeanization
have swept away or to the extremist up-
surges in times of crisis. Populism is not an
anachronism or a sudden outbreak of oppo-
sition, but probably a manifestation of what
s likely to continue in time, which is related
to the current state of liberal democracy and
to the changes in our contemporary socie-
ties (political practices, socio-cultural trans-
formations, etc.).
The term ‘political extremism’ is not, after
all, enough to define populism. Besides its
vagueness and its underlying prejudice it
may even be wrong for two main reasons:
firstly, because individuals who have popu-
list opinions do not rank themselves within
the extreme left-right spectrum as shown
in sociological surveys; secondly and espe-
cially because the organizations and leaders
whom we tend to characterize as populist,
in fact, adhere to strict democratic rules,
without any justification for violence and
furthermore, distance themselves from any
form of extremism. In fact, it is via demo-
cratic procedures that populism derives
much of its success.
Proposed definition: Populism is a political
style which is a source for change based on
the systematic use of rhetorical appeal to
the people. In its discursive form, it is char-
acterized by a programmatic minimalism
but with a great symbolic plasticity which
makes it a vector conducive to forge mul-
tiple and even heterogeneous indignations
(ethno-cultural, anti-tax, anti-elitist, Euro-
sceptics, etc.). In its institutional form, pop-
ulism includes partisan groups who intend
to translate these empty statements into
political regeneration projects by mobilizing
the imagination of a virtuous people, who
symbolizes the last repository of national
values, ready to follow a strong leader who
embodies the axioms of transparency, prox-
imity, similarity and truthfulness.
How have these extremist parties which
were previously marginalized become
acceptable on the European political
scene?
Acceptable populist parties that have
emerged over the past twenty years and
managed to strengthen their positions are
those who have succeeded in two ways:
through a process of de-marginalization
(no longer part of the partisan system) and
through an institutionalization process (firm
anchorage in a partisan form).
This double movement is the result of sev-
eral factors specific to the internal dynamics
of these parties and to the change in their
political and social environments:
- the dynamics of modernization that has
transformed the former fascist extremist
parties into politically acceptable entities:
the change in leadership, the change in ac-
tions, the change in insinuating speech tac-
tics and investment in communicative skills.
- an ideological and programmatic flexi-
bility, behind some well identified invariants
that function as stable reference points, and
whichallowsthemtoembracetheevolution
of ‘problems’, to adapt to new challenges
and to respond to the situation. This is the
general trend in European political parties
towards the “grab-all” party type which has
boosted populist formations.
- becoming “de-marginalized” is also the
result of different media and political logic
(exploitation, recuperation, ritual denuncia-
tion), and these effects, whether intended
10
or not, have led to a normalization of an ac-
ceptable populism.
- an increased feeling shared by European
citizens that, over the past years, govern-
ment parties have only proposed alterna-
tives with no concrete changes and that the
“real issues”have not been tackled. In other
words, populist parties present themselves
as the new political entrepreneurs
- avid to enter a political market they say is
blocked
- seeking to politicize new issues they say
are neglected,
- formulating simplistic and divisive pro-
posals which they say are denied them,
- using a transgressive rhetoric which they
say is unjustly despised.
How have these parties managed to se-
duce the electorate while traditional
parties have lost momentum?
The answer is in the question! It is because
the traditional parties no longer, or hardly,
fulfil their triple historical function: pro-
grammatically through a meaningful pro-
gramme for specific social groups; socially
by implementing social policies which will
contribute to the social and political inte-
gration of vulnerable social groups; and mo-
bilizing the electorate which entails driving
citizens to militant actions. It is the profound
change that has occurred within the tradi-
tional parties over the past thirty years that
has left the door open to populist groups.
Today the ‘historical’ parties count more on
the elected few rather than on the activists,
on the financial state subsidies rather than
on membership fees, and on the conven-
tional practices of government rather than
on the culture of opposition and critical
proposals. The role of traditional political
parties is restricted to selecting national and
local ruling elites.
Populism thrives on this feeling that par-
tisan politics have gone, in other words,
on the impression that politicians are more
concerned with reducing the sources of
conflict (ideological and / or social) rather
than encouraging differences and adversi-
ties which nevertheless, reflect democratic
pluralism. This is the void left by the ‘bank-
ruptcy’ of political parties in their historical
function of carrying social cleavages, be it
cultural and ideological, and which has pro-
pelled populism to the forefront.
So Populism, which can be considered
sometimes to be inept or excessive, is the
call to order of partisan democracy: the
democracy that embodies the tension of
opposites, the difference in ideas and clear
alternatives. The success of populism is the
call to real politics, politics where govern-
ments are no longer just administrations.
Populism in this sense is a symptom of the
change in the political engagement where
there is less room for dissent and ideological
struggle which is constituent of collective
identities.
The major historical European
parties are losing momentum
Is the electoral rise of the populist par-
ties a real success or are they thriving on
the increase of abstention?
Abstention is another symptom of the cur-
rent disappointment in representative de-
mocracy. It is another way of saying that the
game is not worth it and that the electoral
act is not the solution to change because
political change does not bring about dif-
ferent policies. There are two ways to ex-
press these frustrations:
- either by an “exit” from the political game,
renouncing a system in which we no longer
11
believe (abstention)
- or with a critical “voice” and the commit-
ment to oust from politics those who are
accused of being responsible for its short-
comings.
It is true that where the electoral geography
records a high abstention rate, it is also
tempting ground for populist formations.
But the correlation is not perfect. The pres-
ence of compulsory voting in a country is
not a guarantee against the rise in populism.
How can citizens’ loss of confidence be
explained with regard to the major Euro-
pean parties?
We can assume that the origin and the em-
bedding of populism in our European soci-
eties are at the heart of the changes in the
“way of doing politics” which seemingly
characterizes the exercise of power in con-
temporary democracies. Under the auspices
of the dominant liberal conceptions, two
constitutive principles of the democratic
ideal have gradually disappeared and even
lost all value: the reference to popular sover-
eignty and the resolutely combative nature
of politics.
At national and European level, taking deci-
sionsonissuesthatmakeslifecommontoall
seems to increasingly escape people’s actual
understanding of“citizen participation”. This
is the case for referendums; one no longer
expects the sovereign word from the people
but rather the ratification of policies already
decided; the same goes for a global rhetoric
system which deals with political problems
through language and categories that leave
no room for alternatives and are decided on
in the absence of any expression of popular
sovereignty. To govern today is to refuse
conflict which is part of politics; it is a way
to delegitimize confrontation and consider
consensus as democratic progress.
Whereas it seems to me that the current rise
of populism thrives on this double sense of
dispossession; not to be listened to as a sov-
ereign people, not to be listened to if in op-
position to the elite who imposes their own
consensus, increasingly interpreted as the
effects of censorship. “Good governance” is
the magic formula for this liberal consensus.
It predicts the “end of politics” which today
characterizes the discourse and practices of
national and European policies: ideological
and decision–making consensus, rallying
the major government parties to “politics
without adversary”and to“non-partisan de-
mocracy”, to depoliticize the way to resolve
conflicts in favour of law and expertise,
fetishism of impartial solutions, etc. These
seem to me to be the main neoliberal ele-
ments which now affect the political career
and which predict an emerging political
field completely devitalized, where antago-
nisms must be eradicated. But it is exactly
the inherent conflictual aspect of politics
which allows for the creation of distinctive
identities and for the opening out to other
possibilities.
Populism can therefore be regarded as a
demand for politicization on the part of
the people. They feel a growing sense of
being excluded from the effective exer-
cise of democratic citizenship by remote
elites who do not advance any alternative,
who govern by diktat giving the impres-
sion that the voice of the ordinary people
is not worth hearing. Populism can also be
understood as an ever-growing accumula-
tion of frustration and resentment towards
a new way of governance of liberal democ-
racies which seem to promote a new era
for the dismantling of the right/left, them/
12
us opposition and yet source of a pluralistic
ideal in favour of a moralistic conception of
politics. The populist discourse subverts the
existing form of politics by forging enemies
(foreigners, the Muslims, the rich, the elite)
rather than adversaries, and they stand for
the active and virtuous people, denouncing
the‘lies’of the politico-media class.We must
therefore understand populism as an effort
to reclaim politics from the transgression of
an order that seems frozen and powerless.
Where the public sphere of politics (and the
media) produces and appears to impose le-
gitimate discourse on immigration, on the
economic and social crisis, on social issues,
etc., by denying any form of discussion, the
populist language embodies a kind of al-
ienation, a form of pleasurable release that
hears the opposite by showing that there
is a contradiction, while formally activating
the original ideals of democracy. Populists
want to re-engage with discussion, exactly
where a certain political neo-liberal mor-
alism forbids it!	
The emergence of populist groups in Europe
comes from the contraction of the political
space. It correlates with the rise of consen-
sual culture which defines public interest
as an objective alliance between political
oligarchies, economic oligarchies, official
experts and Parisian editors. Populism, in its
own way, reflects the rejection of the con-
fiscation of politics. The populist distrust re-
lates to the feeling (and many indicators cor-
relate this point) of some kind of collusion
between various elites who are determined
to confiscate political truth, to justify deci-
sions as inevitable and without choice, and
to denigrate any contradictory expression.
Sopopulismexpressesareactionagainstthe
despised sacred union which is apparently
the administration of social affairs. Populism
is therefore in the wake of demands for rec-
ognition which have proliferated in recent
years in modern democracies, and feeds on
the resentment generated by the effects of
censorship and moral attitudes.
What flexibility do the historical parties
have to regain voters and counter ex-
tremist parties?
In our opinion, it is clear that the response
to populism is not a stigmatizing morality.
This only reinforces the feeling of conspiracy
against the people on which the populist
sentiment feeds. With the overwhelming
influence of economic and moralist ap-
proaches which hinder the recognition of
antagonism, therefore pluralisms, it is pref-
erable that the professional politicians re-
define and re-specify politics. The virtues
of politics lie within a reasonable ‘conflict-
uality’ which reminds us that the horizons
of the meaning of public action are never
universally shared, and there is no final truth
in politics.
Responding to populism is not automati-
cally blurring the boundaries between right
and left, it is not systematically denying
identity distinctions between‘us’and‘them’,
it is not hypocritically stigmatizing uncom-
fortable words. On the contrary, it is recog-
nizing that the divisions, far from tearing
apart the social fabric, in fact feed it and
help build around it, in a given society, the
distribution of material and symbolic goods.
Making politics is no longer hide and divide.
And we must add that in those countries
in question, efforts for the moralization of
public life must be made (prohibition of
overlapping of mandates, transparency of
salaries, etc.).
13
Right-wing populism or left
wing populism?
Is there a left-wing populism? Its analo-
gies with the right? How to counter this
rhetoric?
From the historical and geopolitical stand,
South American populism adopts “leftist”
connotations, borrowing a national-revolu-
tionary and separatist rhetoric, focusing on
the virtues of indigenousness, etc. Look at
Morales or Chavez. In Europe, the populist
discourse also exists in training sessions
or with political leaders who are usually
considered to be on the left of the political
spectrum. In August 2010, Thilo Sarrazin,
member of the SDP, published a sensational
paper, “Deutschland schafft sich ab’ (‘Ger-
many is doomed’); it was the British Labour
Party who proposed the slogan‘British Jobs
for British Workers’in 2007; Pim Fortuyn and
Oriana Fallaci were originally on the left. In
France, Mélenchon takes full responsibility
for his populism and draws greater legiti-
macy from this stand. His book ‘Let them
all go’, adopts a classic populist slogan ‘Out
with the outgoing’.
This blurring of the left-right axis shows that
populism is primarily a style rather than
solid content. There is a lot of rhetoric, a
strong Manicheism approach and the same
attention to pinpoint the guilty. However,
there is a key difference in that left-wing
populism tends to make enemies within the
class struggle (big against little, rich against
poor), while right-wing populism often
combines an ethno-cultural or even a racial
divide.
The role of the economic and so-
cial crisis in the rise of populism
Is the crisis the sole cause of the rise in
national-populism? Would the return to
growth mean the end of populist par-
ties?
The economic and social crisis cannot be
held solely responsible for the rise of pop-
ulism. Nevertheless, it is the ideal ground for
concerns and frustrations and therefore an
accelerator for populist particles! Further-
more it is a formidable testing ground for
the practices of consensus politics. Indeed,
decisions taken in the name of fighting
the crisis illustrate the democratic deficit
which the populists complain about: solu-
tions presented as inevitable and painful,
lack of choice, rejection of any alternative,
lack of necessary consultation or guidance
for citizens, the impression of control from
the top and a denial of popular sovereignty,
etc. Political crises are indicative rather than
sources of populism.
The question of the origins of the rise of
populism is to be found in a combination of
factors related primarily to major changes
going on throughout Western societies: the
crisis of the historical model of representa-
tive democracy, the crisis of the historical
model of the nation- state, the crisis of in-
tegrating socio-cultural diversity, changes in
the media and in journalism, etc.
So it is likely that populism is the expres-
sion of movements affecting the historic
structures of our modern Western societies,
bringing about a transition to new socio-
political configurations.
14
National identity, belonging and
identification with European
politics
How can the EU recreate a European im-
agination without refuting local and cul-
tural characteristics?
I am not convinced that the European re-
sponse to populism is in promoting a Eu-
ropean collective imagination. This will not
happen by decree but probably by a very
long socialization process. It would also be
better that national politicians and national
media ‘denationalize’ their behaviour and
speech. The information we receive, even
when talking of European affairs, is trans-
lated and reinterpreted into national lan-
guages through patriotic analyses. Much
more than a European imagination, it is a
real Europeanization of public power that
will provide a shield against populism, es-
pecially a strong integration of social and
educational policies.
Which European identity should be pro-
moted?
The European Union, as a global area of
peace, freedom and human rights, is now
completely taken for granted and therefore,
it no longer inspires the younger genera-
tions.The European identity must now open
up to new projects and write a new story,
inventing a new exciting mythology for the
European frontier. It is, of course, the new
social Europe that we need, which is dis-
appearing behind the financial Europe. We
need a new Europe which will repatriate key
issues of long-standing concern and which
will be at the heart of the debate. This is the
‘us’ of the social question seen through the
prism of the current crisis that must become
the new European identity mutually sup-
portive of one and all. In the absence of such
an objective, populism, especially right-
wing, will succeed in imposing its culturalist
definition of ‘us’ and therefore its exclusive
conception of‘identity’.
Democratic deficiencies in the EU
Must the EU become a truly parliamen-
tary democracy?
To become a real parliamentary democ-
racy, the EU must first simplify its ‘mapping
policy’,
in other words, it must get rid of the confu-
sion in having different places for decision
making and policy responsibility. European
populism feeds on the illegibility of the EU
political system. The EU must then give to
Parliament and its representatives an in-
stitutional role consistent with democratic
requirements (more debates, strengthened
political control, better publicity and media
coverage of parliamentary proceedings,
etc.). It is regrettable that national candi-
dates to the European Parliament are too
often professionals who are not well known
on the national or European level. European
populism feeds on invisibility and inaudi-
bility in the European Parliament, especially
in times of crisis when decisions are seem-
ingly appropriated by executive and admin-
istrative bodies.
Finally and most importantly, the European
institutions must come back to practising
real politics, so essential for democracy.
The impression is that the European Parlia-
ment decides on public policies without real
policy-making which results in laborious
compromises and thus gives an impression
of stagnation. As we have already said, Eu-
ropean populism feeds on a desire to turn
policy decision-making into conflict and to
categorize it via majority logic.
15
How can a transnational civil society
emerge?
Firstly by actively proving that it exists! And
thereafter, by multiplying every opportunity
to ask questions via referendum or partici-
patory methods. Finally, we must give more
visibility and power to the institutions and
spokespersons (unions, interest groups, Eu-
ropean parties).
The role and responsibility of the media
The internal changes in the media and the
populist affirmations should be more sys-
tematically related. Today, journalism and
the production and circulation of informa-
tion is changing dramatically which also
corresponds to the generalisation of neo-
liberalism’s demands: urgent dictatorship,
distorting and exaggerating information,
moralizing and criticizing in the name of
individual judgment, using devious means
to create controversy, rhetoric overreaction,
etc. So there is a link or even complicity,
between populism and the media world.
On the one hand, populism is regularly de-
nounced as political perversion and yet,
on the other hand, the spectacular perfor-
mance of its tribunes is accepted as being
a way to present information “close to the
people.” Furthermore, both populism and
media work on mobilizing collective emo-
tions.
The moderate parties appro-
priate the populist language
A few years ago in France, we talked of the
“lepenization of minds” to describe the
spread of the National Front’s ideas beyond
its own electorate. Today, it has become
clear that the populist rhetoric and its strat-
egies for politicizing issues that divide and
the way it plays the card of transgression in
the public debate, has been appropriated
by the moderate parties, especially those
whose voters are likely to be seduced by the
populist arguments. One example among
many is when politicians declare that they
are talking “with no taboos,” and who claim
they have no problems with the issues they
raise. This rhetoric convinces the public that
the politicians are being honest with the
people. It is, we believe, one of the central
elements of the populist discourse which
does violence to politics and, at the same
time, confuses the freedom to say anything
with the ability to do anything. The appeal
of populism to citizens and to leaders of
moderate parties is this feeling of rupture
and an anti-establishment capacity to pro-
test against the current political system in
the very name of what the latter should be
representing, that is, the people. The am-
biguity of populist rhetoric is in its way of
re-using a number of the founding ideals of
democratic legitimacy: restoring the magic
of the sovereignty of the people and the
misuse of the ethical values of the Resist-
ance, of Human Rights or of secularism (in
France). All become conquest tools for the
populists.
Populism gives itself the means and re-
sources to remain within the democratic
framework, even if many of its imaginary el-
ements project it to authoritarian horizons.
16
Analysis by
Nicolas Levrat
“Nicolas LEVRAT
Nicolas LEVRAT is Professor
of International and Euro-
pean Law at the University
of Geneva. Since 2007 he has
been Head of the European
Institute.
In response to the document “the rise of populism and
of extremist parties in Europe” prepared for the Berlin
meeting of December 1-2 2012, I intend to deal compre-
hensively and concisely with the two issues set out in the
Foreword: to identify the vulnerabilities of the European
model and to present recommendations (actually, one
single flaw and one recommendation in this brief con-
tribution). In my opinion, a major flaw of the “European
model” explains the current rise of national populism
(please note, there is no European populism ....). Conse-
quently, let me suggest a path, which, in my opinion, de-
serves exploration.	
1. Statement
European integration, ensuring peace between Euro-
pean countries, as it has recently and rightly been rec-
ognised by the Nobel Committee, threatens civil peace
that has prevailed in each (national) community of the
EU Member States. Indeed, the State, as an independ-
ent political community, was the place where conflicts
of interest were mediated; conflicts between social (left /
right) groups or between membership groups, language
(Belgium) or “national” (Spain and UK). The state frame-
work, around which the traditional political parties are
structured, is no longer a credible space for political ac-
tion: it is difficult for traditional political parties to gather
support for their discourse because it can no longer be
acted upon, as the decisions in many areas are no longer
taken at state level. In these circumstances, the discourse
of populist parties, left or right, separatist or autonomist
becomes credible and even more reassuring with their
solutions recalling a time when the state (whether the
Historical State or a new more “homogeneous” state -
Catalonia, Scotland, Flanders) was able to bring its own
solutions. This is why the populist discourse, which uses
17
the people’s legitimate concern about the
weakening of the political capacity of Euro-
pean states, is effective against the national
government parties’words which are losing
credibility.
How is Europe to be blamed for this change?
The Monnet method allowed for a “de facto
solidarity” for the economic interests lo-
cated in different State parties adhering to
the integration project, and thus weakening
the bond of nationality in order to avoid the
resurgence of extreme nationalism. This has
made member states powerless with regard
to redistribution policies. Without going
into detail, the economic integration of Eu-
rope allows private economic interests (and
thus indirectly, the resources they gener-
ate for the community such as jobs and tax
contributions), to be located anywhere on
European territory. The emancipation of the
national economy (in order to avoid the con-
gruence of political and economic interests
which thereafter led to the wars of the first
half of the twentieth century) no longer al-
lows for states to arbitrate between different
social demands within their territory. There-
fore, the foundations of the national social
equilibrium (method of taxation allowing
for public policies, particularly redistribu-
tion) are seriously shaken. As shown by the
“financial markets”, the EU (or more exactly
in this case the Euro zone) has created a free
trade economic zone, but not an area of eco-
nomic governance, which should above all
include the capacity to maintain social and
territorial balance through redistribution! In
an article published in the magazine Esprit
in October 2002, Pierre Rosanvallon linked
the “European democratic deficit” to the
weak capacity of redistribution of the EU. He
compares national solidarity (between 30%
and 60% of GDP in public contributions) to
the redistributive capacity of the EU (1% of
GDP). This, he approximated to a minimum
humanity solidarity (the 0.7% development
aid claimed for decades in the framework of
the UN) and not to a national type of soli-
darity.
In conclusion, the flaw of the European
model that allows for a new populist force is
this discrepancy between the European Eco-
nomic Area, and social and political spaces
which remain national, but with devalued
substance. Consequently, national policies,
and those who embody them, namely gov-
ernmental political parties, are left power-
less. At the same time, the European insti-
tutions have not been granted the political
capacity to address the legitimate concerns
of citizens. So there is a general weakening
of politics in the European model, with col-
lateral damage in the form of the govern-
mental political parties. Populism is thus
rising by default.
2. Recommendation
Given this situation, two options seem pos-
sible. I personally recommend the second
one.
The first obvious option is to increase the
material capacities and abilities of redistri-
bution at European level and to develop the
intra-European solidarity to a level similar to
that which was known at national level (to
establish a European social state). This im-
plies a major increase in the EU budget (I do
not mean to double the EU budget, but mul-
tiply it by 10 or 15 times at least), no longer
based on contributions from member states,
but on a fiscal power exercised and politi-
cally assumed by the European institutions
(firstly, the EP). This would resuscitate the
18
“no taxation without representation” more
than two centuries after the Boston revolt.
It would then be a matter of recreating the
national model at the continental level, and
of transferring the place of political balance
(and therefore politics) to the European lev-
el (where the European populism, as I have
already said, is not very present). This would
definitely weaken the European states, and
by extension those who already thrive on
their downfall (national-populists). This is a
possible solution, but I think this idea is cur-
rently inappropriate for two reasons. Firstly,
(and the debates in Germany about Greece,
or in Catalonia in relation to Spain demon-
strate this) EU citizens are not ready for more
solidarity.To engage in this political struggle
in the current circumstances seems too risky,
and the populists and nationalists could well
emerge victorious, with consequences that I
dare not think about. Secondly, because of
the globalization process, presumably irre-
versible for technological reasons, does not
seem sustainable. Globalisation exerts pres-
sure on the ability of the EU to maintain bal-
ance among its members in the same way
that European integration does on national
balance.
The second option, to which I would give
priority, is to revive European federalism.
Federalism is primarily a political model in
order to preserve the diversity and particu-
larities of different groups within the Fed-
eration, through strong federate institutions
(Länder, communities, regions, cantons,)
within one single political community. So
the capacity of action of both the European
institutions and the European states must
simultaneously be strengthened within
the EU. Since the mid-sixties, the European
federalists have allowed the propagation
of a false equation: European federalism =
strong centralized institutionalization of
the EU! This is not the essence of federal-
ism! The European Union must, following a
well-understood subsidiarity, allow and fa-
vour state political areas (“national”) within
a common European Federation, and not
simply build more powerful European in-
stitutions at the expense of national institu-
tions (the mechanism of the European se-
mester is an eloquent example of this flaw).
From this point of view, Switzerland, where
I come from, or Germany that has success-
fully integrated the former GDR without
major damage to its economic and political
system seem interesting examples to ana-
lyse in their “balancing act”. To give back to
member states their capacity for autono-
mous political action without dismantling
European integration seems more feasible
than the creation of the European state.
Moreover, it would allow traditional political
parties (national) to regain credibility and
to push back the populist advance. These
national political parties would form part of
the European federations of political parties,
as is the case for federal states. This is not
about weakening the European institutions,
but mainly about revising certain “dogmas”
which were central in the development of
integration, but that now prove counterpro-
ductive in an established EU; such as the ab-
solute primacy of EU law over national laws,
which made sense for a fair and effective lib-
eralisation of economic trade, but does not
make sense anymore for developing pub-
lic policies based on public choice, as was
shown by the German political scientist Fritz
Scharpf in 2000. Furthermore, this option
(better than the first) would allow for find-
ing dynamic and progressive solutions to
the current risk of collapse of the EU which
the first option would unfortunately almost
certainly produce.
19
Obviously, I do not pretend that this option
for reviving European federalism will take an
easy course; it just seems more realistic and
sustainable. But it entails, I agree, a Coper-
nican revolution of federalist thinking and
discourse on European integration. I submit
this to discussion, not forgetting that this
brings the federalist address back to a clas-
sic notion of the Federation.
20
Analysis by
Gerassimos Moschonas
“Gerassimos MOSCHONAS
PhD, University of Paris-2, is
currently an Associate Pro-
fessor in Comparative Poli-
tics at the Department of Po-
litical Science and History of
Panteion University, Athens
(Greece).
The ‘broken equilibrium’ in
European politics:
the Europe factor and the weakening of
mainstream parties
with an emphasis on centre-left and radical Left
parties1
“The succession of extremisms often points to weaknesses and oversights
by the political majority culture. Extremism [......] is in some respect a
mirror image of social development and allows for conclusions about the
condition of the majority society”.
Uwe Backes (Political Extremes, 2010, p. 192)
“Politics in the end is the art of solving substantive problems”.
Arthur Schlesinger (The cycles of American History, 1986, p. 276)
Europe is undergoing a major upheaval and, at the same
time, a gentle, slow and silent institutional revolution.
The European Union is one of the most imaginative crea-
tions of institutional and political engineering. And just
as parties have historically developed in the wake of ma-
jor institutional changes (e.g. the advent of universal suf-
frage or the parliamentarisation of former authoritarian
states), so today the unprecedented character of the EU
has a significant impact on the party phenomenon and
party conflict.
In the framework of the classical nation-state the limited
1 In this document bibliographical references are “minimal”.
The paper is part of the Research Programme ‘Designing &
Operating an Infrastructure for the Empirical Inquiry of Po-
litical & Social Radicalism in Greece’ (co-financed by the Euro-
pean Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds).
21
number of power centres and political ac-
tors,aswellasthelessconstraininginfluence
of‘external’factors, has made it easier to for-
mulate and implement a national strategy.
By contrast, the European ‘transnational’
terrain, while not chaotic, is structured very
differently. The centres of authority and the
(institutional and political) actors are very
numerous; their ideological repertoires are
heteroclite; and the logics of actions often
diverge. The distribution of power centres
is such that, between the Council, the Com-
mission, the European Parliament, the Euro-
pean Central Bank, national governments
and administrations, strengthened local
instances and independent authorities, the
cohesion of the system of power (conceived
here as a single macro-institutional system,
comprising both powers at EU level and na-
tional) is weak.
And the outcome of all this?The formulation
and implementation of a strategy of ambi-
tious reforms has become very difficult. The
institutional reality of the EU is a sizeable
obstacle in the path of all actors (national
states, left-wing parties, populist right-wing
parties, anti-globalization or alternative
globalization movements, federalist and
anti-federalist associations etc.) aspiring
to achieve policy or regime change in the
EU. All these actors find themselves facing
a difficult problem of collective action and
coordination. This problem is strategic in a
twofold sense: in the European system there
is no Winter Palace to occupy or surround (a
political system factor); and there is no royal
road for prompting and coordinating the
mobilization of national actors with highly
diverse sensibilities, cultures and interests
(an agency factor). Europe has brought
about a radical change in the environment
and structure of political opportunities.
Following the great reforms of the 1985-99
period, the European Union became a heavy
and imposing political machine. Analyses
that only examine Europe’s ‘liberalism’ un-
derestimate the fact that the Community’s
model of political economy is fundamen-
tally two-fold: produced both by liberalisa-
tion and by a certain (uneven, fragmented
and minimal) kind of federalism. Europe
is notable for a remarkable concentration
of powers in certain sectors — monetary
policy and structural policies are two exam-
ples of quasi-State policies.2
Thus, European
integration is the still incomplete prod-
uct of two almost simultaneous building
processes that reinforce one another: the
building of Europe through the market and
the building of a political Europe. Paradoxi-
cally, despite social-democratic and euro-
communist aspirations (political Europe as
a counter-weight to the market), the po-
liticisation of integration (through a dense,
rigid institutional apparatus) consolidated
and solidified the liberalisation of Europe.
It was the building of a political Europe that
gave liberal economic solutions a long-term
advantage. Such was the major irony – and
unanticipated ruse – of the politicisation of
the process.
European integration calls into question
three closely related aspects of party activity
and influence: (a) the ability of political par-
ties to harmonize the institutional system
and hence their problem-solving capacity;
(b) the programmatic freedom of political
parties and the conventional left-right di-
vide; and (c) the strategic flexibility of main-
stream parties.
2 Nicolas Jabko, L’Europe par le marché, Histoire d’une
stratégie improbable, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po,
2009, pp. 259, 264-265.
22
I. The general framework:
Polycentric regime and the weak-
ening of the mainstream parties
The weakening of the problem-solving
capacity of parties in government:
the institutional and political setting has
dramatically changed. One aspect of this
change is critical. Progressively, the dy-
namic of Europe has significantly reduced
the space allotted to the forces of the na-
tion and to national governments. Ironically,
the great transfer of authority unleashed
by the Community renaissance has gener-
ated a framework of weakened dual power:
a simultaneous power deficit both at the
national and European level. In a sense, as
Cramme aptly notices, “half-way federalisa-
tion has brought the worst of both worlds
to the fore”3
. This double discrepancy dif-
ferentiates the EU fundamentally from the
United States, in that the structure of the
European system does not embody a cen-
tralizing logic comparable to the dynamic
of American federalism. If globalization has
weakened overall the core component of
what might be called“governance”, the dual
deficit in question is specifically European. It
is in a way the direct product of the renais-
sance of Europe and undoubtedly deprives
all parties in government of some of their
influence (this especially applies in the case
of the social-democratic parties, which have
traditionally pushed“national power”as the
principal lever of their political action).
The double power deficit, the multiplic-
ity of power centres and the superimposi-
tion of decision-making levels short-circuit
the unity of the decision-making process
and reduce government efficacy (problem-
3 	Olaf Cramme, The power of European inte-
gration, Social democracy in search of a purpose, Policy
network paper, September 2012, p.11.
solving capacity) of the regime. Today’s Eu-
ropean parties perform, much less than in
the past and much less effectively, a central
function and mission, which forms part of
their profoundest political specificity: that is,
the function of government, a function that
contributed greatly to their historical influ-
ence and endurance. As a result of the frag-
mentation of the system of decision-making
within the multi-level and multi-sites Euro-
pean system, the strong institutional pres-
ence of parties cannot be converted into
genuine policy capacity. In fact, the prob-
lem of contemporary mainstream parties
is not so much their transformation into
professional power mechanisms cut off
from society (theories of the state party or
cartel-party), but rather the opposite: it is
their failure to function as effective power
mechanisms, and as mechanisms for solv-
ing problems that distances them from so-
ciety. Contemporary parties matter less as
problem-solving structures and because of
this, they are not regarded as representative
vehicles even though they are supposed to
solve problems.
From confrontation to ideological con-
vergence:
the EU, as argues Simon Hix, “is perhaps
more consensus-oriented in its design than
any other political system in the history of
modern government” 4
. For a policy to be
adopted it requires (depending on the sec-
tor and institution) strong majorities or una-
nimity, which lead the member States or the
national parties either to build grand coali-
tions or to abandon their policies. Moreo-
ver, the European circuit is by definition
one of reform and indeed, a difficult, tortu-
4 	 Simon Hix (2006) “Why the EU needs (Left-
Right) Politics ? Policy Reform and Accountability are
Impossible without it’ Policy paper no 19, www.notre-
europe. asso.fr,
23
ous reform. This “conservative” character of
Europe’s way of working 5
is not set up by
liberal perversity nor will it easily change:
it draws its raison d’être from the multi-
state and multi-level nature of the regime,
which requires barriers to avoid one group
of countries or actors to dominate another.
Negotiation, the endless processes of com-
promise and wheeling and dealing, and the
increased weight of technocratic solutions
largely neutralise ideological fractures and
the left-right cleavage.
Europe reduces the political repertoire of
party formations especially major parties
with a governmental vocation6
. It tends
to inhibit programmatic innovation whilst
programmatic convergence and the weak-
ening of cleavages find an extremely fertile
terrain. Moreover, by a kind of “ideational
spill-over”, Brussels pragmatism and gradu-
alism spreads to all the national ‘systemic’
political forces. The “Europe” factor hinders
genuine policy and governmental alterna-
tives not only at the European level but also
at national level. Consequently, the new
European environment is conducive to the
weakening of the ideological differences of
contemporary moderate parties. And they
are already weakened by other causes, such
as the economic slow-down and the eco-
nomic limits of Keynesianism, globalisation,
the change in the model of economic pro-
duction, immigration, catch-all politics etc.
The EU has increased all this.
5 	 Gerassimos Moschonas, “Reformism in a
“Conservative”System : The European Union and Social
democratic Identity” in John Callaghan et al. (eds.), In
Search of Social Democracy : Responses to Crisis and
Modernisation, Manchester, Manchester University
Press, 2009, pp. 168-192.
6	Peter Mair, (2005),‘Popular Democracy
and the European Union Polity’, European Governance
Papers, no. C-05-03
From strategic flexibility to “flexible ri-
gidity”:
the great historical parties of the Right and
Left have been characterized, especially af-
ter World War II, by a high level of strategic
flexibility and a great capacity for adapta-
tion and renewal. It was precisely this capac-
ity in adapting that enabled them to survive
and remain mass parties. The capacity for
adaptation, especially in the case of the So-
cial Democratic parties, was reinforced after
the 1960s (by virtue of the strengthening of
the leader’s personal power, the weakening
of traditional bureaucracy and reducing ties
with the trade unions). Nevertheless, this is
not so much the case today as in the past.
There are two reasons for this: on the one
hand the economic constraints imposed
on national governments by globalization;
on the other hand, the political constraints
associated with the unwieldy and sluggish
European system of governance. Today’s
main government parties are organization-
ally flexible but finally politically and ideo-
logically “rigid” owing to external factors.
Consequently, they find it very difficult to
respond to the changing demands of the
electorate, particularly if these demands
deflect from the “corridor of possibilities”
whose boundaries are those of globalization
and European integration. The most distinc-
tive feature of their present-day identity is
in fact a kind of “flexible rigidity”: they are
capable of proposing a host of new ideas of
limited significance and many innovative
policy proposals (and have systematically
done so in recent years). What they are not
in a position to produce is a grand vision,
a new major narrative, an alternative per-
spective to the present and the future, even
though such an alternative would probably
be in their electoral interest.The widespread
24
idea that moderate parties are characterized
by strategic flexibility has become a myth.
The new flexibility of extremes: by contrast
and paradoxically, radical parties, Left or
Right, have greater tactical flexibility today,
andtosomeextent,greaterstrategicflexibil-
ity than the mainstream parties (this dimen-
sion is rarely taken into account by special-
ists). Admittedly, the flexibility in question
is, in a sense, fictitious, precisely because it
is inextricably linked to these parties’ non-
governing character. The parties are there-
fore frequently accused of being “populist”
(the term“populism”referring here to lack of
responsibility, demagogy, and facile denun-
ciation of the opponent or of the system).
Nevertheless, neither the radical Right (with
some exceptions) afflicted by the past’s rigid
fascism, nor the radical Left (again, with
some very important exceptions) display
the extreme ideological and organizational
rigidity of yesterday’s Communism. The
“anti-systemic” parties of the present are
relatively responsive and supple players, or
at least, more so than those of the past.They
are well-versed in the manoeuvres of elec-
toral politics, they are more open to ideo-
logical compromise and they have a greater
capacity for renewal from above (owing to
greater autonomy at the level of leadership).
In reality, as opposition parties and precisely
because they are in opposition, they can
show greater flexibility than the big parties
in government, whose hands are tied by
virtue of their participation in complex and
laborious power systems.
All this, to some extent, reverses the logic
of 150 years of party history. For the first
time the “peripheral” parties, while remain-
ing more “ideological”than the centre-right
and centre-left parties, are adapting their
words and deeds more rapidly to changing
circumstances than the moderate parties.
This represents, at least to a certain extent,
something new in the history of the party
phenomenon. What we have learned from
the history of parties applies less today than
in the past.
The historical irony of this development (the
change in the role of moderate parties is
a major historical novelty and a rupture in
European tradition) is that parties, which
created the EU, at the same time created
the conditions for undermining their own
influence and role. From this point of view,
national mainstream parties are the victims
of Europe’s success. This naturally tends to
reinforce every species of opposition and to
reinforce them in a way that is by no means
cyclical or ephemeral.
II. Comments on the dynamic of
political conflict
Is there really a far left populism?
There are many similarities between the
populisms of the Left and of the Right. The
harsh criticism of globalization and finance
capitalism, of the EU, of the downgrading
of national parliaments and democracy, are
just some of them. Attribution of central
significance to the cleavage establishment/
people is another point of convergence be-
tween the Far Right and the Far Left. But the
differences are just as great, if not greater.
Today’s Radical Left has for the most part
embraced the thematics and mottos of the
1960s New Left (feminism, ecology, minori-
ties’ rights, multiculturalism, immigration
etc.), issues and preoccupations that share
little common terrain with right-wing pop-
ulism. In terms of economic policy its dis-
course bears increasing resemblance to that
25
of the old Keynesian Social Democracy. The
Strategy for the EU adopted by the Party of
The European Left is an amalgam of scath-
ing criticism and reformist aspirations. On
the one hand it criticizes the neoliberal
policies adopted by the EU, on the other it
puts forward proposals for a change of po-
litical course within the Union, in essence for
“more Europe”.
The new radical Left undoubtedly has nu-
merous populist or, to be more precise,
demagogical, aspects to it. But its historical
links to Marxism, its bad relations with na-
tionalism, its identification (in most cases)
with cultural liberalism, its strength of the
organizational factor, do not favour its
transformation into a populist force. Much
less do they favour its transformation into
a “national-populist” force. The new radi-
cal identity embraces substantial elements
from the ideology and culture of the histori-
cal currents (Leninist, Trotskyist, anarcho-
syndicalist, Action Directe, Maoist), as well
as the New Left and elements originating
in the social-democratic tradition, political
ecology, populism and the anti-globaliza-
tion movements. The radical Left is closer to
the model of a “left social democracy” with
a populist/libertarian and social movement-
orientation than to the classical populist
model.
The policy (including European policy) pro-
posals of most of the parties that comprise
the European Left Party incorporate strong
elements of social-democratic reformism
and are, irrespective of their frequently
intransigent rhetoric, part of a strategy of
reformism more than a strategy of rift or
revolution. Nevertheless, the analyses that,
more generally, attribute social democratic
characteristics to the politics of the radical
Left parties or tend to regard these parties
as parties “like all the others”7
underrate
the internal divisions, the culture of protest
(segments of the Radical Left are inclined
to criticise everything that moves on the
planet), the“anti-capitalist”rhetoric, the use
of discursive schemes inspired by the insur-
rectional model, the arrogant sectarianism
of some of its component part, indeed the
very“soul”of sections of the radical Left.The
logic of social democracy is an overall politi-
cal logic, not just the Keynesian approach to
the economy. It is no accident, moreover,
that these parties live in fear of being trans-
formed into social democracy, of coming to
resemble their big brother and perennial
opponent.
The hijacking of the populist rhetoric by
the traditionally moderate political par-
ties
Hijacking of populist rhetoric is something
that has already been indulged in, to a cer-
tain moderate extent, by some national
conservative parties (viz. Sarkozy in the
2007 elections). It improves electoral perfor-
mance in the short term but in the medium
term seems to undermine political credibili-
ty. Nevertheless, particularly for mainstream
parties of the Right, it is a good electoral
option which can net some modest political
returns. In the absence of a change in the
overall liberal orientation of the EU a vari-
ety of “moderate populism” could work for
conservative parties, but not for the socialist
family.
From a strategic standpoint, the current
structure of social-democratic electorates
renders the adoption of an advanced neo-
7	 T. Bale and R. Dunphy (2012),“De parias
à participants”in De Waele J.M and Seiler D.-L., Les
partis de la gauche anticapitaliste en Europe, Paris:
Economica.
26
liberal strategy too costly in electoral terms
(because of the ever strong presence of
social-democracy among popular strata and
public sector wage-earners). The huge elec-
toral defeat of PASOK (June 2012) dramati-
cally underlines, the consequences of harsh
austerity policies for social democracy,
above and beyond any Greek idiosyncrasies.
This same electoral structure also makes the
adoption of “left-wing populism” by social-
democratic leaderships equally too costly
(because of the increasing electoral implan-
tation among salaried middle strata, partic-
ularly educated strata, strongly“attached”to
cultural liberalism).
What room for manoeuvre do the histor-
ic parties have to counter the extremist
parties?
While Europe still has the characteristics as
described above, and it has had them for a
very long time, room for manoeuvre for the
historical parties will remain very limited.
Also, given the pressure from a reinforced
popular Euroscepticism, the classic, and oh!
so familiar, European policy of half-meas-
ures and“uncompleted agreements”(which
will supposedly be perfected at some point
in the future), along with the politics of
austerity, is grist to the mill of populism,
particularly in the present conditions of seri-
ous crises. Given that citizens are perfectly
well aware that their political preferences
are not sufficiently taken into account by
the moderate parties, which are in any case
on a trajectory of mutual convergence,
they frequently choose to support more
extreme parties, even though they know
that the positions of these parties diverge
from their own through being more radical.
“Voters prefer parties whose positions differ
from their own views insofar as these par-
ties pull policy in a desired direction”, wrote
Orit Kedar very aptly8
. Their vote for one of
the extremes is not, for the great majority of
voters, an identity vote. Nor is it really a pro-
test vote. It is rather an “instrumental” vote,
a vote aimed at turning the helm of policy-
making in another, more desired, direction.
This explains why the extreme parties are,
in fact, growing stronger, but, at the same
time, also remain electorally unstable and
fragile. For as long as voters consider that
Europe “is run by a vague, grey elite over
which they have no influence”, the poten-
tial for the growth of extreme parties will
remain great.
Conclusion
A reduction in the actual perimeter of party
action constitutes the hard core of the in-
fluence exercised by Europe. The European
Union, by its structure and its workings (and
not by some kind of conspiracy of the elites
or capital), raises an enormous problem of
effectiveness and practical coherence for
all parties, whether mainstream or radical.
Thus, for the first time since the crystal-
lization and consolidation of the model of
‘party government’, the exceptional role
and exceptional influence of parties are
now under challenge. All this boils down
to a bleak outlook for all party families. Not
from the viewpoint of electoral possibilities
or electoral potential (the EU is a gift to op-
positional politics from every point of the
spectrum). The outlook is bleak from the
viewpoint of the parties’ ability to promote
their political objectives. The real, profound
and, in all likelihood, non-ephemeral weak-
ening of partisan institution represents a
sizeable obstacle to the long-term stability
8	 Orit Kedar,“When Moderate Voters Prefer
Extreme Parties: Policy Balancing in Parliamentary
Elections, American Political Science Review / Vol. 99 /
02 / May 2005.
27
not only of the mainstream parties, but of all
parties, including right-wing populist par-
ties or radical left parties.The new European
environment tends to stabilize the tendency
to electoral instability.
Instability might turn out to be an enduring
characteristic not only bound to the choices
of partisan leaderships (moderate or not),
but also to the profound transformation of
the concept of the political in Europe.
28
Analysis by
Takis Pappas
“Takis S. PAPPAS
(Ph.D., Yale University 1995)
is associate professor of com-
parative politics at the Uni-
versity of Macedonia, Greece,
and, currently, a Marie Curie
Fellow at the Department of
Political and Social Sciences
of the European University
Institute in Florence.
What is the problem?
In fact, we are confronted with several interrelated prob-
lems: (a) the decline of Europe’s old parties and party sys-
tems; (b) the rise of populism; (c) the rise of non-demo-
cratic political extremism; and (d) the unappealing image
of the EU.There seems to be a direct line of causality that
leads from (a) to (d) through (b) and (c).
What has gone wrong with the old parties?
Any explanation should take into account that, for all
intents and purposes, Europe’s major parties developed
historically in close relation to their respective sovereign
states and, more particularly, the state-controlled nation-
al cultural reproductive mechanisms (i.e. education, ad-
ministration, social security systems, etc.) and state-regu-
lated markets. More recently, however, as the sovereignty
of Europe’s nation states has been undermined by the
forces of Europeanization (which created supranational
institutions) and globalization (which liberalized the
markets), the traditional political parties have lost much
of their political scope, let alone their ideological and po-
litical appeal. As a result, this has led large chunks of their
previous electorates to abandon them, thus creating an
enormous pool of available voters who are currently up
for grabs by new and upcoming political entrepreneurs
of various creeds.
And what about populism? Confronting
the beast
Since the rise of populism is a contemporary phenom-
enon, its concept cannot be considered as ‘archeologi-
cal’. At present, there is an intense debate about pop-
ulism going on in academia, which, however, is no less
29
conceptually wanting than it is normatively
misleading. So far, this debate has failed to
agree on what populism is, but also to dis-
tinguish between the several variants of
European populism; in addition, it is misled
by the heavily normative question whether
populism is a threat to or a corrective to de-
mocracy (e.g. Mudde 2012).
We may, as we should, distinguish between
three distinct types of European populism:
primarily political, ethnic nationalist and re-
gional separatist. All three set “the people”
against some threatening “other” but, in
each case, these seemingly undifferentiated
categories take on different content. In brief:
in primarily political populism the antithesis
is between the“pure”people (il popolo) and
the current “corrupt” political class (the po-
litical establishment); in ethnic nationalist
populism, a national community with reput-
edly common cultural attributes (an éthnos
or kulturnation) is pitted against menacing
foreign forces (immigrants, the EU); regional
separatist populism, finally, echoes Europe’s
ancient centre-periphery cleavage as it sets
secessionist regions (e.g., Catalonia, Pada-
nia, Scotland) against their respective na-
tional centres (cf. Roma ladrona).
I suggest that we understand, and therefore
define, populism simply as democratic illib-
eralism (Pappas 2012). Therefore, populism is
by definition democratic but also represents a
fatal threat to political liberalism.
Populism and democracy
In the foregoing definition, populism is al-
ways democratic, but also illiberal; it is also
distinguished from non-democratic parties.
Consequently, we end up with the following
understanding:
Representative democracy
Liberal
parties
Populist
parties
Non-
democratic
parties
Populism vs. liberalism
Besides making clear the three interrelated
characteristics of all populist parties, this Ta-
ble speaks volumes for the rise of populism
in Europe as the other side of liberalism’s
failure. It tells exactly where liberal democ-
racy is currently failing in Europe: the reduc-
tion of previously multiple, but overlapping
cleavages into one ostensibly dividing the
‘pure’ people from ‘established’ elites; the
end of political moderation and consensual
politics; and the erosion of constitutionalism
and the rule of law.
The two faces of representative democracy
Liberal Populist
Multiple cleavages Single cleavage
‘Overlapping
consensus’
Adversarial politics
Constitutionalism Majoritarianism
Myths about populism
• Populism constitutes an ideology, even a
“thin”one (cf., Mudde 2004)
• Populism is an extreme right-wing phe-
nomenon
• There is a close relationship between pop-
ulism and charismatic leadership
Realities about populism
• Populism is non-ideological and highly op-
portunistic (hence some authors have seen
it as a certain political strategy)
30
• Populism is to be found on both the left
and the right of the political spectrum
(for instance, in the first round of the 2012
French elections, there was hardly a single
party that did not behave as populist)
• Contrary to common popular wisdom,
charismatic leadership is rare among popu-
list parties. Yet, most successful populist
parties do have charismatic leaders.
• Populism is contagious as the cases of
Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania
clearly show (cf. Pappas 2013).
What to do?
If there is one thing that emerges most
clearly from the foregoing points it is that
European liberalism is receding – and it is
receding fast. European liberalism stands for
(a) reinforcing supranational EU institutions
and (b) the full opening of markets. Europe-
an populism, on the other hand, is both an-
ti-EU and anti-market; it stands against the
erosion of national states and further mar-
ket liberalization. It draws its voters among
people in European societies who feel aban-
doned by their national traditional parties,
threatened by open markets, and without
sufficient state protection. There seems to
be only one way out of Europe’s current po-
litical predicament: bravely pushing forward
with more political integration and making
Europe what its founding fathers wanted it
to be – a liberal political Union.
31
32
33
Conclusions
The rise in Populism demands
a more radical Europe
Conclusions of the Berlin meeting of December 1-2 2012
34
Conclusions
“Jean Michel De WAELE
Isabelle DURANT
Daniel COHN-BENDIT
Gesine SCHWAN
Martin HIRSCH
Michel HASTINGS
Nicolas LEVRAT
Gerassimos MOSCHONAS
Takis S. PAPPAS
1. Populism: the response to the
long “de-politicization of politics”
The technocratic dimension and the dual
powerlessness of citizens
Populist movements are characterized primarily by forms
of discourse, style and rhetoric based on a systematic
reference to the people. They thrive on a shared feeling
of resentment and want to be recognized. So populism is
not just limited to precarious social groups but also reso-
nates within the middle class.
Denouncing the technocracy of the exercise of power is
a powerful populist resentment. It is equally a demand
and a criticism strongly condemning the opaque and
de-politicized practices of power, epitomized by the“elite
consensus”, which erases divisions and clear political
choices. When the citizen feels he is no longer concerned
by public policy, populist reactions highlight the demand
for re-politicizing the exercise of power. Paradoxically,
populism strengthens the demand for more democracy,
citizen access to the decision-making process and proper
consideration in policy decisions.
Populism fuels this two-fold feeling of “powerlessness
and invisibility” within the electorate: invisibility of the
individual choice - “public action ignores me” - and the
non-recognition as a national, regional and local people.
This non-recognition is part of this empty cosmopoli-
tan feeling and loss of identity which is related to the
phenomena of supranational integration, such as Europe,
or to globalization in general.
35
The disempowerment of citizens
and the de-territorialization of
power
The connection between populism and
European construction is linked to the
feeling of growing insecurity from an ever
increasing part of the population. There-
fore, the economic and social issues which
were considered for a long time to affect
the lower classes living in precarious condi-
tions, have allowed populism to thrive on
a general feeling of insecurity among the
more affluent classes who have, until now,
felt less concerned.
Populism offers solutions which are based
on a national framework that has disap-
peared, an appeal to“the Golden Age”myth,
real or fantasized. This rhetoric is appealing
and understandable and very much part
of the common imagination. But European
integration clashes with this vision: the
European project has enabled the empow-
erment of socio-economic actors within a
national framework but has not come up
with something new at the European level.
The European structure of power has
contributed to removing that territorial
space and that is why there is no populism
at the European level. We only find the
phenomena of national populism, in other
words “our ancestral nation”. However,
populist agendas on the regional front
could well come to the fore in the future.
Europe and globalization: impos-
sible governance?
The European way of governance in the
current state of European integration, is
so heavy that it is ineffective. The current
dynamic is increasingly ungovernable. A
new reality has come about in Europe which
has produced weak double governance
at both national and supranational level
through EU institutions. This pattern of “a
double deficit of power”cannot bring about
sustainable and legitimate political solu-
tions and the parties in government cannot
implement the necessary mechanisms to
meet current challenges. In fact, part of the
crisis is precisely European. It is the result of
inertia from the states themselves and also
from the European structures which must
be reformed.
Can populism be compared to the
maquis? The“Résistance”method
The motivations of populism are both
symbolic and very real. The feeling of social
insecurity on the social and economic level
and the loss of identity (“cultural insecurity”)
are all part of this crisis of European govern-
ance. The current situation is leading to a
loss of recognition at all levels of the social
spectrum to which the governments in
place are unable to respond.
The populist movements are becoming an
imaginary “maquis”, calling for resistance to
a vague and non-identifiable power which
has no roots. On the fringe of traditional
politics and detached from the constraints
of exercising power, populism is an outlet
which is allowed to lose all restraint. So it
is that populism can meet citizens’ expec-
tations by embracing a transgressive style
and practice of their own. Populist tactics
can erase the contradictions inherent in the
practice of power and propose an overall
deconstruction.
The media play an important role in how
36
they depict the role of politicians, oscillating
between the spectacular or the more sober
professional method.
A “non-liberal” model of democ-
racy
The European system has promoted the
development of individual freedoms and
the liberal political mechanism has succeed-
ed well in supporting real progress in Euro-
pean integration. But this system has been
misguided because it has not given the
European structure the necessary tech-
niques to meet the current challenges and
crises. The limits of the liberal and political
model at European and national level are
evident. Europe has shown a distinct lack
of “kratos” which the liberal mechanism
fails. So standing up for democratic values,
populism criticizes and judges European
and national authorities.
The crisis of European integration is also
due to the downturn of the traditional
mainstream parties which have domi-
nated the political scene since the Second
World War: the Christian Democrats, who
held 22% of votes in Western Europe after
the war, are only at 12 % today; the Social
democrats have gone from 32% to 26% in
the years 2000. The Liberals have suffered
very few losses, while the Conservative vote
has increased by 8 points. The radical left
as a whole (including the communist and
extreme left parties) still represents 10% of
the electorate, as after the war, despite the
political and philosophical crisis following
the fall of the Soviet bloc. But the Social and
Christian Democrats who are losing votes
are those political families who carried the
political, social and economic consensus
of the postwar period as well as the “Euro-
pean fusion.”The crisis of the representation
of the social model within the circle of the
executive authorities existed well before the
rise of populism; globalization and the end
of Keynesianism during the 1970s acceler-
ated this trend. The new populist forces
only had to creep into the breach which was
already there.
The illusion of regional sepa-
ratism “small is beautiful, big is
powerful”
The criticism for providing widespread
politics and traditional ways of governance
echoesacertainformofregionalistpopulism
and its national-populists. Although very
different in nature, regionalist thinking
develops the illusion of a more efficient way
of decision-making in regional economic,
social or environmental matters. But this is
based on an optical illusion: even Catalonia
or Scotland would opt for the best possi-
ble environmental policies, but it would be
inefficient in the globalization game. In this
context, local and regional conditions can
not be the only critical factors for growth.
Regionalist movements are much more
against a centralized national power than
European integration because they know
they can find their autonomy in relation
to the national capital. But accepting the
multiplication of new member states would
complicate the relationship between more
sovereign entities and the viability of Euro-
pean institutions would be in danger. Insti-
tutions should discuss ex-ante the condi-
tions for separatist entities wishing to attain
the status of Member States.
37
2. A Call for recapturing
an imaginative vision of
politics	 	
The imaginative vision of public
power / political expectancy
Europe is going through an exceptional
period which emphasizes the weakness of
political leadership within the EU. These
difficulties feed populist imagination, so it
is imperative to come up with new alterna-
tives. Europe, like its great political families
who exemplified its founding values, must
abandon this “flexible rigidity” and engage
upon a wide range of reforms.
Respond to this indignation /
Propose a more controversial
Europe
The European model is so full of compro-
mise that Europe itself is lost in negotiations
and the culture of negotiation is neither
respected by the media nor understood by
the citizens.
The European project can only win over
the support of European civil society by
adopting a more controversial message in
response to the populist rhetoric. Never
have the achievements of European inte-
gration, especially peace and shared pros-
perity, been such a target and at the same
time, never has federalism been stronger. Of
course, it is implicit that federalism has gone
beyond its usual circles (Eurobonds, Europe-
an finance minister) but the next step must
be a new story beginning with a confron-
tation of ideas between citizens. And this
confrontation will be to engage citizens who
will embody the story and write the Passion
to spread the message through the media.
Embody hope
Clear and simple options require European
citizens’approval to avoid ideological stand-
offs and the risk of political exploitation of
the common project. So one fundamen-
tal European law could be submitted via
continental referendum with no opting-out
option and based on the double major-
ity rule: the state and the citizens. This is
giving the decisional responsibility to the
Europeans. Alternative scenarios could be
envisaged by offering special partnerships
to Member States who do not want integra-
tion.
• Asking the right questions and proposing
real alternatives
• Moving beyond the alternative between «
Yuck! » and « TINA! »
Populism draws its strength from “Yuck!”
confronting “TINA!”: “There is no alterna-
tive”.The structure is seemingly unassailable
and alternatives are simplistic because they
stand for the oppressed, the downtrodden
and the poor in the name of the nation. But
the federal model must stand up to this
political discourse and a special effort must
be made in this sense. The European Union
is not and will not be a “super-State”, but it
must be able to solve these problems.
Ideological clarification
And this requires real ideological clarifi-
cation. It is a question of reactivating the
political divide to come up with concrete
alternatives. Facing the implicitly conserva-
tive-liberal technocratic consensus, we must
develop a progressive, centre-left alterna-
tive. This will have to go through a sort of
political audit of policies that have been
made in the name of European integration,
38
especially liberalization policies etc. and
the questioning of national public service
models. The institutions themselves and the
policies carried out are not to be confused.
An audit of all public policies is needed in
order to remove any doubt about the intrin-
sic ideological nature of the Union.
Imagining a trans-regional solu-
tion rather than the myth of
separatism
Reversing the federalism logic through
institutional change is the real response to
common goals, like the ability to solve prob-
lems. And the subsidiarity principle must
be renewed through vertical and horizontal
cooperation. Political power no longer lies in
capital cities and centralized power is only a
myth which a new political space in Europe
can and must replace. The centralizing
temptations of European Federalists who
wish to create a European policy framework
increasingly exacerbate populist claims. The
renewed logic of federalism should allow
local features and preferences to coexist in
a broader context.
3. How federalism and
European political inte-
gration can go beyond
populism
Rewriting the specification
requirements of Europe, “the list
of citizens’ grievances to their
Europe”
Working on different structures of federal-
ism and potential models:
The federal solution does not have a good
press, is ignored or hardly known and fright-
ens off people. A proposition would be to
discuss several scenarios of federalism with
citizens throughout the Union but also to
debate the process of validating their choice
in order to avoid the pitfalls and obstacles
that may arise as a result of contrary deci-
sions from a minority of states and citizens.
Beyond the institutional debate, we must
also consider a real analysis of the conse-
quences of political integration on the work
of national governments and the impact on
the daily lives of Europeans.
Policies of redistribution and of
the social model in Europe
Despite local differences there are common
traits in the different European social
models and even the same characteris-
tics for the same European social model; a
minimum wage and legislation enabling a
universal social security coverage etc. Even
though the differences between the most
developed and the poorest countries do not
allow for a sustainable social standardiza-
tion. However, there are specific issues to
defend and a common desire for maximiz-
ing the well-being of citizens. And with
these common traits Europe must commit
itself over a long period of time to encour-
age social convergence towards higher
standards of social protection.
The means for public action
The EU budget is a highly political, sensi-
tive and explosive issue. And to reply to
the demand for public action and for solv-
ing the problems which could break the
populist dynamic, the EU must be given the
means to achieve its ambitions. This implies
a substantial federal budget, gradually
39
increasing from the miserable 1% to 20%
of current GDP, which represents the critical
threshold of real federal government action.
This quantative leap necessarily entails a
fundamentalqualitativechangeinthestruc-
ture of the budget which must be echoed
in the EU’s own resources: financial trans-
actions tax, carbon tax etc. Besides giving
financial means to European policies, such
resources will relieve member states of their
obligations towards a national contribution.
This will alleviate the European debate of all
its bargaining between national egoisms
and the disrupting of the re-nationalization
of EU policies which were also part of the
end of the personal contributions system in
the mid-1980s.
Reversing the logic of taxation /
representation	
The budget question would also correct the
historical anomaly of a European Parliament
which is the only representative body in the
political history of Western democracies
which was not elected for organizing the
collection of resources. Since it is assumed
that there is no taxation without represen-
tation, we must defend the same logic for
the European Parliament: no representa-
tion without taxation. And therefore, it is
possible and even imperative to imagine a
European governance of the budget which
would include decision-making by the citi-
zens themselves.
40
41
Biographies
42
Isabelle DURANT
Since 2009 MEP and Vice-President of the European Parlia-
ment. Isabelle Durant worked in the education and social
development sector before entering politics in 1991 in the
regional Parliament of Brussels-Capital. She was Federal
Secretary and Spokesperson of ECOLO (Belgian Green Party)
between 1994 and 1999 and in 2004. She was Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for Mobility and Transport from 1999
to 2003 in the Belgian government.
She was Co-Chairwoman of ECOLO in 2007 before being
elected MEP in 2009 and has been Vice-President of the
European Parliament since 2009. She is responsible for the
Lux Prize and the Citizens’Agora. Isabelle Durant is member
of the Commissions for Transportation, for Budget and
for Constitutional Affairs (citizen participation, European
Year of Citizens, ICE). In 2010, Isabelle Durant founded the
Spinelli Group in the European Parliament with Sylvie Gou-
lard, Guy Verhofstadt and Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
Daniel COHN-BENDIT
Daniel Cohn Bendit is journalist, MEP (GREENS), Co-Presi-
dent of the GREENS / European Free Alliance (EFA) in the Eu-
ropean Parliament. He was born April 4, 1945, Montauban,
France. He returned to Germany in 1958 and passed his Bac-
calaureat in 1965 at the German school “Odenwaldschule”
in Oberhambach. He returned to France, studied Sociology
in Nanterre. He was spokesman and leader of the revolt of
May 1968, nicknamed “Danny the Red”. He was expelled
from France in 1968. Between 1969 and 1973 he worked
as a Teacher/Educator in an anti-authoritarian” nursery in
Frankfurt (Sachsenhausen) and in a bookstore. In 1976,
Daniel Cohn-Bendit was editor and journalist in Frankfurt
for the anarchist magazine (“Sponti-Szene”), le “Pflaster-
strand” (Under the paving stones, the beach”). In 1984,
Daniel Cohn-Bendit joined the German party“DIE GRÜNEN”.
From 1989 to 1997, he was local Councilor for Multicultural
Affairs in Frankfurt for the Red/Green coalition.In 1994 he
was MEP for the GRUNEN of Germany and in 2009 he found-
ed the group“Europe Ecologie”with politicians and persons
working in social organisations. He won 16.28% of votes in
France. He was re-elected to the European Parliament as
head of the list for Ile de France. Since January 2002, Daniel
Cohn-Bendit is Co-President of the GREENS / EFA in the Eu-
ropean Parliament.
Political panel
“
43
Gesine SCHWAN
Gesine Schwan (born 22 May 1943) is a German political
science professor and member of the Social Democratic
Party of Germany. In 1962, she began her studies in history,
philosophy, romance languages, and political science at
the Free University of Berlin and later at the University of
Freiburg. After research conducted in Warsaw and Kraków,
she obtained her Ph.D. in 1970 from FU Berlin for a disserta-
tion on the Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski. In Krakow
University, she became assistant professor and continued
her work on the critique of Marx for which she received a
habilitation in 1975. Schwan was appointed full professor at
the Department of Political Science at FU Berlin in 1977.The
SDP has nominated her twice as a candidate for the federal
presidential elections.
Martin HIRSCH
Martin Hirsch was born December 6, 1963. State Councilor
and President of the Civic Service Agency. He has held vari-
ous administrative responsibilities, such as Director of the
Central Hospital Pharmacy, Director of the Office of the Min-
ister of Health, Director General of the French Agency for
Food Safety and associative responsibilities as President of
Emmaus France . From 2007 to 2010 he was a member of
the government, as High Commissioner for Active Solidarity
against Poverty and High Commissioner for Youth.
Martin Hirsch was a member of the Bachelet Committee
on the global social protection, Member of the Committee
chaired by Joscka Fischer, for the Council of Europe, which
brought out the report “Living together in Europe in the
twenty--first century”. Since October 2012, he is Special Ad-
visor to the Commissioner Andor. He co-chairs the Action
Tank Companies and Poverty and Social Chair for Business
at HEC.
He is the author of several reports (The new social equation
for the government in 2004, How to reduce high salaries
for Terra Nova in 2012) and a dozen books, the most recent
being“Pour en finir avec les conflits d’intérêts“ (Stock, 2011)
and “La lettre perdue : les racines de l’engagement “ (Stock
2012).
44
Jean-Michel DE WAELE
DeanoftheFacultyofSocialandPoliticalScience,attheUni-
versité Libre de Bruxelles, he teaches political science. His
research focuses on the political situation in Central Europe,
the political regimes in Europe and the current changes in
democracies. He also leads a research group devoted to the
sociology of sport. He has led several collective works and
most recently: “The rightward shift of the working class in
Europe,”and“The parties of the anti-capitalist left in Europe”
and “Compulsory Voting” These three books are published
by Economica. He is preparing two books on social democ-
racy in Europe.
Michael HASTINGS
Michael Hastings, after studying law and history, received
the aggregation of Political Science, and is currently Uni-
versity Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille
(France). His teachings include political theory, political
anthropology and political philosophy. He was a visiting
professor at the Universities of Montreal, Quebec, Tam-
pere, Brussels, Minsk, Vilnius, Katowice. His main research
focuses on political parties, political speeches, comparative
political systems, and the symbolic dimension of politics.
He has many academic responsibilities at the national level
(valuation reports, juries, competitive examinations, edito-
rial boards). He has recently published “The paradoxes of
transgression” (CNRS Editions, 2012), “Compulsory voting”
(Economica, 2011, in collaboration with A.Amjahad and JM
de Waele),“The political pamphlet”, (special issue of Words,
2010) and“The electoral surprise”(Karthala, 2008).
Accademic panel
“
45
Nicolas LEVRAT
Nicolas LEVRAT is Professor of International and European
Law at the University of Geneva. Since 2007 he has been
Head of the European Institute (founded in 1963 by Denis
de Rougemont) and was elected in 2012 to lead the new
“Center for Global Studies,” which will integrate the Euro-
pean Institute. He was Program Advisor to the Council of
Europe from 1991 to 1995, Professor at the Free Univer-
sity of Brussels from 1998 to 2010. He has been Professor
at the University of Geneva since 2001. He is co-founder of
the doctorate school “Foundations of International and Eu-
ropean law” (2008) made up of Swiss Universities, and also
co-founder of the doctorate school “Erasmus mundus: Glo-
balisation, EU & Multilateralism – GEM PhD School” which
brings together nine of the best universities in the world.
He published his thesis in 1994 on cross-border cooperation
(PUF) and has since worked on the political representation
of minorities (“Minorities and Organization of the State”,
Bruylant, Ed, 1998), the role of regions in the EU (“Europe
and its Local Authorities: Reflections on the Exercise of Local
Power in a GlobalWorld”, Peter Lang, 2005), European feder-
alism (“Europe: from Integration to Federation”, Bruylant, Ed
2010), European democracy (“Is the Construction of Europe
Democratic?”, French documentation, 2012) and the co-
herence of the European legal order (“European legal (dis)
orders”, Schulthess, 2012).
Gerassimos MOSCHONAS
Gerassimos Moschonas; PhD, University of Paris-2, is cur-
rently an Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the
Department of Political Science and History of Panteion
University, Athens (Greece). He was a visiting scholar at the
Universities of Yale (2005) and Princeton (2008-9) and a vis-
iting professor at the Institute of European Studies of the
Free University of Brussels (2006-2010) and at the University
of Montpellier 1 (2006 and 2011). He is the author of “In
the Name of Social Democracy, The Great Transformation:
1945 to the present” (Verso: London, New York, 2002) and
of “La social-démocratie de 1945 à nos jours” (Montchres-
tien: Paris, 1994). His current research interests focus on Eu-
ropean integration and political parties, notably the parties
of the Left.
46
Takis PAPPAS
TAKIS S. PAPPAS (Ph.D., Yale University 1995) is associate
professor of comparative politics at the University of Mac-
edonia, Greece, and, currently, a Marie Curie Fellow at the
Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European
University Institute in Florence. He has taught atYale Univer-
sity; the University of Athens, Greece; the Institut d’Études
Politiques, University of Strasbourg, France; the European
UniversityInstitute,Italy;andtheUniversityofOslo,Norway.
He has been a Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow in
Hellenic Studies, Princeton University; a Visiting Fellow at
the Center for International and Area Studies, Yale Univer-
sity; a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Insti-
tute, Italy; and a Research Fellow of the American Council of
Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council,
New York. He is the author of “Making Party Democracy in
Greece”(Palgrave 1999),“The Charismatic Party: PASOK, Pa-
pandreou, Power”(in Greek, 2009), and various articles that
have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Comparative Political
Studies, Government and Opposition, Party Politics, Rivista
Italiana di Scienza Politica, South European Society and Poli-
tics, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, West Euro-
pean Politics, and elsewhere. His work extends, and tries to
bridge, such diverse areas as democracy; democratization;
political parties; party systems; political leadership; pop-
ulism; mass movements; radical change; and crisis politics.
He is currently working on a book under the tentative title
“Flawed Democracy: Populism and Crisis Politics in Greece.”
47
48
PART 1.
The irresistable attraction of populism
in Europe
Point of view
Isabelle DURANT, Daniel COHN-BENDIT,
Martin Hirsch			 2
PART 2.
Is Europe powerless?
Analysis
Michel Hastings		 8
Nicolas Levrat			16
Gerassimos Moschonas	20
Takis PappaS	 		28
Table of contents
Conclusions
The rise in Populism demands a more
radical Europe
				34
Biographies
		
				42

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Finalpopulism en

  • 1. 1 Isabelle DURANT • Daniel COHN-BENDIT • Martin HIRSCH • Gesine SCHWAN • Jean-Michel DE WAELE • Michel HASTINGS • Nicolas LEVRAT • Gerassimos MOSCHONAS • Takis PAPPAS in collaboration with and with the support of The Rise of Populism and Extremist Parties in Europe
  • 2. 2 The Spinelli Group www.spinelligroup.eu secretariat@spinelligroup.eu European Parliament PSH 55C011 B1047 Brusssels Tel. 0032 2 28 31 539 Production Editors Isabelle Durant Daniel Cohn-Bendit Copyright The Spinelli Group - June 2013 - ISSN in progress.
  • 3. 1 PART 1. The irresistable attraction of populism in Europe Point of view Isabelle DURANT, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Martin Hirsch 2 PART 2. Is Europe powerless? Analysis Michel Hastings 8 Nicolas Levrat 16 Gerassimos Moschonas 20 Takis Pappas 28 Conclusions The rise in Populism demands a more radical Europe 34 Biographies 42 Table of contents “
  • 4. 2 Today the risk of widespread populism is a reality in Eu- rope and could rapidly become a durable force.Today it is still probably manageable but could spiral out of control. It is the way Europe works that contributes to this rise in populism alongside the social and economic context and the specific agendas of each individual member state. But on the other hand, couldn’t Europe be the motor for fighting and defeating this trend? This is the key issue with difficulties ahead. We need a European vision which encourages member states to fight against whatever it is that feeds populism and these “arrangements” with democratic practices that influence private interests over the general interest. We need initiatives that give a solid meaning to the concept of what European citizenship is; a space that gives real weight to civil society; a strong capacity for decision-making with none of the inertia of compromise. We have to prove that a better organized Europe can improve the daily lives of European citizens. All this justifies a strong mobilization in the coming months. So how do we respond to the rise of populism and to the success of extremist parties in Europe? Several findings and research factors have helped us to determine seven observations inspired by the European political context. These remarks have been subject to critical analysis from different scholars. Outside a purely strict study of the phenomenon of populism, contributors have outlined avenues of research for ways and means of addressing the risk that these populist tendencies are having on our continent. 1. First observation:The growing electoral success of extremist parties in Europe The latest polls reflect the tenacity of extremist populist parties and the popularized ideology on the political scene in Europe. Since the 1980s, Europe has witnessed the emergence of populist national forces; in 1984, the Point of view “Isabelle DURANT MEP, Vice-president of the European Parliament. Daniel COHN-BENDIT MEP, Co-President of the GREENS / European Free Al- liance (EFA) in the European Parliament. Martin HIRSCH State Councilor and President of the French Civic Service Agency.
  • 5. 3 National Front won 11% of the vote in the European elections in France; in 2010, Bos- si’s Northern League in Italy strengthened its position in regional elections with 12.7% of votes; in Austria, the Freedom Party can- didate Barbara Rosenkranz, came second in the presidential election of 24 April 2010; in the same year the Hungarian Jobbik party made a breakthrough and came third in the elections with 16.7% of the vote; in Greece, the neo-Nazi “Golden Dawn” party made its debut in the Greek Parliament after the par- liamentary elections of May 2012. How can we explain the rise of these par- ties which were marginalized before and which have now become part of the political scene? 2. Second observation: the major European historical parties are losing votes Beyond the question of populism and the rise of extremism, the people are appar- ently no longer following the major Euro- pean political families. The low turnout has become a real European disease. Since the fall of communism, the turnout in Romania for each election has weakened by 10%; the abstention rate in Hungary reached 45% in the second round of the parliamentary elec- tions in 2010. Reflecting the current trend in Europe, participation is also declining in Germany: the 82.2% in the 1998 Bundestag elections fell to 70.78% in the last federal election of 2009, with an abstention rate increasing from 17 8% to 29.22%. It is the same trend in Austria, where voter turnout for the presidential election was 96.9% in 1951 against only 53% in 2010. How can we explain the loss of public confi- dence in the political discourse of the major European political families? (Socialists, So- cial Democrats, Greens, Liberals, Christian Democrats ...)? Do the historical parties have room to manoeuvre in order to regain votes and counter extremist parties? 3. Third observation: Right-wing and left-wing populism The different populist movements all de- fend our living standards which they claim are threatened by globalization and the in- ternational financial system, playing the ex- acerbated opposition base against the elite. The economic and financial crisis reinforces the anti-European arguments by accusing the European elite of complicity with glo- balization, or by stigmatizing “technocrats” who, they claim, are under the command of international capitalism whose objective is to relay its ideological and political message and policy. This anti-globalization, anti-cap- italist and anti-European rhetoric is widely present in the discourse of extremist parties, from the right-wing nationalist parties to the extreme left anti-capitalist parties. But is there a left-wing populism? What are the similarities with the right-wing populism? How does one respond to this rhetoric? 4. Fourth observation: The role of the economic and social crisis in the rise of populism The consequences of the economic crisis and the governance of the European Union are frequently criticized as unsustainable leading to the anxiety and disquiet felt by those citizens hardest hit. The current crisis, however, is not enough to explain the rise of the populist movement. Putting aside the economic factor, the rise in populism re-
  • 6. 4 flects the profound rejection of our society model which due to the globalization pro- cess disrupts both our living environment, the configuration of European companies and world governance. The framework of the nation state no longer reflects the level of power and national public policies seem powerless against the global crisis. The na- tional-populism movement claims that the EU is guilty of wanting to replace the nation state by imposing new rules of “austerity” in times of crisis. Is the crisis the sole cause of the rise of national populism? Would the return to growth bring about the disappear- ance of populist parties? Is the crisis indica- tive of pre-existing xenophobic nationalist reflexes which are the result of the current national-populist movement? 5. Fifth observation: National identity, SENTIMENT OF belonging and European political identifi- cation Populist movements waver between a de- monized view of the European project and a discourse that resonates with the concerns of citizens on the crisis and on the changes in the nation-state within an integrated Europe. Since 1992, populism sees the Eu- ropean political project as an integrationist and perilous enterprise for the nation which will be crushed by a federal structure that has no soul. When speaking of national space which is considered to be protective and nurturing, the populist discourse refuses to give credit to the European Union and thereby refuses to admit that it could be a reference to a space identity at the expense of ‘the na- tion’. So the European Union has a very low political identification power which hardly gives rise to a collective identity. The issue of the European Union’s external borders makes it an even more complicated debate as collective membership could not do without a specific territory. So how can the European Union win the support of citizens and recreate a European imagination which assumes a common identity without de- nying the local and cultural particularities of its citizens? How can we promote European identity and belonging against the excesses of the national-populist movement? 6. Sixth observation: Democratic shortcomings of the Union The European institutions are widely cas- tigated by populist parties which consider them to be distant, technocratic and un- democratic. This criticism comes from the current ambivalence between an integrated union which is of a federal character and an international organization where deci- sions are made in the secrecy of the chan- celleries. EU citizens do not feel politically involved in the decision-making process of the European Union which explains the lack of interest that these institutions generate. The results of a Euro-barometer survey conducted a few months before the Eu- ropean elections in June 2009 proved this factor: 62% of respondents did not know the dates of the next European elections, and 53% declared they were not interested in them. In fact, Europeans know very little about the functioning of the institutions. Asked whether members of Parliament are directly elected by its citizens, only 53% of Europeans replied in the affirmative, 36% believe that MEPs sit by nationality and 20% believe that each member state has the same number of MEPs.
  • 7. 5 Must the European Union become a real parliamentary democracy integrating Eu- ropean political parties in order to win the support of its citizens and fight populism? How can the emergence of a transnational civil society become a reality in contrast to the nationalist reflexes? Is the European Union in a position to initiate a transnational democracy? 7. Seventh observation: The tradi- tional moderate parties appro- priate the populist discourse Populist themes are spreading through many discourses and practices of traditional political currents by what we could call capillary action. Is it a way to climb on the bandwagon in order to marginalize the in- fluence of populist parties or is it a sign of an alarming radicalization of public opinion to which the traditionally moderate parties are trying to respond?
  • 8. 6
  • 9. 7 Accademic Papers Is Europe powerless? How can we understand this upsurge in populism?
  • 10. 8 The success of extremist parties in Europe How can populism/national populism be defined in Europe today? The term populism first of all poses more problems than it solves: it refers historically to diverse experiences and its use is now saturated with standard-setting judgments. It is considered to be a negative term in the media and in the political and academic arena. But the effects this has on the populist movement should not be underes- timated and the increasing belief that there is a growing condescendence from the elite circles. An understanding of populism cannot just be reduced to partisan terms and to political leaders, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Populism must also be studied as a set of values, arguments, opinions, not always expressed pub- licly, not always leading to an extremist vote, but which is seen as a reference to citizens’immediate environment. Besides populism being an ‘institution’ which is widely studied, there is a populism seen as a real ‘conviction’, something that has ‘meaning’, albeit less obvious, and this must not obscure its current popularity. Following the broad lines of the two previous points, populism today cannot only refer to the “shameful mar- gins” of society, those that are usually built on the ab- sence of clarity in indicators: lack of financial resources, lack of educational capital, lack of capacity to adapt to the demands of mobility, low socio-professional inser- tion, etc. Sociological surveys show that the middle and upper classes in European society are equally won over by populist ideas. Similarly, populism is a‘style’that more and more government party leaders adopt. Populism is not only‘popular support’. Analysis by Michel Hastings “Michel HASTINGS After studying law and history, Michel Hastings received the aggregation of Political Science, he is currently University Profes- sor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille (France).
  • 11. 9 It is no longer possible to raise the issue of populism by confining it to the phenomena of local idiosyncrasies, to the old-fashioned ways which progress and Europeanization have swept away or to the extremist up- surges in times of crisis. Populism is not an anachronism or a sudden outbreak of oppo- sition, but probably a manifestation of what s likely to continue in time, which is related to the current state of liberal democracy and to the changes in our contemporary socie- ties (political practices, socio-cultural trans- formations, etc.). The term ‘political extremism’ is not, after all, enough to define populism. Besides its vagueness and its underlying prejudice it may even be wrong for two main reasons: firstly, because individuals who have popu- list opinions do not rank themselves within the extreme left-right spectrum as shown in sociological surveys; secondly and espe- cially because the organizations and leaders whom we tend to characterize as populist, in fact, adhere to strict democratic rules, without any justification for violence and furthermore, distance themselves from any form of extremism. In fact, it is via demo- cratic procedures that populism derives much of its success. Proposed definition: Populism is a political style which is a source for change based on the systematic use of rhetorical appeal to the people. In its discursive form, it is char- acterized by a programmatic minimalism but with a great symbolic plasticity which makes it a vector conducive to forge mul- tiple and even heterogeneous indignations (ethno-cultural, anti-tax, anti-elitist, Euro- sceptics, etc.). In its institutional form, pop- ulism includes partisan groups who intend to translate these empty statements into political regeneration projects by mobilizing the imagination of a virtuous people, who symbolizes the last repository of national values, ready to follow a strong leader who embodies the axioms of transparency, prox- imity, similarity and truthfulness. How have these extremist parties which were previously marginalized become acceptable on the European political scene? Acceptable populist parties that have emerged over the past twenty years and managed to strengthen their positions are those who have succeeded in two ways: through a process of de-marginalization (no longer part of the partisan system) and through an institutionalization process (firm anchorage in a partisan form). This double movement is the result of sev- eral factors specific to the internal dynamics of these parties and to the change in their political and social environments: - the dynamics of modernization that has transformed the former fascist extremist parties into politically acceptable entities: the change in leadership, the change in ac- tions, the change in insinuating speech tac- tics and investment in communicative skills. - an ideological and programmatic flexi- bility, behind some well identified invariants that function as stable reference points, and whichallowsthemtoembracetheevolution of ‘problems’, to adapt to new challenges and to respond to the situation. This is the general trend in European political parties towards the “grab-all” party type which has boosted populist formations. - becoming “de-marginalized” is also the result of different media and political logic (exploitation, recuperation, ritual denuncia- tion), and these effects, whether intended
  • 12. 10 or not, have led to a normalization of an ac- ceptable populism. - an increased feeling shared by European citizens that, over the past years, govern- ment parties have only proposed alterna- tives with no concrete changes and that the “real issues”have not been tackled. In other words, populist parties present themselves as the new political entrepreneurs - avid to enter a political market they say is blocked - seeking to politicize new issues they say are neglected, - formulating simplistic and divisive pro- posals which they say are denied them, - using a transgressive rhetoric which they say is unjustly despised. How have these parties managed to se- duce the electorate while traditional parties have lost momentum? The answer is in the question! It is because the traditional parties no longer, or hardly, fulfil their triple historical function: pro- grammatically through a meaningful pro- gramme for specific social groups; socially by implementing social policies which will contribute to the social and political inte- gration of vulnerable social groups; and mo- bilizing the electorate which entails driving citizens to militant actions. It is the profound change that has occurred within the tradi- tional parties over the past thirty years that has left the door open to populist groups. Today the ‘historical’ parties count more on the elected few rather than on the activists, on the financial state subsidies rather than on membership fees, and on the conven- tional practices of government rather than on the culture of opposition and critical proposals. The role of traditional political parties is restricted to selecting national and local ruling elites. Populism thrives on this feeling that par- tisan politics have gone, in other words, on the impression that politicians are more concerned with reducing the sources of conflict (ideological and / or social) rather than encouraging differences and adversi- ties which nevertheless, reflect democratic pluralism. This is the void left by the ‘bank- ruptcy’ of political parties in their historical function of carrying social cleavages, be it cultural and ideological, and which has pro- pelled populism to the forefront. So Populism, which can be considered sometimes to be inept or excessive, is the call to order of partisan democracy: the democracy that embodies the tension of opposites, the difference in ideas and clear alternatives. The success of populism is the call to real politics, politics where govern- ments are no longer just administrations. Populism in this sense is a symptom of the change in the political engagement where there is less room for dissent and ideological struggle which is constituent of collective identities. The major historical European parties are losing momentum Is the electoral rise of the populist par- ties a real success or are they thriving on the increase of abstention? Abstention is another symptom of the cur- rent disappointment in representative de- mocracy. It is another way of saying that the game is not worth it and that the electoral act is not the solution to change because political change does not bring about dif- ferent policies. There are two ways to ex- press these frustrations: - either by an “exit” from the political game, renouncing a system in which we no longer
  • 13. 11 believe (abstention) - or with a critical “voice” and the commit- ment to oust from politics those who are accused of being responsible for its short- comings. It is true that where the electoral geography records a high abstention rate, it is also tempting ground for populist formations. But the correlation is not perfect. The pres- ence of compulsory voting in a country is not a guarantee against the rise in populism. How can citizens’ loss of confidence be explained with regard to the major Euro- pean parties? We can assume that the origin and the em- bedding of populism in our European soci- eties are at the heart of the changes in the “way of doing politics” which seemingly characterizes the exercise of power in con- temporary democracies. Under the auspices of the dominant liberal conceptions, two constitutive principles of the democratic ideal have gradually disappeared and even lost all value: the reference to popular sover- eignty and the resolutely combative nature of politics. At national and European level, taking deci- sionsonissuesthatmakeslifecommontoall seems to increasingly escape people’s actual understanding of“citizen participation”. This is the case for referendums; one no longer expects the sovereign word from the people but rather the ratification of policies already decided; the same goes for a global rhetoric system which deals with political problems through language and categories that leave no room for alternatives and are decided on in the absence of any expression of popular sovereignty. To govern today is to refuse conflict which is part of politics; it is a way to delegitimize confrontation and consider consensus as democratic progress. Whereas it seems to me that the current rise of populism thrives on this double sense of dispossession; not to be listened to as a sov- ereign people, not to be listened to if in op- position to the elite who imposes their own consensus, increasingly interpreted as the effects of censorship. “Good governance” is the magic formula for this liberal consensus. It predicts the “end of politics” which today characterizes the discourse and practices of national and European policies: ideological and decision–making consensus, rallying the major government parties to “politics without adversary”and to“non-partisan de- mocracy”, to depoliticize the way to resolve conflicts in favour of law and expertise, fetishism of impartial solutions, etc. These seem to me to be the main neoliberal ele- ments which now affect the political career and which predict an emerging political field completely devitalized, where antago- nisms must be eradicated. But it is exactly the inherent conflictual aspect of politics which allows for the creation of distinctive identities and for the opening out to other possibilities. Populism can therefore be regarded as a demand for politicization on the part of the people. They feel a growing sense of being excluded from the effective exer- cise of democratic citizenship by remote elites who do not advance any alternative, who govern by diktat giving the impres- sion that the voice of the ordinary people is not worth hearing. Populism can also be understood as an ever-growing accumula- tion of frustration and resentment towards a new way of governance of liberal democ- racies which seem to promote a new era for the dismantling of the right/left, them/
  • 14. 12 us opposition and yet source of a pluralistic ideal in favour of a moralistic conception of politics. The populist discourse subverts the existing form of politics by forging enemies (foreigners, the Muslims, the rich, the elite) rather than adversaries, and they stand for the active and virtuous people, denouncing the‘lies’of the politico-media class.We must therefore understand populism as an effort to reclaim politics from the transgression of an order that seems frozen and powerless. Where the public sphere of politics (and the media) produces and appears to impose le- gitimate discourse on immigration, on the economic and social crisis, on social issues, etc., by denying any form of discussion, the populist language embodies a kind of al- ienation, a form of pleasurable release that hears the opposite by showing that there is a contradiction, while formally activating the original ideals of democracy. Populists want to re-engage with discussion, exactly where a certain political neo-liberal mor- alism forbids it! The emergence of populist groups in Europe comes from the contraction of the political space. It correlates with the rise of consen- sual culture which defines public interest as an objective alliance between political oligarchies, economic oligarchies, official experts and Parisian editors. Populism, in its own way, reflects the rejection of the con- fiscation of politics. The populist distrust re- lates to the feeling (and many indicators cor- relate this point) of some kind of collusion between various elites who are determined to confiscate political truth, to justify deci- sions as inevitable and without choice, and to denigrate any contradictory expression. Sopopulismexpressesareactionagainstthe despised sacred union which is apparently the administration of social affairs. Populism is therefore in the wake of demands for rec- ognition which have proliferated in recent years in modern democracies, and feeds on the resentment generated by the effects of censorship and moral attitudes. What flexibility do the historical parties have to regain voters and counter ex- tremist parties? In our opinion, it is clear that the response to populism is not a stigmatizing morality. This only reinforces the feeling of conspiracy against the people on which the populist sentiment feeds. With the overwhelming influence of economic and moralist ap- proaches which hinder the recognition of antagonism, therefore pluralisms, it is pref- erable that the professional politicians re- define and re-specify politics. The virtues of politics lie within a reasonable ‘conflict- uality’ which reminds us that the horizons of the meaning of public action are never universally shared, and there is no final truth in politics. Responding to populism is not automati- cally blurring the boundaries between right and left, it is not systematically denying identity distinctions between‘us’and‘them’, it is not hypocritically stigmatizing uncom- fortable words. On the contrary, it is recog- nizing that the divisions, far from tearing apart the social fabric, in fact feed it and help build around it, in a given society, the distribution of material and symbolic goods. Making politics is no longer hide and divide. And we must add that in those countries in question, efforts for the moralization of public life must be made (prohibition of overlapping of mandates, transparency of salaries, etc.).
  • 15. 13 Right-wing populism or left wing populism? Is there a left-wing populism? Its analo- gies with the right? How to counter this rhetoric? From the historical and geopolitical stand, South American populism adopts “leftist” connotations, borrowing a national-revolu- tionary and separatist rhetoric, focusing on the virtues of indigenousness, etc. Look at Morales or Chavez. In Europe, the populist discourse also exists in training sessions or with political leaders who are usually considered to be on the left of the political spectrum. In August 2010, Thilo Sarrazin, member of the SDP, published a sensational paper, “Deutschland schafft sich ab’ (‘Ger- many is doomed’); it was the British Labour Party who proposed the slogan‘British Jobs for British Workers’in 2007; Pim Fortuyn and Oriana Fallaci were originally on the left. In France, Mélenchon takes full responsibility for his populism and draws greater legiti- macy from this stand. His book ‘Let them all go’, adopts a classic populist slogan ‘Out with the outgoing’. This blurring of the left-right axis shows that populism is primarily a style rather than solid content. There is a lot of rhetoric, a strong Manicheism approach and the same attention to pinpoint the guilty. However, there is a key difference in that left-wing populism tends to make enemies within the class struggle (big against little, rich against poor), while right-wing populism often combines an ethno-cultural or even a racial divide. The role of the economic and so- cial crisis in the rise of populism Is the crisis the sole cause of the rise in national-populism? Would the return to growth mean the end of populist par- ties? The economic and social crisis cannot be held solely responsible for the rise of pop- ulism. Nevertheless, it is the ideal ground for concerns and frustrations and therefore an accelerator for populist particles! Further- more it is a formidable testing ground for the practices of consensus politics. Indeed, decisions taken in the name of fighting the crisis illustrate the democratic deficit which the populists complain about: solu- tions presented as inevitable and painful, lack of choice, rejection of any alternative, lack of necessary consultation or guidance for citizens, the impression of control from the top and a denial of popular sovereignty, etc. Political crises are indicative rather than sources of populism. The question of the origins of the rise of populism is to be found in a combination of factors related primarily to major changes going on throughout Western societies: the crisis of the historical model of representa- tive democracy, the crisis of the historical model of the nation- state, the crisis of in- tegrating socio-cultural diversity, changes in the media and in journalism, etc. So it is likely that populism is the expres- sion of movements affecting the historic structures of our modern Western societies, bringing about a transition to new socio- political configurations.
  • 16. 14 National identity, belonging and identification with European politics How can the EU recreate a European im- agination without refuting local and cul- tural characteristics? I am not convinced that the European re- sponse to populism is in promoting a Eu- ropean collective imagination. This will not happen by decree but probably by a very long socialization process. It would also be better that national politicians and national media ‘denationalize’ their behaviour and speech. The information we receive, even when talking of European affairs, is trans- lated and reinterpreted into national lan- guages through patriotic analyses. Much more than a European imagination, it is a real Europeanization of public power that will provide a shield against populism, es- pecially a strong integration of social and educational policies. Which European identity should be pro- moted? The European Union, as a global area of peace, freedom and human rights, is now completely taken for granted and therefore, it no longer inspires the younger genera- tions.The European identity must now open up to new projects and write a new story, inventing a new exciting mythology for the European frontier. It is, of course, the new social Europe that we need, which is dis- appearing behind the financial Europe. We need a new Europe which will repatriate key issues of long-standing concern and which will be at the heart of the debate. This is the ‘us’ of the social question seen through the prism of the current crisis that must become the new European identity mutually sup- portive of one and all. In the absence of such an objective, populism, especially right- wing, will succeed in imposing its culturalist definition of ‘us’ and therefore its exclusive conception of‘identity’. Democratic deficiencies in the EU Must the EU become a truly parliamen- tary democracy? To become a real parliamentary democ- racy, the EU must first simplify its ‘mapping policy’, in other words, it must get rid of the confu- sion in having different places for decision making and policy responsibility. European populism feeds on the illegibility of the EU political system. The EU must then give to Parliament and its representatives an in- stitutional role consistent with democratic requirements (more debates, strengthened political control, better publicity and media coverage of parliamentary proceedings, etc.). It is regrettable that national candi- dates to the European Parliament are too often professionals who are not well known on the national or European level. European populism feeds on invisibility and inaudi- bility in the European Parliament, especially in times of crisis when decisions are seem- ingly appropriated by executive and admin- istrative bodies. Finally and most importantly, the European institutions must come back to practising real politics, so essential for democracy. The impression is that the European Parlia- ment decides on public policies without real policy-making which results in laborious compromises and thus gives an impression of stagnation. As we have already said, Eu- ropean populism feeds on a desire to turn policy decision-making into conflict and to categorize it via majority logic.
  • 17. 15 How can a transnational civil society emerge? Firstly by actively proving that it exists! And thereafter, by multiplying every opportunity to ask questions via referendum or partici- patory methods. Finally, we must give more visibility and power to the institutions and spokespersons (unions, interest groups, Eu- ropean parties). The role and responsibility of the media The internal changes in the media and the populist affirmations should be more sys- tematically related. Today, journalism and the production and circulation of informa- tion is changing dramatically which also corresponds to the generalisation of neo- liberalism’s demands: urgent dictatorship, distorting and exaggerating information, moralizing and criticizing in the name of individual judgment, using devious means to create controversy, rhetoric overreaction, etc. So there is a link or even complicity, between populism and the media world. On the one hand, populism is regularly de- nounced as political perversion and yet, on the other hand, the spectacular perfor- mance of its tribunes is accepted as being a way to present information “close to the people.” Furthermore, both populism and media work on mobilizing collective emo- tions. The moderate parties appro- priate the populist language A few years ago in France, we talked of the “lepenization of minds” to describe the spread of the National Front’s ideas beyond its own electorate. Today, it has become clear that the populist rhetoric and its strat- egies for politicizing issues that divide and the way it plays the card of transgression in the public debate, has been appropriated by the moderate parties, especially those whose voters are likely to be seduced by the populist arguments. One example among many is when politicians declare that they are talking “with no taboos,” and who claim they have no problems with the issues they raise. This rhetoric convinces the public that the politicians are being honest with the people. It is, we believe, one of the central elements of the populist discourse which does violence to politics and, at the same time, confuses the freedom to say anything with the ability to do anything. The appeal of populism to citizens and to leaders of moderate parties is this feeling of rupture and an anti-establishment capacity to pro- test against the current political system in the very name of what the latter should be representing, that is, the people. The am- biguity of populist rhetoric is in its way of re-using a number of the founding ideals of democratic legitimacy: restoring the magic of the sovereignty of the people and the misuse of the ethical values of the Resist- ance, of Human Rights or of secularism (in France). All become conquest tools for the populists. Populism gives itself the means and re- sources to remain within the democratic framework, even if many of its imaginary el- ements project it to authoritarian horizons.
  • 18. 16 Analysis by Nicolas Levrat “Nicolas LEVRAT Nicolas LEVRAT is Professor of International and Euro- pean Law at the University of Geneva. Since 2007 he has been Head of the European Institute. In response to the document “the rise of populism and of extremist parties in Europe” prepared for the Berlin meeting of December 1-2 2012, I intend to deal compre- hensively and concisely with the two issues set out in the Foreword: to identify the vulnerabilities of the European model and to present recommendations (actually, one single flaw and one recommendation in this brief con- tribution). In my opinion, a major flaw of the “European model” explains the current rise of national populism (please note, there is no European populism ....). Conse- quently, let me suggest a path, which, in my opinion, de- serves exploration. 1. Statement European integration, ensuring peace between Euro- pean countries, as it has recently and rightly been rec- ognised by the Nobel Committee, threatens civil peace that has prevailed in each (national) community of the EU Member States. Indeed, the State, as an independ- ent political community, was the place where conflicts of interest were mediated; conflicts between social (left / right) groups or between membership groups, language (Belgium) or “national” (Spain and UK). The state frame- work, around which the traditional political parties are structured, is no longer a credible space for political ac- tion: it is difficult for traditional political parties to gather support for their discourse because it can no longer be acted upon, as the decisions in many areas are no longer taken at state level. In these circumstances, the discourse of populist parties, left or right, separatist or autonomist becomes credible and even more reassuring with their solutions recalling a time when the state (whether the Historical State or a new more “homogeneous” state - Catalonia, Scotland, Flanders) was able to bring its own solutions. This is why the populist discourse, which uses
  • 19. 17 the people’s legitimate concern about the weakening of the political capacity of Euro- pean states, is effective against the national government parties’words which are losing credibility. How is Europe to be blamed for this change? The Monnet method allowed for a “de facto solidarity” for the economic interests lo- cated in different State parties adhering to the integration project, and thus weakening the bond of nationality in order to avoid the resurgence of extreme nationalism. This has made member states powerless with regard to redistribution policies. Without going into detail, the economic integration of Eu- rope allows private economic interests (and thus indirectly, the resources they gener- ate for the community such as jobs and tax contributions), to be located anywhere on European territory. The emancipation of the national economy (in order to avoid the con- gruence of political and economic interests which thereafter led to the wars of the first half of the twentieth century) no longer al- lows for states to arbitrate between different social demands within their territory. There- fore, the foundations of the national social equilibrium (method of taxation allowing for public policies, particularly redistribu- tion) are seriously shaken. As shown by the “financial markets”, the EU (or more exactly in this case the Euro zone) has created a free trade economic zone, but not an area of eco- nomic governance, which should above all include the capacity to maintain social and territorial balance through redistribution! In an article published in the magazine Esprit in October 2002, Pierre Rosanvallon linked the “European democratic deficit” to the weak capacity of redistribution of the EU. He compares national solidarity (between 30% and 60% of GDP in public contributions) to the redistributive capacity of the EU (1% of GDP). This, he approximated to a minimum humanity solidarity (the 0.7% development aid claimed for decades in the framework of the UN) and not to a national type of soli- darity. In conclusion, the flaw of the European model that allows for a new populist force is this discrepancy between the European Eco- nomic Area, and social and political spaces which remain national, but with devalued substance. Consequently, national policies, and those who embody them, namely gov- ernmental political parties, are left power- less. At the same time, the European insti- tutions have not been granted the political capacity to address the legitimate concerns of citizens. So there is a general weakening of politics in the European model, with col- lateral damage in the form of the govern- mental political parties. Populism is thus rising by default. 2. Recommendation Given this situation, two options seem pos- sible. I personally recommend the second one. The first obvious option is to increase the material capacities and abilities of redistri- bution at European level and to develop the intra-European solidarity to a level similar to that which was known at national level (to establish a European social state). This im- plies a major increase in the EU budget (I do not mean to double the EU budget, but mul- tiply it by 10 or 15 times at least), no longer based on contributions from member states, but on a fiscal power exercised and politi- cally assumed by the European institutions (firstly, the EP). This would resuscitate the
  • 20. 18 “no taxation without representation” more than two centuries after the Boston revolt. It would then be a matter of recreating the national model at the continental level, and of transferring the place of political balance (and therefore politics) to the European lev- el (where the European populism, as I have already said, is not very present). This would definitely weaken the European states, and by extension those who already thrive on their downfall (national-populists). This is a possible solution, but I think this idea is cur- rently inappropriate for two reasons. Firstly, (and the debates in Germany about Greece, or in Catalonia in relation to Spain demon- strate this) EU citizens are not ready for more solidarity.To engage in this political struggle in the current circumstances seems too risky, and the populists and nationalists could well emerge victorious, with consequences that I dare not think about. Secondly, because of the globalization process, presumably irre- versible for technological reasons, does not seem sustainable. Globalisation exerts pres- sure on the ability of the EU to maintain bal- ance among its members in the same way that European integration does on national balance. The second option, to which I would give priority, is to revive European federalism. Federalism is primarily a political model in order to preserve the diversity and particu- larities of different groups within the Fed- eration, through strong federate institutions (Länder, communities, regions, cantons,) within one single political community. So the capacity of action of both the European institutions and the European states must simultaneously be strengthened within the EU. Since the mid-sixties, the European federalists have allowed the propagation of a false equation: European federalism = strong centralized institutionalization of the EU! This is not the essence of federal- ism! The European Union must, following a well-understood subsidiarity, allow and fa- vour state political areas (“national”) within a common European Federation, and not simply build more powerful European in- stitutions at the expense of national institu- tions (the mechanism of the European se- mester is an eloquent example of this flaw). From this point of view, Switzerland, where I come from, or Germany that has success- fully integrated the former GDR without major damage to its economic and political system seem interesting examples to ana- lyse in their “balancing act”. To give back to member states their capacity for autono- mous political action without dismantling European integration seems more feasible than the creation of the European state. Moreover, it would allow traditional political parties (national) to regain credibility and to push back the populist advance. These national political parties would form part of the European federations of political parties, as is the case for federal states. This is not about weakening the European institutions, but mainly about revising certain “dogmas” which were central in the development of integration, but that now prove counterpro- ductive in an established EU; such as the ab- solute primacy of EU law over national laws, which made sense for a fair and effective lib- eralisation of economic trade, but does not make sense anymore for developing pub- lic policies based on public choice, as was shown by the German political scientist Fritz Scharpf in 2000. Furthermore, this option (better than the first) would allow for find- ing dynamic and progressive solutions to the current risk of collapse of the EU which the first option would unfortunately almost certainly produce.
  • 21. 19 Obviously, I do not pretend that this option for reviving European federalism will take an easy course; it just seems more realistic and sustainable. But it entails, I agree, a Coper- nican revolution of federalist thinking and discourse on European integration. I submit this to discussion, not forgetting that this brings the federalist address back to a clas- sic notion of the Federation.
  • 22. 20 Analysis by Gerassimos Moschonas “Gerassimos MOSCHONAS PhD, University of Paris-2, is currently an Associate Pro- fessor in Comparative Poli- tics at the Department of Po- litical Science and History of Panteion University, Athens (Greece). The ‘broken equilibrium’ in European politics: the Europe factor and the weakening of mainstream parties with an emphasis on centre-left and radical Left parties1 “The succession of extremisms often points to weaknesses and oversights by the political majority culture. Extremism [......] is in some respect a mirror image of social development and allows for conclusions about the condition of the majority society”. Uwe Backes (Political Extremes, 2010, p. 192) “Politics in the end is the art of solving substantive problems”. Arthur Schlesinger (The cycles of American History, 1986, p. 276) Europe is undergoing a major upheaval and, at the same time, a gentle, slow and silent institutional revolution. The European Union is one of the most imaginative crea- tions of institutional and political engineering. And just as parties have historically developed in the wake of ma- jor institutional changes (e.g. the advent of universal suf- frage or the parliamentarisation of former authoritarian states), so today the unprecedented character of the EU has a significant impact on the party phenomenon and party conflict. In the framework of the classical nation-state the limited 1 In this document bibliographical references are “minimal”. The paper is part of the Research Programme ‘Designing & Operating an Infrastructure for the Empirical Inquiry of Po- litical & Social Radicalism in Greece’ (co-financed by the Euro- pean Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds).
  • 23. 21 number of power centres and political ac- tors,aswellasthelessconstraininginfluence of‘external’factors, has made it easier to for- mulate and implement a national strategy. By contrast, the European ‘transnational’ terrain, while not chaotic, is structured very differently. The centres of authority and the (institutional and political) actors are very numerous; their ideological repertoires are heteroclite; and the logics of actions often diverge. The distribution of power centres is such that, between the Council, the Com- mission, the European Parliament, the Euro- pean Central Bank, national governments and administrations, strengthened local instances and independent authorities, the cohesion of the system of power (conceived here as a single macro-institutional system, comprising both powers at EU level and na- tional) is weak. And the outcome of all this?The formulation and implementation of a strategy of ambi- tious reforms has become very difficult. The institutional reality of the EU is a sizeable obstacle in the path of all actors (national states, left-wing parties, populist right-wing parties, anti-globalization or alternative globalization movements, federalist and anti-federalist associations etc.) aspiring to achieve policy or regime change in the EU. All these actors find themselves facing a difficult problem of collective action and coordination. This problem is strategic in a twofold sense: in the European system there is no Winter Palace to occupy or surround (a political system factor); and there is no royal road for prompting and coordinating the mobilization of national actors with highly diverse sensibilities, cultures and interests (an agency factor). Europe has brought about a radical change in the environment and structure of political opportunities. Following the great reforms of the 1985-99 period, the European Union became a heavy and imposing political machine. Analyses that only examine Europe’s ‘liberalism’ un- derestimate the fact that the Community’s model of political economy is fundamen- tally two-fold: produced both by liberalisa- tion and by a certain (uneven, fragmented and minimal) kind of federalism. Europe is notable for a remarkable concentration of powers in certain sectors — monetary policy and structural policies are two exam- ples of quasi-State policies.2 Thus, European integration is the still incomplete prod- uct of two almost simultaneous building processes that reinforce one another: the building of Europe through the market and the building of a political Europe. Paradoxi- cally, despite social-democratic and euro- communist aspirations (political Europe as a counter-weight to the market), the po- liticisation of integration (through a dense, rigid institutional apparatus) consolidated and solidified the liberalisation of Europe. It was the building of a political Europe that gave liberal economic solutions a long-term advantage. Such was the major irony – and unanticipated ruse – of the politicisation of the process. European integration calls into question three closely related aspects of party activity and influence: (a) the ability of political par- ties to harmonize the institutional system and hence their problem-solving capacity; (b) the programmatic freedom of political parties and the conventional left-right di- vide; and (c) the strategic flexibility of main- stream parties. 2 Nicolas Jabko, L’Europe par le marché, Histoire d’une stratégie improbable, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2009, pp. 259, 264-265.
  • 24. 22 I. The general framework: Polycentric regime and the weak- ening of the mainstream parties The weakening of the problem-solving capacity of parties in government: the institutional and political setting has dramatically changed. One aspect of this change is critical. Progressively, the dy- namic of Europe has significantly reduced the space allotted to the forces of the na- tion and to national governments. Ironically, the great transfer of authority unleashed by the Community renaissance has gener- ated a framework of weakened dual power: a simultaneous power deficit both at the national and European level. In a sense, as Cramme aptly notices, “half-way federalisa- tion has brought the worst of both worlds to the fore”3 . This double discrepancy dif- ferentiates the EU fundamentally from the United States, in that the structure of the European system does not embody a cen- tralizing logic comparable to the dynamic of American federalism. If globalization has weakened overall the core component of what might be called“governance”, the dual deficit in question is specifically European. It is in a way the direct product of the renais- sance of Europe and undoubtedly deprives all parties in government of some of their influence (this especially applies in the case of the social-democratic parties, which have traditionally pushed“national power”as the principal lever of their political action). The double power deficit, the multiplic- ity of power centres and the superimposi- tion of decision-making levels short-circuit the unity of the decision-making process and reduce government efficacy (problem- 3 Olaf Cramme, The power of European inte- gration, Social democracy in search of a purpose, Policy network paper, September 2012, p.11. solving capacity) of the regime. Today’s Eu- ropean parties perform, much less than in the past and much less effectively, a central function and mission, which forms part of their profoundest political specificity: that is, the function of government, a function that contributed greatly to their historical influ- ence and endurance. As a result of the frag- mentation of the system of decision-making within the multi-level and multi-sites Euro- pean system, the strong institutional pres- ence of parties cannot be converted into genuine policy capacity. In fact, the prob- lem of contemporary mainstream parties is not so much their transformation into professional power mechanisms cut off from society (theories of the state party or cartel-party), but rather the opposite: it is their failure to function as effective power mechanisms, and as mechanisms for solv- ing problems that distances them from so- ciety. Contemporary parties matter less as problem-solving structures and because of this, they are not regarded as representative vehicles even though they are supposed to solve problems. From confrontation to ideological con- vergence: the EU, as argues Simon Hix, “is perhaps more consensus-oriented in its design than any other political system in the history of modern government” 4 . For a policy to be adopted it requires (depending on the sec- tor and institution) strong majorities or una- nimity, which lead the member States or the national parties either to build grand coali- tions or to abandon their policies. Moreo- ver, the European circuit is by definition one of reform and indeed, a difficult, tortu- 4 Simon Hix (2006) “Why the EU needs (Left- Right) Politics ? Policy Reform and Accountability are Impossible without it’ Policy paper no 19, www.notre- europe. asso.fr,
  • 25. 23 ous reform. This “conservative” character of Europe’s way of working 5 is not set up by liberal perversity nor will it easily change: it draws its raison d’être from the multi- state and multi-level nature of the regime, which requires barriers to avoid one group of countries or actors to dominate another. Negotiation, the endless processes of com- promise and wheeling and dealing, and the increased weight of technocratic solutions largely neutralise ideological fractures and the left-right cleavage. Europe reduces the political repertoire of party formations especially major parties with a governmental vocation6 . It tends to inhibit programmatic innovation whilst programmatic convergence and the weak- ening of cleavages find an extremely fertile terrain. Moreover, by a kind of “ideational spill-over”, Brussels pragmatism and gradu- alism spreads to all the national ‘systemic’ political forces. The “Europe” factor hinders genuine policy and governmental alterna- tives not only at the European level but also at national level. Consequently, the new European environment is conducive to the weakening of the ideological differences of contemporary moderate parties. And they are already weakened by other causes, such as the economic slow-down and the eco- nomic limits of Keynesianism, globalisation, the change in the model of economic pro- duction, immigration, catch-all politics etc. The EU has increased all this. 5 Gerassimos Moschonas, “Reformism in a “Conservative”System : The European Union and Social democratic Identity” in John Callaghan et al. (eds.), In Search of Social Democracy : Responses to Crisis and Modernisation, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2009, pp. 168-192. 6 Peter Mair, (2005),‘Popular Democracy and the European Union Polity’, European Governance Papers, no. C-05-03 From strategic flexibility to “flexible ri- gidity”: the great historical parties of the Right and Left have been characterized, especially af- ter World War II, by a high level of strategic flexibility and a great capacity for adapta- tion and renewal. It was precisely this capac- ity in adapting that enabled them to survive and remain mass parties. The capacity for adaptation, especially in the case of the So- cial Democratic parties, was reinforced after the 1960s (by virtue of the strengthening of the leader’s personal power, the weakening of traditional bureaucracy and reducing ties with the trade unions). Nevertheless, this is not so much the case today as in the past. There are two reasons for this: on the one hand the economic constraints imposed on national governments by globalization; on the other hand, the political constraints associated with the unwieldy and sluggish European system of governance. Today’s main government parties are organization- ally flexible but finally politically and ideo- logically “rigid” owing to external factors. Consequently, they find it very difficult to respond to the changing demands of the electorate, particularly if these demands deflect from the “corridor of possibilities” whose boundaries are those of globalization and European integration. The most distinc- tive feature of their present-day identity is in fact a kind of “flexible rigidity”: they are capable of proposing a host of new ideas of limited significance and many innovative policy proposals (and have systematically done so in recent years). What they are not in a position to produce is a grand vision, a new major narrative, an alternative per- spective to the present and the future, even though such an alternative would probably be in their electoral interest.The widespread
  • 26. 24 idea that moderate parties are characterized by strategic flexibility has become a myth. The new flexibility of extremes: by contrast and paradoxically, radical parties, Left or Right, have greater tactical flexibility today, andtosomeextent,greaterstrategicflexibil- ity than the mainstream parties (this dimen- sion is rarely taken into account by special- ists). Admittedly, the flexibility in question is, in a sense, fictitious, precisely because it is inextricably linked to these parties’ non- governing character. The parties are there- fore frequently accused of being “populist” (the term“populism”referring here to lack of responsibility, demagogy, and facile denun- ciation of the opponent or of the system). Nevertheless, neither the radical Right (with some exceptions) afflicted by the past’s rigid fascism, nor the radical Left (again, with some very important exceptions) display the extreme ideological and organizational rigidity of yesterday’s Communism. The “anti-systemic” parties of the present are relatively responsive and supple players, or at least, more so than those of the past.They are well-versed in the manoeuvres of elec- toral politics, they are more open to ideo- logical compromise and they have a greater capacity for renewal from above (owing to greater autonomy at the level of leadership). In reality, as opposition parties and precisely because they are in opposition, they can show greater flexibility than the big parties in government, whose hands are tied by virtue of their participation in complex and laborious power systems. All this, to some extent, reverses the logic of 150 years of party history. For the first time the “peripheral” parties, while remain- ing more “ideological”than the centre-right and centre-left parties, are adapting their words and deeds more rapidly to changing circumstances than the moderate parties. This represents, at least to a certain extent, something new in the history of the party phenomenon. What we have learned from the history of parties applies less today than in the past. The historical irony of this development (the change in the role of moderate parties is a major historical novelty and a rupture in European tradition) is that parties, which created the EU, at the same time created the conditions for undermining their own influence and role. From this point of view, national mainstream parties are the victims of Europe’s success. This naturally tends to reinforce every species of opposition and to reinforce them in a way that is by no means cyclical or ephemeral. II. Comments on the dynamic of political conflict Is there really a far left populism? There are many similarities between the populisms of the Left and of the Right. The harsh criticism of globalization and finance capitalism, of the EU, of the downgrading of national parliaments and democracy, are just some of them. Attribution of central significance to the cleavage establishment/ people is another point of convergence be- tween the Far Right and the Far Left. But the differences are just as great, if not greater. Today’s Radical Left has for the most part embraced the thematics and mottos of the 1960s New Left (feminism, ecology, minori- ties’ rights, multiculturalism, immigration etc.), issues and preoccupations that share little common terrain with right-wing pop- ulism. In terms of economic policy its dis- course bears increasing resemblance to that
  • 27. 25 of the old Keynesian Social Democracy. The Strategy for the EU adopted by the Party of The European Left is an amalgam of scath- ing criticism and reformist aspirations. On the one hand it criticizes the neoliberal policies adopted by the EU, on the other it puts forward proposals for a change of po- litical course within the Union, in essence for “more Europe”. The new radical Left undoubtedly has nu- merous populist or, to be more precise, demagogical, aspects to it. But its historical links to Marxism, its bad relations with na- tionalism, its identification (in most cases) with cultural liberalism, its strength of the organizational factor, do not favour its transformation into a populist force. Much less do they favour its transformation into a “national-populist” force. The new radi- cal identity embraces substantial elements from the ideology and culture of the histori- cal currents (Leninist, Trotskyist, anarcho- syndicalist, Action Directe, Maoist), as well as the New Left and elements originating in the social-democratic tradition, political ecology, populism and the anti-globaliza- tion movements. The radical Left is closer to the model of a “left social democracy” with a populist/libertarian and social movement- orientation than to the classical populist model. The policy (including European policy) pro- posals of most of the parties that comprise the European Left Party incorporate strong elements of social-democratic reformism and are, irrespective of their frequently intransigent rhetoric, part of a strategy of reformism more than a strategy of rift or revolution. Nevertheless, the analyses that, more generally, attribute social democratic characteristics to the politics of the radical Left parties or tend to regard these parties as parties “like all the others”7 underrate the internal divisions, the culture of protest (segments of the Radical Left are inclined to criticise everything that moves on the planet), the“anti-capitalist”rhetoric, the use of discursive schemes inspired by the insur- rectional model, the arrogant sectarianism of some of its component part, indeed the very“soul”of sections of the radical Left.The logic of social democracy is an overall politi- cal logic, not just the Keynesian approach to the economy. It is no accident, moreover, that these parties live in fear of being trans- formed into social democracy, of coming to resemble their big brother and perennial opponent. The hijacking of the populist rhetoric by the traditionally moderate political par- ties Hijacking of populist rhetoric is something that has already been indulged in, to a cer- tain moderate extent, by some national conservative parties (viz. Sarkozy in the 2007 elections). It improves electoral perfor- mance in the short term but in the medium term seems to undermine political credibili- ty. Nevertheless, particularly for mainstream parties of the Right, it is a good electoral option which can net some modest political returns. In the absence of a change in the overall liberal orientation of the EU a vari- ety of “moderate populism” could work for conservative parties, but not for the socialist family. From a strategic standpoint, the current structure of social-democratic electorates renders the adoption of an advanced neo- 7 T. Bale and R. Dunphy (2012),“De parias à participants”in De Waele J.M and Seiler D.-L., Les partis de la gauche anticapitaliste en Europe, Paris: Economica.
  • 28. 26 liberal strategy too costly in electoral terms (because of the ever strong presence of social-democracy among popular strata and public sector wage-earners). The huge elec- toral defeat of PASOK (June 2012) dramati- cally underlines, the consequences of harsh austerity policies for social democracy, above and beyond any Greek idiosyncrasies. This same electoral structure also makes the adoption of “left-wing populism” by social- democratic leaderships equally too costly (because of the increasing electoral implan- tation among salaried middle strata, partic- ularly educated strata, strongly“attached”to cultural liberalism). What room for manoeuvre do the histor- ic parties have to counter the extremist parties? While Europe still has the characteristics as described above, and it has had them for a very long time, room for manoeuvre for the historical parties will remain very limited. Also, given the pressure from a reinforced popular Euroscepticism, the classic, and oh! so familiar, European policy of half-meas- ures and“uncompleted agreements”(which will supposedly be perfected at some point in the future), along with the politics of austerity, is grist to the mill of populism, particularly in the present conditions of seri- ous crises. Given that citizens are perfectly well aware that their political preferences are not sufficiently taken into account by the moderate parties, which are in any case on a trajectory of mutual convergence, they frequently choose to support more extreme parties, even though they know that the positions of these parties diverge from their own through being more radical. “Voters prefer parties whose positions differ from their own views insofar as these par- ties pull policy in a desired direction”, wrote Orit Kedar very aptly8 . Their vote for one of the extremes is not, for the great majority of voters, an identity vote. Nor is it really a pro- test vote. It is rather an “instrumental” vote, a vote aimed at turning the helm of policy- making in another, more desired, direction. This explains why the extreme parties are, in fact, growing stronger, but, at the same time, also remain electorally unstable and fragile. For as long as voters consider that Europe “is run by a vague, grey elite over which they have no influence”, the poten- tial for the growth of extreme parties will remain great. Conclusion A reduction in the actual perimeter of party action constitutes the hard core of the in- fluence exercised by Europe. The European Union, by its structure and its workings (and not by some kind of conspiracy of the elites or capital), raises an enormous problem of effectiveness and practical coherence for all parties, whether mainstream or radical. Thus, for the first time since the crystal- lization and consolidation of the model of ‘party government’, the exceptional role and exceptional influence of parties are now under challenge. All this boils down to a bleak outlook for all party families. Not from the viewpoint of electoral possibilities or electoral potential (the EU is a gift to op- positional politics from every point of the spectrum). The outlook is bleak from the viewpoint of the parties’ ability to promote their political objectives. The real, profound and, in all likelihood, non-ephemeral weak- ening of partisan institution represents a sizeable obstacle to the long-term stability 8 Orit Kedar,“When Moderate Voters Prefer Extreme Parties: Policy Balancing in Parliamentary Elections, American Political Science Review / Vol. 99 / 02 / May 2005.
  • 29. 27 not only of the mainstream parties, but of all parties, including right-wing populist par- ties or radical left parties.The new European environment tends to stabilize the tendency to electoral instability. Instability might turn out to be an enduring characteristic not only bound to the choices of partisan leaderships (moderate or not), but also to the profound transformation of the concept of the political in Europe.
  • 30. 28 Analysis by Takis Pappas “Takis S. PAPPAS (Ph.D., Yale University 1995) is associate professor of com- parative politics at the Uni- versity of Macedonia, Greece, and, currently, a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute in Florence. What is the problem? In fact, we are confronted with several interrelated prob- lems: (a) the decline of Europe’s old parties and party sys- tems; (b) the rise of populism; (c) the rise of non-demo- cratic political extremism; and (d) the unappealing image of the EU.There seems to be a direct line of causality that leads from (a) to (d) through (b) and (c). What has gone wrong with the old parties? Any explanation should take into account that, for all intents and purposes, Europe’s major parties developed historically in close relation to their respective sovereign states and, more particularly, the state-controlled nation- al cultural reproductive mechanisms (i.e. education, ad- ministration, social security systems, etc.) and state-regu- lated markets. More recently, however, as the sovereignty of Europe’s nation states has been undermined by the forces of Europeanization (which created supranational institutions) and globalization (which liberalized the markets), the traditional political parties have lost much of their political scope, let alone their ideological and po- litical appeal. As a result, this has led large chunks of their previous electorates to abandon them, thus creating an enormous pool of available voters who are currently up for grabs by new and upcoming political entrepreneurs of various creeds. And what about populism? Confronting the beast Since the rise of populism is a contemporary phenom- enon, its concept cannot be considered as ‘archeologi- cal’. At present, there is an intense debate about pop- ulism going on in academia, which, however, is no less
  • 31. 29 conceptually wanting than it is normatively misleading. So far, this debate has failed to agree on what populism is, but also to dis- tinguish between the several variants of European populism; in addition, it is misled by the heavily normative question whether populism is a threat to or a corrective to de- mocracy (e.g. Mudde 2012). We may, as we should, distinguish between three distinct types of European populism: primarily political, ethnic nationalist and re- gional separatist. All three set “the people” against some threatening “other” but, in each case, these seemingly undifferentiated categories take on different content. In brief: in primarily political populism the antithesis is between the“pure”people (il popolo) and the current “corrupt” political class (the po- litical establishment); in ethnic nationalist populism, a national community with reput- edly common cultural attributes (an éthnos or kulturnation) is pitted against menacing foreign forces (immigrants, the EU); regional separatist populism, finally, echoes Europe’s ancient centre-periphery cleavage as it sets secessionist regions (e.g., Catalonia, Pada- nia, Scotland) against their respective na- tional centres (cf. Roma ladrona). I suggest that we understand, and therefore define, populism simply as democratic illib- eralism (Pappas 2012). Therefore, populism is by definition democratic but also represents a fatal threat to political liberalism. Populism and democracy In the foregoing definition, populism is al- ways democratic, but also illiberal; it is also distinguished from non-democratic parties. Consequently, we end up with the following understanding: Representative democracy Liberal parties Populist parties Non- democratic parties Populism vs. liberalism Besides making clear the three interrelated characteristics of all populist parties, this Ta- ble speaks volumes for the rise of populism in Europe as the other side of liberalism’s failure. It tells exactly where liberal democ- racy is currently failing in Europe: the reduc- tion of previously multiple, but overlapping cleavages into one ostensibly dividing the ‘pure’ people from ‘established’ elites; the end of political moderation and consensual politics; and the erosion of constitutionalism and the rule of law. The two faces of representative democracy Liberal Populist Multiple cleavages Single cleavage ‘Overlapping consensus’ Adversarial politics Constitutionalism Majoritarianism Myths about populism • Populism constitutes an ideology, even a “thin”one (cf., Mudde 2004) • Populism is an extreme right-wing phe- nomenon • There is a close relationship between pop- ulism and charismatic leadership Realities about populism • Populism is non-ideological and highly op- portunistic (hence some authors have seen it as a certain political strategy)
  • 32. 30 • Populism is to be found on both the left and the right of the political spectrum (for instance, in the first round of the 2012 French elections, there was hardly a single party that did not behave as populist) • Contrary to common popular wisdom, charismatic leadership is rare among popu- list parties. Yet, most successful populist parties do have charismatic leaders. • Populism is contagious as the cases of Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania clearly show (cf. Pappas 2013). What to do? If there is one thing that emerges most clearly from the foregoing points it is that European liberalism is receding – and it is receding fast. European liberalism stands for (a) reinforcing supranational EU institutions and (b) the full opening of markets. Europe- an populism, on the other hand, is both an- ti-EU and anti-market; it stands against the erosion of national states and further mar- ket liberalization. It draws its voters among people in European societies who feel aban- doned by their national traditional parties, threatened by open markets, and without sufficient state protection. There seems to be only one way out of Europe’s current po- litical predicament: bravely pushing forward with more political integration and making Europe what its founding fathers wanted it to be – a liberal political Union.
  • 33. 31
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  • 35. 33 Conclusions The rise in Populism demands a more radical Europe Conclusions of the Berlin meeting of December 1-2 2012
  • 36. 34 Conclusions “Jean Michel De WAELE Isabelle DURANT Daniel COHN-BENDIT Gesine SCHWAN Martin HIRSCH Michel HASTINGS Nicolas LEVRAT Gerassimos MOSCHONAS Takis S. PAPPAS 1. Populism: the response to the long “de-politicization of politics” The technocratic dimension and the dual powerlessness of citizens Populist movements are characterized primarily by forms of discourse, style and rhetoric based on a systematic reference to the people. They thrive on a shared feeling of resentment and want to be recognized. So populism is not just limited to precarious social groups but also reso- nates within the middle class. Denouncing the technocracy of the exercise of power is a powerful populist resentment. It is equally a demand and a criticism strongly condemning the opaque and de-politicized practices of power, epitomized by the“elite consensus”, which erases divisions and clear political choices. When the citizen feels he is no longer concerned by public policy, populist reactions highlight the demand for re-politicizing the exercise of power. Paradoxically, populism strengthens the demand for more democracy, citizen access to the decision-making process and proper consideration in policy decisions. Populism fuels this two-fold feeling of “powerlessness and invisibility” within the electorate: invisibility of the individual choice - “public action ignores me” - and the non-recognition as a national, regional and local people. This non-recognition is part of this empty cosmopoli- tan feeling and loss of identity which is related to the phenomena of supranational integration, such as Europe, or to globalization in general.
  • 37. 35 The disempowerment of citizens and the de-territorialization of power The connection between populism and European construction is linked to the feeling of growing insecurity from an ever increasing part of the population. There- fore, the economic and social issues which were considered for a long time to affect the lower classes living in precarious condi- tions, have allowed populism to thrive on a general feeling of insecurity among the more affluent classes who have, until now, felt less concerned. Populism offers solutions which are based on a national framework that has disap- peared, an appeal to“the Golden Age”myth, real or fantasized. This rhetoric is appealing and understandable and very much part of the common imagination. But European integration clashes with this vision: the European project has enabled the empow- erment of socio-economic actors within a national framework but has not come up with something new at the European level. The European structure of power has contributed to removing that territorial space and that is why there is no populism at the European level. We only find the phenomena of national populism, in other words “our ancestral nation”. However, populist agendas on the regional front could well come to the fore in the future. Europe and globalization: impos- sible governance? The European way of governance in the current state of European integration, is so heavy that it is ineffective. The current dynamic is increasingly ungovernable. A new reality has come about in Europe which has produced weak double governance at both national and supranational level through EU institutions. This pattern of “a double deficit of power”cannot bring about sustainable and legitimate political solu- tions and the parties in government cannot implement the necessary mechanisms to meet current challenges. In fact, part of the crisis is precisely European. It is the result of inertia from the states themselves and also from the European structures which must be reformed. Can populism be compared to the maquis? The“Résistance”method The motivations of populism are both symbolic and very real. The feeling of social insecurity on the social and economic level and the loss of identity (“cultural insecurity”) are all part of this crisis of European govern- ance. The current situation is leading to a loss of recognition at all levels of the social spectrum to which the governments in place are unable to respond. The populist movements are becoming an imaginary “maquis”, calling for resistance to a vague and non-identifiable power which has no roots. On the fringe of traditional politics and detached from the constraints of exercising power, populism is an outlet which is allowed to lose all restraint. So it is that populism can meet citizens’ expec- tations by embracing a transgressive style and practice of their own. Populist tactics can erase the contradictions inherent in the practice of power and propose an overall deconstruction. The media play an important role in how
  • 38. 36 they depict the role of politicians, oscillating between the spectacular or the more sober professional method. A “non-liberal” model of democ- racy The European system has promoted the development of individual freedoms and the liberal political mechanism has succeed- ed well in supporting real progress in Euro- pean integration. But this system has been misguided because it has not given the European structure the necessary tech- niques to meet the current challenges and crises. The limits of the liberal and political model at European and national level are evident. Europe has shown a distinct lack of “kratos” which the liberal mechanism fails. So standing up for democratic values, populism criticizes and judges European and national authorities. The crisis of European integration is also due to the downturn of the traditional mainstream parties which have domi- nated the political scene since the Second World War: the Christian Democrats, who held 22% of votes in Western Europe after the war, are only at 12 % today; the Social democrats have gone from 32% to 26% in the years 2000. The Liberals have suffered very few losses, while the Conservative vote has increased by 8 points. The radical left as a whole (including the communist and extreme left parties) still represents 10% of the electorate, as after the war, despite the political and philosophical crisis following the fall of the Soviet bloc. But the Social and Christian Democrats who are losing votes are those political families who carried the political, social and economic consensus of the postwar period as well as the “Euro- pean fusion.”The crisis of the representation of the social model within the circle of the executive authorities existed well before the rise of populism; globalization and the end of Keynesianism during the 1970s acceler- ated this trend. The new populist forces only had to creep into the breach which was already there. The illusion of regional sepa- ratism “small is beautiful, big is powerful” The criticism for providing widespread politics and traditional ways of governance echoesacertainformofregionalistpopulism and its national-populists. Although very different in nature, regionalist thinking develops the illusion of a more efficient way of decision-making in regional economic, social or environmental matters. But this is based on an optical illusion: even Catalonia or Scotland would opt for the best possi- ble environmental policies, but it would be inefficient in the globalization game. In this context, local and regional conditions can not be the only critical factors for growth. Regionalist movements are much more against a centralized national power than European integration because they know they can find their autonomy in relation to the national capital. But accepting the multiplication of new member states would complicate the relationship between more sovereign entities and the viability of Euro- pean institutions would be in danger. Insti- tutions should discuss ex-ante the condi- tions for separatist entities wishing to attain the status of Member States.
  • 39. 37 2. A Call for recapturing an imaginative vision of politics The imaginative vision of public power / political expectancy Europe is going through an exceptional period which emphasizes the weakness of political leadership within the EU. These difficulties feed populist imagination, so it is imperative to come up with new alterna- tives. Europe, like its great political families who exemplified its founding values, must abandon this “flexible rigidity” and engage upon a wide range of reforms. Respond to this indignation / Propose a more controversial Europe The European model is so full of compro- mise that Europe itself is lost in negotiations and the culture of negotiation is neither respected by the media nor understood by the citizens. The European project can only win over the support of European civil society by adopting a more controversial message in response to the populist rhetoric. Never have the achievements of European inte- gration, especially peace and shared pros- perity, been such a target and at the same time, never has federalism been stronger. Of course, it is implicit that federalism has gone beyond its usual circles (Eurobonds, Europe- an finance minister) but the next step must be a new story beginning with a confron- tation of ideas between citizens. And this confrontation will be to engage citizens who will embody the story and write the Passion to spread the message through the media. Embody hope Clear and simple options require European citizens’approval to avoid ideological stand- offs and the risk of political exploitation of the common project. So one fundamen- tal European law could be submitted via continental referendum with no opting-out option and based on the double major- ity rule: the state and the citizens. This is giving the decisional responsibility to the Europeans. Alternative scenarios could be envisaged by offering special partnerships to Member States who do not want integra- tion. • Asking the right questions and proposing real alternatives • Moving beyond the alternative between « Yuck! » and « TINA! » Populism draws its strength from “Yuck!” confronting “TINA!”: “There is no alterna- tive”.The structure is seemingly unassailable and alternatives are simplistic because they stand for the oppressed, the downtrodden and the poor in the name of the nation. But the federal model must stand up to this political discourse and a special effort must be made in this sense. The European Union is not and will not be a “super-State”, but it must be able to solve these problems. Ideological clarification And this requires real ideological clarifi- cation. It is a question of reactivating the political divide to come up with concrete alternatives. Facing the implicitly conserva- tive-liberal technocratic consensus, we must develop a progressive, centre-left alterna- tive. This will have to go through a sort of political audit of policies that have been made in the name of European integration,
  • 40. 38 especially liberalization policies etc. and the questioning of national public service models. The institutions themselves and the policies carried out are not to be confused. An audit of all public policies is needed in order to remove any doubt about the intrin- sic ideological nature of the Union. Imagining a trans-regional solu- tion rather than the myth of separatism Reversing the federalism logic through institutional change is the real response to common goals, like the ability to solve prob- lems. And the subsidiarity principle must be renewed through vertical and horizontal cooperation. Political power no longer lies in capital cities and centralized power is only a myth which a new political space in Europe can and must replace. The centralizing temptations of European Federalists who wish to create a European policy framework increasingly exacerbate populist claims. The renewed logic of federalism should allow local features and preferences to coexist in a broader context. 3. How federalism and European political inte- gration can go beyond populism Rewriting the specification requirements of Europe, “the list of citizens’ grievances to their Europe” Working on different structures of federal- ism and potential models: The federal solution does not have a good press, is ignored or hardly known and fright- ens off people. A proposition would be to discuss several scenarios of federalism with citizens throughout the Union but also to debate the process of validating their choice in order to avoid the pitfalls and obstacles that may arise as a result of contrary deci- sions from a minority of states and citizens. Beyond the institutional debate, we must also consider a real analysis of the conse- quences of political integration on the work of national governments and the impact on the daily lives of Europeans. Policies of redistribution and of the social model in Europe Despite local differences there are common traits in the different European social models and even the same characteris- tics for the same European social model; a minimum wage and legislation enabling a universal social security coverage etc. Even though the differences between the most developed and the poorest countries do not allow for a sustainable social standardiza- tion. However, there are specific issues to defend and a common desire for maximiz- ing the well-being of citizens. And with these common traits Europe must commit itself over a long period of time to encour- age social convergence towards higher standards of social protection. The means for public action The EU budget is a highly political, sensi- tive and explosive issue. And to reply to the demand for public action and for solv- ing the problems which could break the populist dynamic, the EU must be given the means to achieve its ambitions. This implies a substantial federal budget, gradually
  • 41. 39 increasing from the miserable 1% to 20% of current GDP, which represents the critical threshold of real federal government action. This quantative leap necessarily entails a fundamentalqualitativechangeinthestruc- ture of the budget which must be echoed in the EU’s own resources: financial trans- actions tax, carbon tax etc. Besides giving financial means to European policies, such resources will relieve member states of their obligations towards a national contribution. This will alleviate the European debate of all its bargaining between national egoisms and the disrupting of the re-nationalization of EU policies which were also part of the end of the personal contributions system in the mid-1980s. Reversing the logic of taxation / representation The budget question would also correct the historical anomaly of a European Parliament which is the only representative body in the political history of Western democracies which was not elected for organizing the collection of resources. Since it is assumed that there is no taxation without represen- tation, we must defend the same logic for the European Parliament: no representa- tion without taxation. And therefore, it is possible and even imperative to imagine a European governance of the budget which would include decision-making by the citi- zens themselves.
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  • 44. 42 Isabelle DURANT Since 2009 MEP and Vice-President of the European Parlia- ment. Isabelle Durant worked in the education and social development sector before entering politics in 1991 in the regional Parliament of Brussels-Capital. She was Federal Secretary and Spokesperson of ECOLO (Belgian Green Party) between 1994 and 1999 and in 2004. She was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Mobility and Transport from 1999 to 2003 in the Belgian government. She was Co-Chairwoman of ECOLO in 2007 before being elected MEP in 2009 and has been Vice-President of the European Parliament since 2009. She is responsible for the Lux Prize and the Citizens’Agora. Isabelle Durant is member of the Commissions for Transportation, for Budget and for Constitutional Affairs (citizen participation, European Year of Citizens, ICE). In 2010, Isabelle Durant founded the Spinelli Group in the European Parliament with Sylvie Gou- lard, Guy Verhofstadt and Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Daniel COHN-BENDIT Daniel Cohn Bendit is journalist, MEP (GREENS), Co-Presi- dent of the GREENS / European Free Alliance (EFA) in the Eu- ropean Parliament. He was born April 4, 1945, Montauban, France. He returned to Germany in 1958 and passed his Bac- calaureat in 1965 at the German school “Odenwaldschule” in Oberhambach. He returned to France, studied Sociology in Nanterre. He was spokesman and leader of the revolt of May 1968, nicknamed “Danny the Red”. He was expelled from France in 1968. Between 1969 and 1973 he worked as a Teacher/Educator in an anti-authoritarian” nursery in Frankfurt (Sachsenhausen) and in a bookstore. In 1976, Daniel Cohn-Bendit was editor and journalist in Frankfurt for the anarchist magazine (“Sponti-Szene”), le “Pflaster- strand” (Under the paving stones, the beach”). In 1984, Daniel Cohn-Bendit joined the German party“DIE GRÜNEN”. From 1989 to 1997, he was local Councilor for Multicultural Affairs in Frankfurt for the Red/Green coalition.In 1994 he was MEP for the GRUNEN of Germany and in 2009 he found- ed the group“Europe Ecologie”with politicians and persons working in social organisations. He won 16.28% of votes in France. He was re-elected to the European Parliament as head of the list for Ile de France. Since January 2002, Daniel Cohn-Bendit is Co-President of the GREENS / EFA in the Eu- ropean Parliament. Political panel “
  • 45. 43 Gesine SCHWAN Gesine Schwan (born 22 May 1943) is a German political science professor and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1962, she began her studies in history, philosophy, romance languages, and political science at the Free University of Berlin and later at the University of Freiburg. After research conducted in Warsaw and Kraków, she obtained her Ph.D. in 1970 from FU Berlin for a disserta- tion on the Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski. In Krakow University, she became assistant professor and continued her work on the critique of Marx for which she received a habilitation in 1975. Schwan was appointed full professor at the Department of Political Science at FU Berlin in 1977.The SDP has nominated her twice as a candidate for the federal presidential elections. Martin HIRSCH Martin Hirsch was born December 6, 1963. State Councilor and President of the Civic Service Agency. He has held vari- ous administrative responsibilities, such as Director of the Central Hospital Pharmacy, Director of the Office of the Min- ister of Health, Director General of the French Agency for Food Safety and associative responsibilities as President of Emmaus France . From 2007 to 2010 he was a member of the government, as High Commissioner for Active Solidarity against Poverty and High Commissioner for Youth. Martin Hirsch was a member of the Bachelet Committee on the global social protection, Member of the Committee chaired by Joscka Fischer, for the Council of Europe, which brought out the report “Living together in Europe in the twenty--first century”. Since October 2012, he is Special Ad- visor to the Commissioner Andor. He co-chairs the Action Tank Companies and Poverty and Social Chair for Business at HEC. He is the author of several reports (The new social equation for the government in 2004, How to reduce high salaries for Terra Nova in 2012) and a dozen books, the most recent being“Pour en finir avec les conflits d’intérêts“ (Stock, 2011) and “La lettre perdue : les racines de l’engagement “ (Stock 2012).
  • 46. 44 Jean-Michel DE WAELE DeanoftheFacultyofSocialandPoliticalScience,attheUni- versité Libre de Bruxelles, he teaches political science. His research focuses on the political situation in Central Europe, the political regimes in Europe and the current changes in democracies. He also leads a research group devoted to the sociology of sport. He has led several collective works and most recently: “The rightward shift of the working class in Europe,”and“The parties of the anti-capitalist left in Europe” and “Compulsory Voting” These three books are published by Economica. He is preparing two books on social democ- racy in Europe. Michael HASTINGS Michael Hastings, after studying law and history, received the aggregation of Political Science, and is currently Uni- versity Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille (France). His teachings include political theory, political anthropology and political philosophy. He was a visiting professor at the Universities of Montreal, Quebec, Tam- pere, Brussels, Minsk, Vilnius, Katowice. His main research focuses on political parties, political speeches, comparative political systems, and the symbolic dimension of politics. He has many academic responsibilities at the national level (valuation reports, juries, competitive examinations, edito- rial boards). He has recently published “The paradoxes of transgression” (CNRS Editions, 2012), “Compulsory voting” (Economica, 2011, in collaboration with A.Amjahad and JM de Waele),“The political pamphlet”, (special issue of Words, 2010) and“The electoral surprise”(Karthala, 2008). Accademic panel “
  • 47. 45 Nicolas LEVRAT Nicolas LEVRAT is Professor of International and European Law at the University of Geneva. Since 2007 he has been Head of the European Institute (founded in 1963 by Denis de Rougemont) and was elected in 2012 to lead the new “Center for Global Studies,” which will integrate the Euro- pean Institute. He was Program Advisor to the Council of Europe from 1991 to 1995, Professor at the Free Univer- sity of Brussels from 1998 to 2010. He has been Professor at the University of Geneva since 2001. He is co-founder of the doctorate school “Foundations of International and Eu- ropean law” (2008) made up of Swiss Universities, and also co-founder of the doctorate school “Erasmus mundus: Glo- balisation, EU & Multilateralism – GEM PhD School” which brings together nine of the best universities in the world. He published his thesis in 1994 on cross-border cooperation (PUF) and has since worked on the political representation of minorities (“Minorities and Organization of the State”, Bruylant, Ed, 1998), the role of regions in the EU (“Europe and its Local Authorities: Reflections on the Exercise of Local Power in a GlobalWorld”, Peter Lang, 2005), European feder- alism (“Europe: from Integration to Federation”, Bruylant, Ed 2010), European democracy (“Is the Construction of Europe Democratic?”, French documentation, 2012) and the co- herence of the European legal order (“European legal (dis) orders”, Schulthess, 2012). Gerassimos MOSCHONAS Gerassimos Moschonas; PhD, University of Paris-2, is cur- rently an Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University, Athens (Greece). He was a visiting scholar at the Universities of Yale (2005) and Princeton (2008-9) and a vis- iting professor at the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels (2006-2010) and at the University of Montpellier 1 (2006 and 2011). He is the author of “In the Name of Social Democracy, The Great Transformation: 1945 to the present” (Verso: London, New York, 2002) and of “La social-démocratie de 1945 à nos jours” (Montchres- tien: Paris, 1994). His current research interests focus on Eu- ropean integration and political parties, notably the parties of the Left.
  • 48. 46 Takis PAPPAS TAKIS S. PAPPAS (Ph.D., Yale University 1995) is associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Mac- edonia, Greece, and, currently, a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute in Florence. He has taught atYale Univer- sity; the University of Athens, Greece; the Institut d’Études Politiques, University of Strasbourg, France; the European UniversityInstitute,Italy;andtheUniversityofOslo,Norway. He has been a Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University; a Visiting Fellow at the Center for International and Area Studies, Yale Univer- sity; a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Insti- tute, Italy; and a Research Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, New York. He is the author of “Making Party Democracy in Greece”(Palgrave 1999),“The Charismatic Party: PASOK, Pa- pandreou, Power”(in Greek, 2009), and various articles that have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Comparative Political Studies, Government and Opposition, Party Politics, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, South European Society and Poli- tics, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, West Euro- pean Politics, and elsewhere. His work extends, and tries to bridge, such diverse areas as democracy; democratization; political parties; party systems; political leadership; pop- ulism; mass movements; radical change; and crisis politics. He is currently working on a book under the tentative title “Flawed Democracy: Populism and Crisis Politics in Greece.”
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  • 50. 48 PART 1. The irresistable attraction of populism in Europe Point of view Isabelle DURANT, Daniel COHN-BENDIT, Martin Hirsch 2 PART 2. Is Europe powerless? Analysis Michel Hastings 8 Nicolas Levrat 16 Gerassimos Moschonas 20 Takis PappaS 28 Table of contents Conclusions The rise in Populism demands a more radical Europe 34 Biographies 42