The economic crisis has coincided with a discernible rise of right-wing populist parties in a number of European countries. This was most recently seen in elections in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Right-wing populist parties also hold parliamentary seats in Austria, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, and they have been part of coalition governments in Italy and Switzerland for some time. In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front, although not represented in parliament, wields considerable political influence, and may receive an additional electoral boost should Le Pen’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, inherit the party leadership. True, these parties still enjoy only rather limited electoral support. But their influence is more significant than what is reflected in their parliamentary mandates, particularly in relation to ongoing struggles over “European values” and identity.

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