Europe's Right Wing: A Nation-By-Nation Guide to Political Parties and Extremist Groups

Some claim Anders Breivik was a lone wolf, a madman, but others see in his manifesto the signs of an ideology that has spreading across Europe

Time/July 29, 2011


On the Ballot

Party: Progress Party
Leader: Siv Jensen
Key issues: Immigration, free market, law and order
Seats in parliament: 41/169

The Progress Party, which accused attacker Anders Behring Breivik once supported, won 22.9% of the vote in the 2009 election, the best result in the party's 38-year history. The second-largest party in parliament since 2005, it has historically been shunned by other parties. But in recent years, its growing popularity has moved the opposition Conservative Party to say it would consider working with the Progress Party in a coalition government.

On the Fringe


Founded in 1988, the group - described by anti-fascist organization Searchlight as a "Nazi psycho sect" - uses ancient Norse and puts its members through paintball training. In 2009, the group registered as a political party and participated in the parliamentary election, but received only 0.007% of the vote.


Neo-Nazi group founded in 1987. In 2002, two members of the group were convicted of the murder of 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen, the son of a black Ghanaian father and white Norwegian mother. The stabbing of Hermansen in Oslo, regarded as Norway's first race-related murder, triggered mass protests in the capital.


On the Ballot

Party: British National Party
Leader: Nick Griffin
Key issues: Immigration, Islam, Euroskepticism
Seats in parliament: 0/1,436

After making some modest gains over the past decade, the party's support has slumped of late. It received just 1.9% of the vote in the 2010 general election, despite fielding more than 300 candidates and attempts to distance itself from allegations of racism. Still, in 2009, the party entered the European Parliament for the first time, with two seats.

On the Fringe

English Defence League

Founded in 2009, the group, which protests the perceived spread of Islamic extremism in the U.K., is estimated to have 300-500 active members.


On the Ballot

Party: Freedom Party
Leader: Geert Wilders
Key issues: Anti-establishment, Islam, law enforcement
Seats in Parliament: 24/150

Geert Wilders single-handedly founded the Freedom Party in 2005. Despite its youth and the flamboyance of its leader - Wilders declared earlier this year that juvenile offenders should be relegated to a "village for scum" - the party has achieved overwhelming popularity. In March 2011, polls showed the party with 17.6% approval, second only to the Liberal Party, which governs in a minority coalition with the Christian Democrats.

On the Fringe

Nederlandse Volks-Unie (Dutch People's Union)

The neo-Nazi group, founded in 1971, argues for the rehabilitation of convicted World War II criminals and often appears in S.S. costume at demonstrations. The group has fielded candidates in local and national elections in recent years, but has yet to secure a seat.

Netherlands National Youth

The one-year-old group aims to establish a white Netherlands and banish immigrants.


On the Ballot

Party: Lega Nord (Northern League)
Leader: Umberto Bossi
Key issues: Immigration, devolution
Seats in parliament: 85/945

The Northern League won 12.7% of the national vote in Italy's 2010 election. The League has long been a controversial and sometimes troublesome partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition. In 1994, the League abandoned the partnership after less than a year in power, collapsing Berlusconi's government and driving him from office in 1995 - it took until 2001 for him to make it back into the president's seat. The party holds governorships in Piedmont and the Veneto region, and nine seats in the European Parliament.

On the Fringe

Movimento Sociale-Fiamma Tricolore (Tricolor Flame)

The neo-fascist political party, founded in 1995, got 0.79% of the vote in Italy's 2009 parliamentary election.

Veneto Fronte Skinheads

One of many skinhead organizations in Italy, the group, founded in 1986, is based in the Veneto region, reportedly the center of the country's neo-Nazi activity.


On the Ballot

Party: Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (National Democratic Party of Germany)
Leader: Udo Voigt
Key issues: Capitalism, globalization, Islam
Seats in parliament: 0/622

While Germany's oldest nationalist party has no seats in the Bundestag, the German parliament, it does hold seats in two of the country's sixteen states. In 2003, the German government attempted to ban the NPD, but the country's Supreme Court blocked the initiative after it was revealed that the party members whose actions formed the bulk of the government's case were in fact agents of the German intelligence services.

On the Fringe

Autonome Nationalisten

The young neo-Nazi group, founded in 2003, emphasizes violence and its members typically wear all-black. The group gain notoriety in May 2008, when an Autonome Nationalisten mob attacked a group of far-left protestors and police, lighting cars on fire and severely injuring dozens. Germany's Interior Minister at the time said the event heralded a "new quality" of far-right violence...


On the Ballot

Party: Front National (National Front)
Leader: Marine Le Pen
Key issues: Protectionism, immigration
Seats in parliament: 0/577

Led by the daughter of its controversial former head Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party won 11% of the vote in the local elections in March 2011. Since the younger Le Pen took the reins in January, the Front National's popularity has surged, with opinion polls suggesting Le Pen could win the first round of next year's presidential election. It also holds three seats in the European Parliament.

On the Fringe

Nomad 88

The violent neo-Nazi group - which, like all neo-Nazi groups in France, is banned - came to public attention in 2008 when three of its members went on a shooting spree to "purge" the suburbs of immigrants. The perpetrators, who did not claim any victims, were sentenced to prison in 2010, along with nine other Nomad 88 members, for offenses ranging from arms possession to membership in a violent gang.

Bloc Identitaire

Founded in 2003, this nationalist political group promotes French heritage and opposes inter-racial marriage. In 2006, the group was accused of distributing pork-laden "identity soups" to homeless people in Nice, Paris, and other European capitals with the express purpose of excluding Jews and Muslims.


On the Ballot

Party: Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest)
Leader: Bruno Valkeniers
Key issues: Flemish independence, multiculturalism, traditional values
Seats in Parliament: 15/150

The party won 12% of the vote in Flanders as recently as 2007, but support has waned recently with the emergence of the more moderate New Flemish Alliance. In the June 2010 elections, Party Vlaams Belang won 7.8% of the Flemish vote.

On the Fringe

Bloed, Bodem, Eer en Trouw (Blood, Soil, Honour and Loyalty)

In 2006, 17 members of this neo-Nazi outfit, founded two years previously, were charged with planning terror attacks on the National Bank and plotting an army-led coup to create a fascist Flemish state. Their trial is set for December. That same year, student and BBET follower Hans van Themsche went on a racially motivated shooting spree in Antwerp, killing two.


On the Ballot

Party: Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party)
Leader: Pia Kjaersgaard
Key issues: Immigration, Euroskepticism, traditional values
Seats in Parliament: 25/179

With a leader who is often voted Denmark's most powerful woman, the party secured 13.8% of the vote in the 2007 parliamentary election, making it the third-largest party in Denmark.

On the Fringe

National Socialist Movement of Denmark

Founded in 1991, the group is an officially registered neo-Nazi political party with roots in the Danish Nazi party. In April 2010, its leader Jonni Hansen was found not guilty on charges of spreading racist propaganda.


On the Ballot

Party: True Finns
Leader: Timo Soini
Key issues: E.U. and euro bail-outs, immigration
Seats in Parliament: 39/200

The True Finns emerged from obscurity to capture 19% of the votes in the April 2011 election, finishing just behind the conservative National Coalition Party and the Social Democrats. When the two top parties came to form the current six-party coalition government, the True Finns were excluded.

On the Fringe

National Socialist Workers' Party

Founded in the run-up to the April 2011 election, the anti-immigration, neo-Nazi group - which claims a few dozen activist members - made a failed attempt to formally register as a party.


On the Ballot

Party: Sweden Democrats
Leader: Jimmie Akesson
Key issues: Immigration, crime, Islam
Seats in Parliament: 20/349

With 5.7% of the votes in the 2010 elections, the Sweden Democrats won seats in parliament for the first time. The party was once more extreme, but in 2001 shed its Nazi trappings - including uniforms and swastikas - to gain mainstream appeal.

Party: Svenskarnas parti (Party of Swedes)
Leader: Daniel Höglund
Key issues: Immigration, crime, multiculturalism
Seats in Parliament: 0/349

In 2010, the party won 2.8% of the vote in the Grastorp municipal election, giving the party its only seat in Sweden. Höglund, who formerly led the Nationalsocialistisk front - or Aryan Brotherhood - took up the councillorship, only to be disqualified because of illegitimate residential status.

On the Fringe

The Swedish Resistance Movement

According to Searchlight, the group, founded in 1996, attracts Sweden's "most violent and pro-terrorist Nazis." Several men associated with the group have been jailed for violence in recent years, including Hampus Hellekant, who served time for the murder of union official Bjorn Soderberg in 1999.


On the Ballot

Party: Jobbik
Leader: Gabor Vona
Key issues: Roma minority
Seats in Parliament: 47/386

Gained entry into parliament for the first time in April 2010, after securing 16.71% of the vote in general elections. The party also secured three seats in the last European Parliament elections.

On the Fringe

Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard )

The banned paramilitary group was co-founded in 2007 by Jobbik leader Vona. At the Hungarian Guard's inaugural ceremony, during which members were sworn in wearing Nazi uniforms, Vona explained that the group had been set up "in order to carry out the real change of regime and to rescue Hungarians.


On the Ballot

Party: Freedom Party
Leader: Heinz-Christian Strache
Key issues: Euroskepticism, immigration, cultural identity
Seats in parliament: 34/245

The Freedom Party joined Austria's coalition government in 2000 and has become a powerful force in the country. In the 2010 state elections, the party garnered 25.77% of the vote, coming in second to the Social Democratic Party and doubling its seats in parliament. By March 2011, the Freedom Party had an approval rating of 29%, putting it neck-and-neck with the country's two other major parties. Its photogenic young leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, notoriously called women in burqas "female ninjas" in 2008 and has promised to cut off funds for "bankrupt E.U. countries" if he is elected chancellor.

Party: Alliance for the Future of Austria
Leader: Josef Bucher
Key issues: free markets, privatization, Atlanticism
Seats in parliament: 21/245

The economically liberal Alliance focuses less on hot-button cultural issues than does the Freedom Party, and is more moderate regarding immigration and the E.U. In the 2010 elections, the party claimed only 1.3% of the vote.

On the Fringe

Volkstreue Ausserparlamentarische Opposition Founded in 1986, the party was banned by the Austrian government in the 1990s. Its former leader, Gottfried Kuessel, was arrested in April 2011 for allegedly running a pro-Nazi website and is awaiting trial.

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