The “populist surge” in Europe has far from peaked and is the most significant change to the European order since the end of the Cold War, a new report by former British left-wing Prime Minister Tony Blair’s own think tank has claimed.
Assessing what the report identifies as a “populist threat” as a means to defeat it and “renew the centre”, the globalist Institute for Global Change document questions widely-held assumptions that right-populist politics is an “interlude”, or blip in history which “optimistic” observers believe will burn out.
To the contrary, the Institute’s own research shows “the trend line suggests that populists will continue to gain strength in the next round of elections”, and particularly in Eastern Europe, the report noting: “Populists are strongest in Eastern Europe. They routinely out-compete the political mainstream and have already taken power in seven countries: Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia.”
Populism could instead prove to be “the new normal” and may “drive European politics into a more nationalist and protectionist direction… governments would move decisively towards restricting net migration flows; make access to some social benefits conditional on citizenship status; and undermine minority rights in key respects.”
Looking forward, the paper predicted that should the next decade see populist parties enjoying the same growth as they had in the past ten years, then nations like Germany and Sweden could too see themselves “vulnerable” to such movements.
The report comes as left-wing papers including The Guardian and New York Times mourned the “demise of Europe’s centre-left”, at the expense of the populist right, noting surging right-wing parties across the continent.
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Beyond protecting Europe’s borders, one of the areas of right-populist influence that apparently most concerned the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change authors was changes to institutions, across Europe often created or shaped in the post-war period and widely acknowledged to be totally in the hands of mainstream, politically-left management as a result of the famed “long march through the institutions”. One prominent example of such change being presently wrought by a European populist government is reform of the judiciary in conservative Poland.
A hangover of the old Communist system, the Polish government was elected on a platform of judicial reform to increase accountability in the courts, but has been relentlessly attacked by globalist institutions such as the European Commission for attempting to rebalance. Poland and Hungary are both key points of interest in the Tony Blair report, where the ruling parties of both nations are accused of emphasizing “a nationalism based on soil, blood, or culture”.
Despite the criticism, the report concedes “populist governments in Hungary and Poland are as popular as ever”.