In this edition of The Network, we look at the question of cutting funding to the EU’s far-right groups accused of failing to observe fundamental EU principles such as liberty, democracy and respect for human rights, which are necessary to qualify for public funding.
Critics argue that the Alliance of European National Movements – which includes Nick Griffin’s British National party, Hungary’s neo-fascist Jobbik party, Bulgaria’s far-right National Democratic party and the Front National in France – is not properly scrutinised and that many of its members actively promote racism, homophobia and authoritarianism.
Such a move could strip the BNP of 400,000 euros worth of EU funding.
But some fear limiting free speech and cutting off funding to eurosceptic politicians could only drive the wedge deeper between their taxpaying voters and the EU. Others argue there is no reason why the far-left should not also be targeted by such a move. And others still say cutting off funds would have little impact as parties or groups would just re-apply under a new name.
With us to discuss this issue are: Alexandra Swann, a journalist and activist for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP), Emilie van Haute, Professor of Political Science at the Free University of Brussels, and Enrique Guerrero, a member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of the Socialists and Democrats Party Group.