Confronting Far-Right Extremism in Europe

Welcome remarks by:

Dr. Frances Burwell 
Vice President, European Union and Special Initiatives
Atlantic Council

A conversation with:

Ms. Susan Corke
Director, Antisemitism and Extremism
Human Rights First

Dr. Marlene Laruelle
Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University

Dr. Alina Polyakova
Deputy Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

Moderated by:

Mr. Christian Caryl
Foreign Policy Magazine

A wave of far-right populism is sweeping across Europe. Once on the fringes of politics, extremist parties are capitalizing on the refugee crisis and the financial meltdown of 2008 to gain at the polls. The re-emergence of anti-immigrant and isolationist groups and parties in Europe erodes the European Union’s ability to coordinate policies for solving Europe’s crises. Indeed, their growing popularity undermines the basic tenets of the European project. Taking advantage of Europe’s far-right turn, Russia has been aiding its far-right allies, which in turn publicly support Putin’s geopolitical interests and foreign policy agenda. Western policymakers have been slow to recognize the problem and to effectively respond. At a time when Europe faces some of its greatest challenges, we urgently need strategy-driven policies to strengthen the transatlantic relationship.