In France and the Netherlands populist leaders Wilders and Le Pen make plans to “wreck” the EU from within. this is, however, not to be seen as an isolated phenomenon. In Greece, populist parties on the far-left and far-right campaign primarily with anti-EU rhetoric. All around Europe traditional political parties are being challenged by populist movements. If the political groups of this tendency would agree on common positions, it could very well mean that a new political group would emerge in the European Parliament. Established political colors have to question themselves on which position to adopt towards populist parties. In view of the possible loss of voters, do we need to take the rising criticism against the EU even more seriously? How shall the established parties dapt their policy proposals and their discourse? Isn’t there a risk to fall into the same populist rhetoric? How should we argue against statements, such as Geert Wilders’ will to liberate Europe from “the monster in Brussels”? Our event aims at discussing the possible consequences of the shift of power in the European Parliament due to the rise of populist parties. The discussion will address the challenge this shift is representing for established political parties and how they should face it.
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