European divisions ‘hardening’, warns German think tank

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"The refugee crisis and social hardship resulting from the eurozone crisis are putting the European project under unprecedented strain, with populism gaining ground in many EU countries – from Hungary, Poland, and France to the UK and Germany, warns the Bertelsmann Foundation, an eminent German think tank....

While climate change, terrorism, and migration flows are best tackled internationally, the political responses are still rooted at the nation-state level, damaging the trust and legitimacy of national governments.

This has favoured hardline political parties which have risen to power in places like Hungary and Poland, eroding democratic standards and press freedom along the way. In France, the far-right extremist party Front National is “enormously popular among voters” and in Germany, the new party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is “exploiting the refugee issue for purposes of a right-wing smear campaign”.

“In light of these developments, the EU faces the greatest test in its history and is miles away from finding mutual solutions,” the Bertelsmann Stiftung concludes."

See: European divisions ‘hardening’, warns German think tank (euractiv, link)

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