Get to know ALDE Individual Members Council Elections candidates. Voting started on September 19th. We asked same two questions about electoral program and Liberals Democrats perspectives to each of them. Now it’s up to Thaleia Ntoka from Greece.
With the rise of populist movements in Europe, liberals and democrats are faced with a new challenge. What are the best weapons to deal with them?
In recent years a new movement has been established not only in Europe but also unexpectedly in the USA. It includes figures from all political parties and there is no difference whether they come from left or right, the result is the same. Citizens are divided, hate is rising, and a false agenda is highlighted as “the good one”.
What caused the rise of populism? There are a lot of theories, with the inequality to be given as the most common explanation. Fear is another theory that earns ground with its supporters to feel more and more distant since according to them the political establishment does not care about their needs, ignores them and even hates them. Some people believe that populism is a trend and will go away the same way it appeared.
I am afraid this is not true and unfortunately while we, under shock or surprise are watching terrible things happen around us, populism will grow, and populist parties will keep becoming stronger. There is no certain recipe to fight populism and we should not fight it by using its own dangerous weapons.
What we could do is to share an alternative vision. We should try to win its supporters and make them feel safe again. We should persuade those who feel threatened that Europe will not lose because of the immigrants. That we could live all together and despite our differences, our common future can be bright.
We should also not forget that our politicians carry their own mistakes and failures. Just accusing or ignoring populist movements, the problems will just become worse. A pan-European campaign against populism would help those in need to understand our vision. Our politicians should start thinking of ways to create an anti-populism movement related to progress and stability.
Populism is about emotions such as “our country, our safety” so it is time to have something similar but with the good emotions, which will include all of us, no matter where we come from.
Liberals and democrats have not had the same political strength across Europe. Do you think, looking to the next EU Elections, we should work towards transnational lists?
Transnational lists would help liberal democrats to get more votes and better results. Also, they give voters more power and they strengthen the democratic procedures. In my opinion, we should also try to help our national liberal parties to become stronger, support all those qualified and increase our presence on the national and European level. By working in two levels, we can achieve better results.