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As ideologies shift in Europe

Apr 02,2017 - Last updated at Apr 02,2017

The world is facing several crises today.

In the Middle East, so far, there is a security crisis; other countries around the world are facing a serious ideological threat.

Europe’s problems are, in part, related to external factors such as refugees, but there are also internal issues.

The dominant topic in the media, discussed by analysts and ordinary people is Islam and the fear of terrorist attacks.

It is a major topic of conversation and debate across the populace and the arguments are starting to have an impact on the society.

The populist xenophobic trend sweeping through Europe does not appear to be temporary; it is more of a cultural shift that could have a broader impact on European cohesion, which at the moment is tenuous at best.

While in the recent elections in the Netherlands the rightwing parties did not poll as high as expected, they still attracted 19 per cent of the vote.

This is a very strong base to build on for the future, and it can be expected to grow in power and influence.

The next European elections coming up are in France, where the potential victory of Marine Le Pen will establish a new trajectory for the whole continent.

If Le Pen wins, she will find it very difficult to separate from the EU, as that will require a referendum. 

However, her policies are likely to create difficulties for broader European economic policy and put the European Central Bank and EU unity in general at risk.

On the eastern front, the policies of the Turkish government adopted anti-EU rhetoric, calling on Turks in Europe to move in favour of the Turkish president.

Provocations, such as mention of the demographic battle that Muslims should focus on in their approach to invade Europe, can be seen as assisting extremist groups whose doctrine is based on intimidation and fear.

Still, the refugee issue is being used as leverage by the Turkish government to blackmail Europe and threaten its internal systems.

Ideologies are changing across Europe. 

The goal of moderate governments is to deprive extremist groups of the right to dominate the debate.

This requires a clever approach to the issue of identity and religion within national borders, and a serious endeavour to maintain the rule of law and the authority of the state in order to defeat the narrative of populist and xenophobic groups.

Europe must protect its civilisation, which is based on respect, dignity, justice, liberty, diversity and human rights.

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