In his latest article for The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Henry Farrell, along with Abraham Newman, examines the current state of the far-right European parties and their relationship to the European Union. In particular, they examine the issue through the lens of France’s National Front, which has been accused of misusing European Parliament expenses, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the leader of the Brexit movement. Farrell and Newman find that most anti-European Union parties tend to benefit greatly from the existence of the EU, and, indeed, might not be capable of continued existence without the coalition.
“As both the UKIP and National Front stories demonstrate, there are two things that far-right parties like about the European Union — its election resources and its money. It seems paradoxical that the European Union is paying the parties that want to dig its grave. Indeed, the trouble that the National Front is in may reflect the fact that some European authorities are unwilling to continue this arrangement. The National Front is certainly not the only party guilty of sketchy behavior with European Parliament money — the fact that the Parliament has gone after it, triggering the French investigation, may have as much to do with politics as the desire to uproot corrupt practices.”