Where to for the far-right in the European Parliament: The rise and fall of transnational political cooperation

N J Startin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Amidst all the academic and media discussion in recent years of the causes and consequences of the rise in support for far-right parties in Europe, an equally significant and related development has generated less debate; namely the rise and fall of a trans-national far-right political group in the European Parliament (EP). Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty (ITS) was formed in January 2007 by 20 MEPs from 7 different countries, following the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU. The cooperation was short-lived with ITS disbanding in November of the same year but its existence nevertheless represents a significant development in the relatively short history of EP party politics. Drawing on interviews with and a qualitative survey of former ITS members, as well as EP archival evidence, the paper begins by discussing why the notion of trans-national cooperation for far-right political parties has proved difficult, and thus far doomed to failure, before analysing the internal and external dynamics behind the rise and fall of the ITS group. Finally, the paper focuses on the outcome of the 2009 European elections where the probable increase in the number of far-right parties is likely to lead to further transnational collaboration in the new Parliament.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2009
EventUACES Annual Research Conference 2009 - Angers, France
Duration: 3 Sept 20095 Sept 2009


ConferenceUACES Annual Research Conference 2009


  • far right
  • European Parliament


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