Europeanists against democracy: towards a dissolution of the AFD?
Every Monday morning, you can listen the director of the Identity and Democracy Foundation on Ligne Droite, Radio Courtoisie’s morning show, followed by his column on our website. This week, we focus on the threat of dissolution of the AFD, Germany’s main patriotic party.
Watch the video:
Over the past few days, Germany has been rocked by protests against the AFD. Can you tell us more about them?
For several weeks now, demonstrations have been taking place across Germany, calling for the dissolution of the Alternative for Germany (AFD), Germany’s main patriotic party. These demonstrations are part of a vast media and political campaign that has seen leading German newspapers and personalities from the country’s main political parties, both left and right, call for the AFD to be banned. Religious leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, even added their voices to the din, claiming that the patriotic party’s values were incompatible with the Gospels. With the AFD on the rise, Germany’s political and media elites are raging against German patriots.
Could you remind us what the AFD is?
The AFD was founded 10 years ago. It is a populist, patriotic and sovereignist party that denounces the diktats of Brussels and the mass immigration that is increasingly affecting Germany. It has also taken positions critical of the German government, notably during the COVID crisis and the war in Ukraine. The AFD is a member of the Identity and Democracy Party, and its foundation, the Desiderius-Erasmus-Stiftung, is a member of the Identity and Democracy Foundation. In recent years, the party has risen in the polls to become the country’s second-largest party, with over 20% of voting intentions. In the eastern parts of the country, where unemployment and poverty are most prevalent, the party has even exceeded 30%, and could become the leading party in the elections to be held this year in Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony. Faced with this rise in power, Germany’s elites are increasingly brandishing the threat of dissolution.
What’s behind the current campaign?
Obviously, the real reason is the AFD’s rise in the polls, which is worrying the German elites. But what sparked off these demonstrations was an article in the German media Correctiv, which reported that a secret meeting had been held in Potsdam last November, at which AFD leaders had drawn up a secret plan to expel a large proportion, or even all, of Germans of foreign origin. Correctiv and the other German newspapers that relayed this “information” did not hesitate to compare this conference to the infamous Wannsee Conference of 1942, during which Nazi dignitaries met to organize and plan the extermination of Europe’s Jews. There is therefore a real desire on the part of the German media and politicians to demonize the AFD by accusing it of wanting to carry out real ethnic cleansing in Germany. These demonstrations are part of the denunciation of this so-called secret plan.
And what about this so-called plan?
Obviously, there is no such plan. Last November, a series of conferences was organized in a hotel by a German patriotic association. Political, economic, and intellectual leaders were invited to reflect on the political situation in Germany. Of these conferences, only one dealt with the question of immigration, and saw an Austrian intellectual talk about the concept of “remigration”, but with reference to illegal immigrants, foreigners and Germans with dual nationality who are delinquents. This is a far from a secret conference, a secret plan or even an AFD conference. If AFD executives were present, neither this intellectual nor the organizers are members of the AFD or represent the AFD. This is a clear attempt to smear AFD at a time when its discourse is becoming increasingly popular.
Is there a real risk of dissolution of the AFD party?
Not in the short term, because even within the German media and political elites, some consider that initiating a dissolution process would only strengthen the AFD, especially as such measures take a very long time. Dissolving, or threatening to dissolve the AFD, would be a real democratic scandal. And that’s where the real danger lies. In recent years, patriotic ideas have been increasingly censored on social networks and private platforms such as Youtube and Twiter. We now see that a new step has been taken with the threat of using public force against an opposition party, brandishing the threat of dissolution. It should be remembered that the AFD’s youth organization is already classified as an extremist entity threatening democracy, making it possible to monitor the movement’s activities and tap its leaders. Correctiv, the media company behind the whole affair, is financed by the German state, and this campaign against what is becoming the country’s leading opposition force is open to question. Similarly, in France, with the “Complément d’enquête” program devoted to Jordan Bardella, public television broadcast an incriminating investigation against the president of the main opposition party on the eve of an election in which he is a candidate and could win. This is a worrying use of state resources against patriots, and the beginning of a challenge to democracy, or at least to the way democracy works, by the pro-Europeans. Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, said in 2015: “There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties”. The real threat is there: it’s not a so-called secret plan by the patriots, it’s this headlong rush by the pro-Europeans, who will do anything to defend their interests and their vision of the world.