600 Thousand Euros from the European Parliament to Roberto Fiore’s neo-Nazis
The pan-European party, whose president is the leader of the Italian far-right party Forza nuova (The New Power) and whose members are Holocaust deniers and white supremacists, is on the list of those that will be generously supported by Brussels.
by Letizia Pascale
(Translated from Italian by Berni Consuelo Cannuscio and Daniel Armenti)
[Note: Fiore was a key figure in spreading the Italian “Third Position” doctrine to Britain in the 1980s, first influencing the National Front, and then the American Front, White Aryan Resistance, and ultimately National Anarchism.]
Brussels – In 2016, the European Parliament will provide almost 600 thousand euros in funding to a pan-European party of fascists, neo-Nazis, and Holocaust deniers founded by Roberto Fiore as well as the foundation affiliated with it. This information comes from official documents relating to the contributions that the European Parliament allocates each year to political parties and foundations that operate at the European level. According to documents dated January 2016, € 197,625 will go to the German foundation Europa Terra Nostra, which is linked to the European party Alliance for Peace and Freedom (AFP). That party will receive € 400 thousand in funding that is usually allocated to European parties. In total, the party will therefore receive almost € 600 thousand. The decision was made by the Bureau, which is the highest administrative decision-making body in the Parliament, composed of President Martin Schulz, 14 vice presidents (including Italians Antonio Tajani and David Sassoli) and five commissioners. However, Sassoli backed off after Eunews released the information and, after voting in favor of the budget, he has since re-analyzed the issue and is now calling for an audit of the procedures that led to these decisions.
If the the name of the party “Alleanza per la pace e la democrazia” (Alliance for Peace and Democracy) leaves space for ambiguity, the figures leading it give no room for doubt. The president of the group is Roberto Fiore, well known in Italy as the founder of Forza Nuova, sentenced in 1985 by the Italian magistrate to nine years in prison for participation in an armed group in association with the NAR (Nuclei armati rivoluzionari – Armed Revolutionary Nuclei). The secretary general of the party is the Swede Stefan Jacobsson, leader of the now-defunct Swedish Neo-Nazi party and a long-time militant of the white supremacist movement. Other members of the AFP include the Belgian Hervé Van Laethem, condemned more than once by Belgian courts for racism and a proud supporter of freedom of expression for Holocaust denial; exponents of the Greek neo-Nazi party, Alba Dorata (Golden Dawn), three members of which have seats in the European Parliament; and members of the National Democratic Party of Germany, also neo-Nazi—five governors of German states have recently decided to petition the German Constitutional Court to outlaw it.
To these individuals, the European Parliament will provide a total of approximately € 600 thousand—a surprising decision, given that the regulations on the matter of EU funding for European parties stipulate that any party that receiving funding must respect the principles of “liberty, democracy, respect of human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the state of law.” These safeguards have also been reinforced by the regulations approved by Brussels in 2014 that specifically address the criteria for funding political parties and foundations. Among other things, these new rules, which will come into force by January 2017, include as a prerequisite “respect for European values” as ratified by Article 2 of the Agreements—values that are quite different from those that motivate Roberto Fiore and company. According to its press service, “The European Parliament verifies that the party or the foundation which receives funding respects European values.” It confirms that, “there is nothing which is against Europe, liberty, or democracy” on the AFP’s website. And that seems to be all there is to it: the statement tersely indicated that, “We cannot be required to evaluate the statements of individual members of a party”.
Nonetheless, it is possible for the deputies to block this decision. A quarter of them, representing at least three parliamentary groups, can ask that funding undergo an applicability check to verify whether the party or foundation that receives it still respects the founding principles of the European Union on the subjects of democracy, respect of human rights, and fundamental freedoms.