1 Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS With the financia support from the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union European Commission - Directorate-Genera Home Affairs Vidhya Ramaingam
2 About this report From 2012 to 2014, the Swedish Ministry of Justice and the Institute for Strategic Diaogue (ISD) are partnering on a pan-european project aiming to enhance understanding of what works in preventing and countering far-right extremism in 10 countries (Denmark, Finand, Germany, Hungary, the Netherands, Norway, Poand, Sovak Repubic, Sweden, the UK). Over the course of the two-year project, the partnership has carried out research and country visits to identify measures taken at the poicy eve and by civi society, and gather best practices. This report is the second in a series of pubications to share the key chaenges, and essons earned about what works in tacking far-right extremism. The project wi aso deveop an onine too to provide practica training for practitioners, and wi seed a ong-term network of experts and practitioners working to counter far-right extremism. About the author Vidhya Ramaingam eads ISD s programme of work on far-right extremism and integration and diversity. In addition to this project aiming to enhance European cooperation in tacking far-right extremism, she runs a cross-european study of what works in integration poicy and practice. Her recent pubications incude Integration: What works? and Far-Right Extremism: Trends and Methods for Response and Prevention. Her work on far-right extremism has been featured in the Guardian, Huffington Post, the New Statesman, and internationa press. Vidhya hods an MPhi in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Anthropoogy and Inequaity Studies from Corne University. Acknowedgements The author woud ike to thank Hanga Sántha at the Swedish Ministry of Justice for her partnership on this project. At ISD, she is gratefu for guidance and editoria input from Rache Briggs, and research assistance from Nei Mier. ISD and the Ministry of Justice are gratefu to the European Commission for its financia support for the project, and the support of the governments of Finand, Norway, Denmark and the Netherands, as we as Exit Fryshuset as associate partners on this project. Finay, the author woud ike to thank the inspirationa individuas interviewed across these 10 countries, for sharing their persona stories and insights into tacking this probem. This project aims to ampify their voices and experiences. With the financia support from the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union European Commission - Directorate-Genera Home Affairs Institute for Strategic Diaogue, 2014 This materia is offered free of charge for persona and non-commercia use, provided the source is acknowedged. For commercia or any other use, prior written permission must be obtained from the Institute for Strategic Diaogue. In no case may this materia be atered, sod or rented. The Institute for Strategic Diaogue does not generay take positions on poicy issues. The views expressed in this pubication are those of the authors and do not necessariy refect the views of the organisation. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This pubication refects the views ony of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be hed responsibe for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Cover photo: A screen shot from a YouTube video upoaded by a German far-right extremist movement caed The Immortas. The Immortas use text messaging to organise spontaneous fash mobs, wearing back cothing and white masks.
3 Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS Vidhya Ramaingam
5 CONTENTS Executive Summary Introduction 1 1 Defining the probem 5 Agents of far-right extremism 7 Far-right extremist activities 9 Socia and poitica context 10 2 Government approaches to far-right extremism 13 Genera differences in approaches to far-right extremism 13 Poicy frameworks for tacking the far right 14 Main areas of poicy 16 3 Chaenges to impementation 25 Definitions 25 Poor data 26 Pubic debates on immigration and nationa identity 26 Lack of awareness by first-ine responders and the genera pubic 27 Working together - who does what? 27 Securitisation of the issue 28 Baancing democratic vaues and reguation 28 Responses are out of touch with modern deveopments 29 4 Poicy recommendations 31 Lega framework 31 Pubic order management of far-right incidents 32 Prevention and deterrence 33 Exit programmes 35 Data coection 36 Pubic awareness and poitica eadership 36 Capacity buiding 37 5 Concusions key recommendations for poicy makers 39 Endnotes and References 43
7 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The threat from the far right in Europe Severa recent events have focused attention on the growing dangers posed by the far right in Europe. In October 2013, Ukrainian born Pavo Lapshyn was convicted of raciay-motivated murder and for potting a campaign of terror against mosques in the UK. In May 2013 commenced the tria of Beate Zschäpe, the ony surviving member of the Nationa Sociaist Underground (NSU), a far-right terrorist group which has been inked to a series of murders of immigrants, the murder of a poicewoman and the attempted murder of her coeague, the 2001 and 2004 Coogne bombings and 14 bank robberies. In August 2012, Anders Behring Breivik was convicted for the murder of 77 peope in twin terrorist attacks in Norway. Security agencies such as Europo have documented heightened eves of right-wing extremist activity across a number of countries in Europe. 1 Whie such high-profie and high impact events hit the headines, the buk of the threat posed by the far right is fet through smaer-scae ocaised harassment, intimidation and buying by extremists targeting minority communities. The dichotomy between nationa security and community safety means that, as a resut, far-right extremism tends to be reegated to a second tier security threat, even though its impact is fet on a daiy basis by individuas and communities across Europe. Far-right extremism takes a number of forms. There are four main types of agents: youth gangs, white power and skinhead groups; terrorist ces and one actors; poitica movements and paramiitary groups; and nativist, identitarian and anti-isam movements. They engage in a wide range of activities: spontaneous hate crime, vandaism and hooiganism; street demonstrations; shock tactics; hate speech and incitement; and panned hate crime and terrorism. Though often rooted in its oca context, far-right extremism has impacts across borders. Groups and methods in one country are often mirrored esewhere, and onine connectivity is making this more common. There is aso evidence of cooperation between nationa groups and the pooing of knowedge and expertise. About this report Whie there has been considerabe attention devoted to the growing threat posed by the far right, this has mosty been nationay specific. To date, there has been extensive research on the probem but very itte on the response. This is one of the first cross-european comparative studies of soutions to far-right extremism. This report aims to address both these shortcomings by documenting poicy responses to the far right in 10 European countries: Denmark, Finand, Germany, Hungary, the Netherands, Norway, Poand, Sovak Repubic, Sweden, and the UK. It invoved interviews with over 100 inspirationa individuas, from those
8 writing Nationa Action Pans to counter extremism to frontine professionas carrying out one-on-one interventions with far-right supporters. This report is the second in a series of pubications to share the key chaenges in tacking far-right extremism across Europe, and essons earned about what works from poicy through to civi society. In 2012, a voume of country reports was pubished to set out the history, existence and varieties of far-right extremism across the 10 countries. 2 A third report wi be aimed at practitioners. Government approaches to far-right extremism The weight given by governments to far-right extremism varies across Europe; many states are ony recenty transitioning away from the assumption that far-right extremism is simpy a norma mae youth issue, and some countries and many oca authorities remain in denia of the probem at a. Across the 10 countries, governments tend to take one of four broad poicy approaches to tacking the far right. Genera crime prevention and socia poicy approach: Countries ike Denmark have buit their extremism work into genera crime prevention structures, with a focus on preventing risk behaviours across different forms of extremism. The benefits of this approach are that preventative measures are not sioed, but buid on existing frameworks and socia structures, engaging with those actors aready coming in contact with vunerabe individuas. Securitised approach: This approach sees poice or even inteigence agencies eading on response to the far right, as has been the case in Hungary. The chaenge with this approach is that the probem is viewed excusivey through a security ens, which can ead to mistrust and suspicion between socia services, civi society and security services. This approach aso tends to resut in an underinvestment in broader preventative measures. Some countries, ike Sovakia, are in the process of moving from a securitised approach to a more hoistic one. Socia integration-inked approach: Linking integration strategies with the fight against far-right extremism can be beneficia as it widens the concept of integration beyond measures for ethnic minority communities to those for a society resiient to extremism and intoerance. In Denmark and the UK, the same government departments are responsibe for integration poicy and the fight against far-right extremism. In many ways, the prevention of far-right extremism needs must aso focus on ensuring that members of the majority community are achieving on integration outcomes. Muti-agent and muti-eve approach: Some countries, such as Germany, take a muti-actor approach. This ensures a hoistic strategy, but creates significant chaenges of coordination and information sharing across ministries and regions and between government and non-governmenta organisations (NGOs). Underneath the poicy frameworks, there are a sma number of poicy content and deivery areas that constitute responses to the far right. Each country prioritises these poicies according to a number of factors, such as its understanding of the probem, historica context, or government-community dynamics. The key poicy areas are: ega and repressive measures, pubic order management, prevention, deterrence, Exit programmes, data gathering, pubic communications, and training and capacity buiding.
9 Chaenges to impementation Severa chaenges have hampered the deveopment and impementation of responses to far-right extremism. Definitions: Many countries sti ack a cear definition for far-right extremism or strugge with idefined terminoogy with respect to ega definitions of hate crime. Poor data: The actua threat posed by far-right extremist movements is chaenging to assess; data coection is patchy and dogged by under-reporting; there is often more tak than do within the far right, so it is hard to know when words wi turn into actions; more needs to be done to understand the ink between cas for vioence in the onine space and rea-word attacks; and in neary every country there is a data gap between inteigence, government, academics, and civi society. Lack of awareness by first-ine responders and the genera pubic: Many European countries strugge with a genera ack of awareness of signs and symptoms of extremism among poice and key infuencers (individuas who come into daiy contact with vunerabe individuas, incuding teachers, socia workers, menta heath practitioners, and others). The genera pubic can aso be a powerfu force in prevention and intervention efforts, and ow pubic awareness about the nature and scae of the threat has hindered communities from sef-reguating far-right extremism where possibe. discourse on immigration, integration, diversity and nationa identity. Given sensitivities to these issues, poiticians are sometimes reuctant to speak out. Working together who does what?: Responding to the far right necessitates cooperation between governments, poice, inteigence agencies, frontine workers, NGOs and community activists. Many countries are sti strugging to work out who does what and how to work together effectivey. Securitisation of the issue: Though far-right extremism deserves to be taken seriousy as a security concern, in some countries the securitisation of the probem has contributed to measures that have hindered rather than heped. Baancing democratic vaues and reguation: Managing ideoogica extremism of any nature comes with the inherent chaenge of ensuring that democratic rights and freedom of speech are uphed. There is evidence to suggest that banning movements can ead to unintended and counter-productive outcomes. Governments must raise the barriers to participation in far-right activities, whie maintaining freedoms of speech and protest. Responses are out of touch with modern deveopments: Many of the methods being empoyed are outdated and do not make good use of modern technoogy, popuar cuture, and other trends appeaing to the target audiences. Pubic debates on immigration and nationa identity impact on the probem and on our abiity to tacke it: The issue of far-right extremism is embedded in and impacted by a wider pubic
10 Poicy recommendations This report makes 10 key recommendations for poicy makers: 1 Responses to the far right need to be underpinned by a strong ega framework A sound ega framework is the bedrock of any response to far-right extremism and aws need to be visibe, consistent and be accompanied by a communications pan. At a bare minimum, a countries shoud have a cear ega instrument on hate crime. This shoud be underpinned by strong antidiscrimination aws. The EU shoud adopt a comprehensive framework on hate crime. Nationa governments need to put in pace ega recognition for victims groups across a prerequisites of discrimination. These prerequisites need to be based on historica and current evidence, as we as anticipate future targeted identities. The EU shoud prepare a directive on victims rights specificay targeted to victims of hate crime. Governments need to resource awareness and capacity buiding activities with poice and NGOs to ensure the appropriate impementation of the aw. 2 Pubic agencies and communities need to work together to deiver robust and effective pubic order management responses Pubic order disturbances are the most common expressions of far-right extremism across Europe. Good pubic order management can minimise the impact of protests on oca communities, buid trust between those who need to work together to tacke the far right, and reduce the daiy misery experienced by those who are targeted by right wing extremists. Some of the most effective methods have gotten community members invoved in oca poicing initiatives, invoved rea-time tension monitoring, or engaged in diaogue with movements themseves before and during activities. Nationa governments, municipaities, poice and NGOs need to share good practice on what works in pubic order management responses, incuding both onine and offine efforts. 3 Governments need to make serious ong-term investments in preventive measures It is essentia that governments invest in substantive prevention programmes to tacke the far right in both the short and ong-term. This needs to cover a number of bases. Governments shoud support programmes for young peope to buid asting reationships with others from diverse backgrounds. They shoud aso invest in the resources needed for this work, incuding fim testimonias and onine resources, to act as counter-narratives and guides for practitioners. These resources need to make better use of technoogy. Governments shoud aso fund tensionmonitoring work and then depoy preventive programmes in areas with potentia for farright extremism. Governments, the poice and NGOs need to work together to take on the difficut conversations with the hard to reach in a communities.
11 4 Governments need to put in pace nationa Exit programmes to hep individuas to eave far-right movements and groups behind Many individuas who want to eave far-right groups and movements end up trapped because they strugge to find jobs, housing and socia support outside these extremist networks. This report advocates that a countries set up a nationa Exit programme. These programmes tend to be more effective and credibe when they are independent of government, though they are ikey to ony be sustainabe through government or statutory funding. 5 Governments need to fund a variety of attractive deterrence activities to keep young peope away from far-right infuences Governments need to support activities to divert young peope from attending and participating in far-right movements and activities. During key times, such as far-right marches, they need to work with key infuencers to deter young peope from taking part. strategy and action pan to coordinate efforts. This may fa within a broader strategy to counter vioent extremism, or may stand aone. 8 The EU, governments, poice and NGOs need to work together to improve and streamine data gathering on the threat from the far right There are significant improvements required to data coection. States need to make better use of and poo existing data. Governments need to move beyond poice data, given its imitations. The EU coud hep to ensure that data is coected systematicay by formuating reporting requirements as a part of an EU framework on hate crime. Governments need to support research and testing on ways in which new media can support the coection of data on far-right extremism. 6 Governments and NGOs need to work together to enhance pubic understanding of the threat from the far right, underpinned by cear and decisive poitica messages There is a rea need for poitica eadership on the issue of the far right. Poiticians need to be more courageous about making pubic statements denouncing far-right ideoogies, intoerance and hatred. Governments need to have in pace dedicated media strategies focused on responses to the far right. 7 Governments need to put in pace nationa strategies and action pans for tacking the threat from the far right There are many different approaches to tacking the far right across Europe, but whatever the preferred focus, it is vita that governments have a nationa Governments shoud work to ensure more data on the probem is made pubicy avaiabe, and weighty academic studies are transated into digestibe formats for poicy makers. 9 Major capacity buiding initiatives are needed to enhance the abiity of frontine workers to spot and respond to the signs of radicaisation towards the far right The effectiveness of ega instruments and poicy frameworks is imited by the capacity of frontine workers. Governments shoud fund training and capacity buiding programmes for poice, municipaities, teachers, NGOs, community and youth workers, and eected officias. These are most effective when they are deveoped and deivered
12 in partnership with civi society, invove human stories and testimonias, and make good use of modern technoogy. 10 Governments must adopt ong-term funding arrangements to make responses to the far right more sustainabe and effective Finay, one of the recurring themes of the report has been the frustration with short-termism in reation to responses to the far right. Lega and poicy frameworks wi hep to tacke the far right, but those working at the street eve to tacke extremist groups and movements need the stabiity and ong-term funding to be abe to put in pace measures to not just tacke today s probems, but prevent their recurrence in the future.
13 INTRODUCTION Europe has been confronted repeatedy with the grim reaity of right-wing extremism over the past severa years. In October 2013, Ukrainian born terrorist Pavo Lapshyn was convicted for raciay-motivated murder and for potting a campaign of terror against mosques in the UK. Lapshyn confessed these attacks were motivated by racia hatred, and were done with the aim of sparking a race war. In August 2012, far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was convicted for the murder of 77 peope in twin terrorist attacks on Norwegian government buidings and on the isand of Utøya, the deadiest attack in Western Europe since the 2004 bombings in Madrid. Before the attack, Breivik distributed a compendium of texts entited 2083: A European Decaration of Independence, setting out a word view borrowed from authors around the gobe, in which he argued for the vioent annihiation of Eurabia and muticuturaism. Meanwhie, a mounting campaign of harassment and vioence against asyum seekers, ethnic and sexua minorities has presented itsef in various forms across Europe. In the past five years, Hungary and Sweden were both hit by a string of seria kiings of Roma and peope of immigrant background. The probem of farright extremism has been a persistent one, and exists in every European country to varying degrees. Far-right extremist groups have tended to be ess we organised than other extremist movements. But in countries where there is a ow voume of group activity within the far right, there is often a greater risk of individuas carrying out incidences with potentiay high impact. Where the far right has been better organised, marches and demonstrations have been featured in headines, from Engish Defence League demonstrations to the 11 November march on Poish Independence Day. Community organisations representing victim communities, incuding Musims in the UK and LGBT communities in Poand, shared stories of fear and intimidation by far-right activists, from smashed office windows to persona threats. The impacts of these demonstrations on communities cannot be ignored. It is a chaenging probem to dea with, not east because it is intertwined with pubic and poitica debates on immigration and integration, nationa identity, and nationa security. Far-right extremists may even be riding on narratives that are actuay accepted by arge sections of the mainstream popuation, or ideoogies advocated by mainstream poiticians. Far-right extremism is often reactionary, paying off current affairs and traumatic events to mobiise supporters around hatefu messages. One need not ook further than the dramatic rise in onine support (from approximatey 25,000 supporters to over 100,000 within days) for the Engish Defence League (EDL) in the days immediatey foowing the murder of Lee Rigby in Woowich in London in Governments and communities need to be front footed and anticipatory with responses to far-right extremism. Far-right extremism has aways been internationa in nature, but is increasingy so onine. These movements are operating beyond country borders, Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe 1
14 whether through the deveopment of spin-off movements ike the Defence League mode initiated in Britain and repicated in the Nordic countries, or through copy-cat vioence, ike the arrest in Poand of a man who aegedy had been inspired by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik to pan to bomb the Poish pariament buiding in Warsaw. 4 The chaenge of far-right extremism is, and shoud no onger be, one that can be sioed in individua states poicy and civi society responses. Internationa cooperation is needed to deveop an understanding and transfer knowedge about the nature of these movements, and how we can respond across borders. As part of the fied research for this project, over 100 inspirationa individuas were interviewed across 10 countries (Denmark, Finand, Germany, Hungary, the Netherands, Norway, Poand, Sovak Repubic, Sweden, the UK), from those writing Nationa Action Pans to counter extremism to individuas carrying out one-on-one interventions with far-right supporters. This report is the second in a series of pubications to share the key chaenges in tacking far-right extremism across Europe, and essons earned about what works from poicy through to civi society. There has been a high voume of chatter and concern about the far right among mainstream governments, civi society and the media, but there has to date been a ow voume of strategic and panned action to tacke these groups. More action is visibe in some countries, ike Germany, where the probem has existed on a arge scae for decades and continues to grow. Where there is a higher voume of action, there is bound to be a higher voume of mistakes to earn from. Some of the best initiatives often go undetected, as frontine professionas are simpy getting on with their work rather than speaking about it. This report seeks to ampify those voices and experiences. Achieving more cooperation at the European eve and promoting cross-border exchange aows us to earn faster, encourages innovation, and means that those with ess experience can earn from those with more. Chapter One sets out what we know about far-right extremism and how it impacts communities at the oca and nationa eve. It presents a typoogy of the four main agents of far-right extremism across the countries surveyed here, and the types of activities they engage in. These are: youth gangs, white power and skinhead groups; terrorist ces and one actors; poitica movements and paramiitary groups; and nativist, identitarian and anti-isam movements. It aso paints a picture of how the wider context of a country s history, immigration and demographics, pubic attitudes, and the presence of a strong radica right poitica force can aso impact far-right extremism. Chapter Two presents the current state of government responses to far-right extremism, setting out four structures of government poicy on this issue: genera crime prevention and socia poicy approach; a securitised approach; a socia-integration inked approach; and muti-agent and muti-eve approach. Within these structures, there are a number of methods which broady fa into seven categories: ega and repressive measures; pubic order management; prevention; deterrence; Exit programmes; information and pubic communications; and training and capacity buiding. This chapter discusses the importance and imitations of these approaches, and how they are appied to varying degrees across the 10 countries surveyed. Chapter Three highights the chaenges that have hampered the deveopment and impementation of 2 Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe
15 sound responses to the far right across these countries. These incude: definitions; poor data; ack of awareness by first-ine responders and the genera pubic; the impact of pubic debates on immigration and nationa However, the far right has been persistent and fexibe, and can have a potentiay high impact. Governments need to put aside poitica differences and demonstrate a cear commitment to tacking this issue. identity on the probem and on our abiity to tacke it; ack of cooperation and understanding where responsibiity ies; securitisation of the issue; baancing democratic vaues and reguation; and that responses are out of touch with modern deveopments. This report recognises the chaenges facing European Chapter Four presents a series of detaied recommendations to improve design and impementation of European poicy to tacke far-right extremism. This report makes 10 key recommendations for poicy makers. governments in deaing with far-right extremism. 10 key recommendations for poicy makers 1 Responses to the far right need to be 7 Governments need to put in pace nationa underpinned by a strong ega framework strategies and action pans for tacking the threat from the far right 2 Pubic agencies and communities need to work together to deiver robust and effective pubic 8 The EU, governments, poice and NGOs need order management responses to work together to improve and streamine data gathering on the threat from the far right 3 Governments need to make serious ong-term investments in preventive measures 9 Major capacity buiding initiatives are needed 4 Governments need to put in pace and support to enhance the abiity of frontine workers to spot and respond to the signs of radicaisation towards the nationa Exit programmes to hep individuas to eave far right far-right movements and groups behind 10 Governments must adopt ong-term funding 5 Governments need to fund a variety of arrangements to make responses to the far right more attractive deterrence activities to keep young peope sustainabe and effective. away from far-right infuences 6 Governments and NGOs need to work together to enhance pubic understanding of the threat from the far right, underpinned by cear and decisive poitica messages Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe 3
16 4 Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe
17 CHAPTER 1 DEFINING THE PROBLEM Europo defines far-right terrorist groups as those that seek to change the entire poitica, socia and economic system on an extremist right-wing mode, whose ideoogica roots can usuay be traced back to Nationa Sociaism. 5 Far-right extremism is a much broader concept encompassing a diverse range of groups with different ideoogies, ranging from ess ideoogica youth street gangs to neo-nazi terrorist ces, to anti-isam activists and registered parties seeking to affect change through the poitica system. There are, however, some defining features: racism, xenophobia, utranationaism, and authoritarianism, more often than not manifesting in anti-democratic, or anti-ibera democratic, means. 6 It is important not to overstate or exaggerate the threat. In severa countries, security services have deemed the threat from far-right extremism to be minima, and even on the decine. 7 In Norway, far-right vioence and hate crimes have decreased since the mid-1990s. 8 The estimated number of far-right extremists in the Netherands has decined from 600 individuas in the year 2007 to 300 peope in 2010 and approximatey 100 individuas today. 9 The assessment of the threat as reativey weak in some paces is often attributed to the far right s inabiity to form a coherent socia movement, a ack of pubic support, and the effects of aw enforcement or ega restrictions. Far-right movements tend to strugge from disorganised organisationa structures, often fraught with in-fighting and ideoogica differences between members. Leadership tends to be weak in some groups, eading to eventua fragmentation or decine. This has often meant that the threat of organised crime is ow, as groups ack the capacity to carry out arge scae panned attacks. They often ack capacity even to carry out marches and demonstrations, as emphasised by the ow turnout at Defence League marches in 2012 as the EDL mode was exported to the Nordic countries and the Netherands. 10 However, there are reasons to be concerned about how the probem might deveop. Estimated figures of participation in movements are not often soid indicators of the threat. Even in countries where inteigence reports minima numbers, most experts contend that far-right extremism is simpy a hidden phenomenon, ess visibe due to a strong pena code and socia stigma against these groups, and increasingy active onine. 11 There is a high eve of chatter in the onine space, and ess is known about the reationship between tak and action. Worryingy, Europo confirms that many members of the extreme right-wing scene have been found in possession of a significant amount of firearms, ammunition or exposives, and informants referenced numerous exampes, from the Netherands to Sovakia, of far-right groups providing training in combat techniques and target practice. 12 The perception that far-right extremism is not a major threat is aso driven by a tendency to ook at these groups as irreevant to inquiries into nationa security and terrorism. However, ower-eve hate Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe 5
18 crime, spontaneous attacks and intimidation are reguar occurrences in most countries and have a significant impact on community safety. Some states have acknowedged that far-right extremism poses a significant threat at the oca eve. The Finnish Ministry of Interior s pubic Situation Overview on vioent extremism notes that right-wing extremism poses the biggest threat to Finand at the oca eve. 13 The UK has focused on empowering oca authorities to dea with the far right, with much of its work deivered through the Department for Communities and Loca Government. Some countries have recorded higher numbers of far-right extremist supporters in recent years. In Germany, the Federa German Inteigence (Verfassungschutz) estimated the number of far-right extremists in 2013 to be 21,750, incuding approximatey 9,500 who are potentiay vioent. 14 In Sweden there is known to be two to three thousand active and we-organised far-right extremists, as compared with ess than 200 in Norway and Denmark. 15 The Nationa Independence Day march in Poand, which brings out arge swaths of far-right supporters, saw its argest turnout in 2013 with 66,000 individuas invoved across Warsaw, according to poice estimates. 16 Countries ike Poand have aso seen a rise in hate crimes of 25 percent from to Large numbers within the far-right scene may not de facto correate with a strong capacity for vioence. This can often depend on the contro that groups themseves, or even radica right poitica parties which have a tendency to attract extreme right individuas, impose over far-right supporters. Some Hungarian experts attribute a ower eve of organised extreme right vioence to the tight contro the radica right party Jobbik retains over its members and supporters. 18 In the Netherands, extremist nationaist and neo-nazi movements have decined in size and intensity of activities as the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid) has gained at the pos. Though there remains itte evidence to prove a correation, interviews in the Netherands reveaed a strong sense that the success of this party has served as a safety vave, channeing the frustrations of vioent movements into the democratic system. 19 However, the risk remains that far-right movements are unabe or unwiing in some cases to contro their members and denounce vioence. Though most individuas affiiated with far-right movements do not go on to commit acts of vioence, history shows that many individuas convicted on terrorist charges have passed in and out of organised movements or parties at various points in time. Though often rooted in oca contexts and issues, far-right extremism aso has pan-european eements and impacts. Methods in one country may often be found mirrored in others, and in an age of increasing connectivity onine, these trends are becoming a the more common. For exampe, trends often beginning in Germany transpire to the Czech Repubic, and are subsequenty seen in Sovakia (as is the case with Autonomous Nationaists movements). 20 Norwegian experts have noted that the Norwegian neo-nazi movement has become more organised as a resut of inspiration and assistance from the Swedish far right. 21 Events which tend to draw internationa participants from across Europe, such as the commemoration of Rudof Hess (which was officiay hed in Germany unti its prohibition in 2005, but remains ceebrated across Germany and Scandinavia) and Nationa 6 Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe
19 Independence Day in Poand, and even the Finnish Defence League fags found fying at Engish Defence League marches, demonstrate the potentia for internationa mobiisation. 22 Even the movement of convicted terrorist Pavo Lapshyn, who was known to Ukrainian authorities after an exposion in his apartment, to the UK to carry out a series of attacks begs the question whether cross-border attacks may become more common. Agents of far-right extremism There are broady four types of far-right extremism across the countries surveyed in this project: youth gangs, white power and skinhead groups; terrorist ces and one actors; poitica movements and paramiitary groups; and nativist, identitarian and anti-isam movements. Though these are distinct categories with different eves of importance attached to ideoogy, there are overaps between them, often in terms of personne and persona ties. This is not meant to be an exhaustive typoogy, but rather to make sense of the diverse set of actors which fa under the term far right. Together they form what has been caed the tip of the iceberg, the visibe agents of extremism, which are underpinned in each country by a compex infrastructure (history, socio-economic context, pubic attitudes, and poitics) which contribute to the chaenge in their own way. 23 Youth gangs, white power and skinhead groups This is a very diverse grouping, ranging from ess-ideoogica youth gangs to strongy ideoogica white power and neo-nazi movements. Youth gangs are often ocay-based, consisting of young peope (under-18s), oitering and engaging in harassment of oca individuas and businesses. These groups are often based on petty racism and prejudice, rather than fuy formed ideoogies, and may unite around popuar far-right symbos, the wearers of which may not even know their history or meaning. 24 These groups often ack strong eadership and organisationa capacity. There is often a high turnover rate as individuas grow out of the scene, or eave the area. 25 White nationaism is an ideoogy which advocates a racia definition of nationa identity for white peope, and it is underpinned by the notion of white supremacy the beief in the supremacy of the white race and inferiority of a other races. In neary every country in this study, a sma core white supremacist or neo-nazi movement exists. Those movements which remain the most persistent and have achieved the most internationa reach incude Bood & Honour and Combat 18. Though these may be sma and organisationay weak ocay, individuas may be part of a mass merchandising empire which inks them gobay. These movements are often intertwined with subcutures, incuding skinheads, footba hooigan groups, and aternative music scenes ike back meta. Terrorist ces and one actors This category encompasses individuas and sma groups carrying out pre-meditated acts of vioence, motivated by far-right ideoogies. Individuas may be affiiated with groups, or have passed through a number of groups, on their ideoogica journey. Anders Behring Breivik was a one actor that had passed through severa poitica parties and movements and was underpinned by an onine network of ideoogues and boggers, before carrying out the argest act of right-wing terror in Europe in decades. Pavo Lapshyn is an exampe of a one actor radicaised individuay. Some have argued that the one actor phenomenon is particuary saient Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe 7
20 in far-right extremism, where there is ideoogica buyin to the notion that individuas shoud gather weaponry and prepare for an inevitabe race war. 26 Some have caimed that the concept of a one actor is a myth, given that individua perpetrators are often shaped and infuenced by a range of other individuas and groups. 27 Sma groups of individuas may form terrorist ces, which may be independent or inked in some way to broader organisations. The Nationa Sociaist Underground, a far-right German terrorist group uncovered in 2011, is a prime exampe of one which operated undetected for decades, carrying out a series of murders of immigrants, bank robberies, and bombings. Poitica movements and paramiitary groups Far-right poitica parties and movements attempt to organise ocay and nationay, and infuence oca and nationa poitics. Though groups with neo-nazi affiiations can often be controed by the pena code in some countries, they tend to be versatie and work around bans to function under the aw. Poitica groups are aso fuid; movements which begin with neo-nazi and skinhead foowings can transform over the course of decades to more moderate radica right parties. Paramiitary groups are increasingy forming and are often aied with poitica movements and parties in Centra and Eastern Europe. In Poand and Sovakia, these have been modeed on the success of the Hungarian Guard, which was dissoved by Budapest Tribuna in Such civiian miitias caim to defend the popuation in the absence of any defence by the government. Additionay, in neary every country in this study, paramiitary training has been carried out by sma groups of individuas (often no more than peope) as an informa socia activity or structured boot camps. 28 Larger groups are active as we; for exampe, the Sovak Conscripts is estimated to have 200 or 300 members. 29 Key activities of groups ike this incude target practice, in many cases on visua representations of the enemy, ethnic minorities, mainstream poiticians and others. 30 Nativist, Identitarian, and anti-isam movements This category of movements is a more modern deveopment within the European far right, broady based on the preservation of ethnic and cutura identity, and opposition to immigration and muticuturaism. It thus advocates for the identitarian defence of Western or nationa vaues against severa enemies and infitrators, which may incude asyum seekers, Isam, muticuturaism and those who advocate for them. Identitarian movements with roots in France are appearing in the Netherands, Germany, and the Nordic countries. Anti-Isam movements argey gained momentum after September 11, and are internationay aigned across Europe and North America. Prominent anti-isam ideoogues ike Pamea Gear and Robert Spencer are engaged in cross-border diaogue and partnerships with European groups ike Stop the Isamization of Europe. In the UK, the EDL has strugged consideraby with individuas from white power and neo-nazi movements attempting to use it as a patform for more extreme means. This has ed to the spintering and fragmentation of the movement, incuding the recent departure of former EDL eader Tommy Robinson from the group Od Threat, New Approach: Tacking the Far Right Across Europe