Europe’s Newly Found Isolationism

Camilo Zeballos, Reporter

Angela Merkel has said that she will officially retire from office in Germany in 2021. Immediately after this, many people started to launch their own campaigns in hopes of succeeding Merkel, the front-runner being Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn.

He aims to have a more conservative and clear approach saying that because “above all because our own position is not clear,”  support for the Christian Democratic Union and the center-right party has gone down. He says that because Merkel supported unchecked immigration and opened the borders of Germany, people were left unhappy and confused with the party. He promises to close the borders and focus on bettering Germany.

Sweden saw a similar movement in the results of the Swedish elections earlier this year. While the usual two major groups were the most popular, a third party, that many people didn’t expect, The Sweden Democrats, became more prominent as well. They are known for their radical ideas on immigration and a purist community and gained nearly 18% of the general vote in Sweden.

Europe, with liberal parties in most political positions, is now seeing a surge in conservative and isolationist ideals. The Sweden Democrats (not to be confused with the Swedish Social Democrats, the current party of their prime minister) believe in limiting immigration. They have strong roots in Fascism and Nazism, and while the current leader of the party claims that they have “left those roots behind,” some people still speculate that they may have a hidden agenda. Support of parties like these in Germany and Sweden have gotten greater, and leave many people wondering where this will lead. Even though many people condemn this we see many young Europeans supporting this new ideological movement. They believe that they should stop immigration to their countries and further help the countries where these immigrants are coming from to improve their living conditions so they won’t want to leave.