What is Antifascist Europe?
Antifascist Europe is an antifascist research project focused on the inter-, and transnational networks, cooperation, and interaction of far-right players all over Europe. The scope ranges from right-wing terrorist groups to fascist/neonazi comradeships, new-right fellowships, conservative think tanks, and parties (both inside and outside parliaments), on the national and European levels.
Antifascist Europe, therefore, collects and provides:
- information about the international activities of far-right actors including elections, terror acts, violent attacks, protests and other significant events by far-right individuals and groups
- monthly country reports from various European states
- scientific and journalistic research on far-right developments in different European countries
- analysis of the ideological orientation, background and political agendas of far-right groups and parties on a local, national and European level.
Why Antifascist Europe?
Far-right networks are currently spreading and capable of establishing transnational support structures, ranging from intellectual exchange to financial and logistical backing, mutual promotion, advertising, and participation in joint events such as actions, demonstrations, concerts, sports tournaments, and festivals, and as far as supplying safe houses, hideouts and even weapons.
In some countries, right-wing and nationalist parties have entered, formed, or are part of governments and are opening gateways for far-right actors into official spheres and funding opportunities. Often, established party groups in local, regional, and national parliaments remain closely connected to the backstage: think tanks, the wider “befriended“ fascist or Nazi scene, but also underground militias, youth organizations, intellectual circles, internet communities, and activists of new street politics (such as those of an anti-vax or anti-immigrant character). Some examples show that intimidation, violent attacks, and terrorism can emerge from this symbiosis.
The internet plays an important role in connecting the far-right internationally. New kinds of semi-private communication tools provide the space for radicalization and identity building. Image boards, messenger services, and chat fora offer new forms of “community“ and push and trigger perpetrators into taking action. Monitoring must keep a watchful eye on this deadly development: assassins like the ones in Christchurch, Halle, and Hanau, and all of the misogynous “incel” attackers were part of and active in international internet communities and relied on their support.
These developments need to be understood and analyzed through information sharing and knowledge production in order to address, challenge, and defeat the far-right successfully. By creating a central archive of constantly updated data, Antifascist Europe seeks to build on and contribute to the existing monitoring done by antifascist groups at the local, national or regional level and to strengthen the capacities of antifascist groups (from local initiatives to left parties) in that effort.
How does Antifascist Europe work?
The data that Antifascist Europe collects, processes and partly publish on its website comprise data submitted by regional coordinators through their own research, local and regional networks, and informants from all over Europe and the public or is obtained from other open sources. This data largely stems from publicly available news sources and consolidated information from publicly available data sets and records. These records, however, tend to be limited in scope and fail to give a comprehensive picture of the internationally interlinked activities of the far-right in Europe. All data collected and intended for publication on the Antifascist-Europe website is verified and quality controlled as our team takes great care to verify sources where any doubt exists.
Who is Antifascist Europe?
Antifascist Europe is a cooperation between Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Khalifa Ihler Institute, and individuals in different European countries. We are thus a small European network that consists of professionals, academics, and activists from different backgrounds.
Antifascist Europe is well aware that there are many different definitions, descriptions, and claims of what fascism or far-right ideology is supposed to be. Terms such as fascism, nazism, the far-, or radical right, white supremacist, nationalist, populist, authoritarian, and nationalist-conservative are multifaceted. In our careful use of these terms, we acknowledge that the many categories overlap and can be hard to delineate. Furthermore, there are significant differences in how fascism, the far right, etc., are named and defined in various languages, treated in regional or national contexts, and considered from a historical perspective, such as in the bipolar world of the Cold War.