Among the many consequences of the pandemic, economic crisis and war in Ukraine for Europe is the rise of right-wing movements that challenge the sustaining of political centrism and traditional left-leaning parties. Do such changes serve to additionally complicate the managing of the European Union and push the Western Balkans into a neglected corner, where there is also the basis for the rise of the right?
What could far-right parties’ recent victories in Europe mean for the EU and the region? Are election results in Italy and Sweden an anomaly or a symptom of the rise of the far right across Europe – marking the resurgence of far-right parties running on platforms of anti-immigration and nationalism? These are questions being asked by intellectuals and the general public around the world. In this issue’s Focus, we asked our interlocutors to add their own concerns to these universal ones. Specifically, we asked them to ponder the potential repercussions that the rise of the extreme right in Europe could have on the EU itself, but also on our region. Here are the responses of experienced diplomats, political scientists and experts most familiar with political situations in Europe.