The recent murder of a social activist in Greece dominated Wednesday's plenary debate on the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe. However, most saw the murder as only the latest symptom of a growing movement which does not spare any EU country. Many said the EU needs to pay more heed to citizens' concerns, as the prolonged crisis has left them more willing to turn to extreme views.
MEPs on all sides of the house acknowledged that people's anxiety, disillusionment, and economic instability had provided an ideal breeding ground for the far right. This needs to be addressed by using the rule of law to curtail these movements but also by making sure that governments and the EU institutions do more to take citizens' concerns on board and adapt their policies accordingly.
Specifically, MEPs suggested that the Commission investigate the activities of neo-Nazi organisations across the EU and set up a database and observatory on hate crime.
Various members on the right of the house observed that extremist movements should be tackled irrespective of which end of the political spectrum they occupy, as anyone who poses a threat to democracy is dangerous.
Watch the recorded debate via link to the right.