The growth of populist sentiment in Europe could prove a turning point in the political history, in order to save democracy need bold solutions, said in a report on Wednesday, the experts of the World Economic Forum on global risks in 2017 year.
The document notes that the recent rise in popularity among populist parties and movements in many Western countries is an ongoing trend with a long history. Common to these parties and movements, regardless of whether they are right or left of the political wing, is a call to national sovereignty and criticism of the ruling elite that they failed to protect voters from the negative influences of globalization. These topics were important components of the victorious campaigns in the UK at the time of voting on Brexit and in the US during the presidential elections.
The report's authors note that such calls are best resonate in Europe as well as problems in the EU and the euro area create a fertile ground for the growth of populist sentiment and the desire to return to national sovereignty. According to research, support for far-right parties rose in the four largest European countries - Germany, Britain, France and Italy. However, they are not far behind, and Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Greece, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. In Spain and Ireland, these sentiments have led to the fragmentation of forces in parliament, making it difficult to take effective decisions and interfere to form stable government. At the same time, there is evidence that young citizens no longer believe in democratic principles and begin to consider other policy options.
- Circumstances where the objective facts less influence on public opinion than an appeal to the rapid economic and technological change, further stratification of the population in social and cultural areas, as well as the emergence of the so-called "postpravdy": three factors The main causes of undermining the democratic foundations of the authors of the document called emotions and personal faith. The last factor is related to the fact that in recent years very little credible media readers and social media provide them with exactly the content that they want to see, forming the audience, supporting a particular point of view.
According to the research, for the successful preservation of democracy, Western politicians need to involve more people in the economy, creating new well-paid jobs, to learn how to make changes, who want to see the voters, while reforming the institutions of government so that it was not necessary to change the government. It is also important to reconcile the growing nationalism in a society with ideas of multiculturalism.
The report at the same time do not give clear guidance on how it should be the country to conduct its policies in order to achieve these goals, and noted that the issues of "health democracy and the challenges of cultural polarization and economic division, have no direct answers." At the same time it emphasizes that the current trend towards intensification of populist sentiment "may be a turning point in the political history" and therefore requires a fresh and bold ideas.