Germany: AfD fills top spots for EU elections

At a party convention held on the weekend the German AfD selected its top candidates for the 2024 European elections. Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament representing the far-right wing of the party, was elected as the lead candidate. Thomas Haldenwang, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has warned of growing unconstitutional tendencies. Commentators see the moderate faction as weakened and assess the situation.

Stuttgarter Zeitung (DE) /

Racking up successes with extreme positions

Not much remains of the more moderate camp in the party, the Stuttgarter Zeitung notes:

“Already at last year’s national party conference in Riesa it was apparent how influential the far-right ‘völkisch’ group around the Thuringian state leader Björn Höcke has become. This impression has now been confirmed at the meeting in Magdeburg. With Krah, the party has opted for an openly right-wing top candidate. ... And yet another factor suggests that the right-wing extremists in the AfD are likely to become increasingly powerful: the party is currently more successful than ever. It has no reason to deviate from this line.”

Rebekka Wiese
Tageblatt (LU) /

A party of paradoxes

EU lead candidate Maximilian Krah might find it challenging to answer some thorny questions for the AfD, states the Tageblatt:

“For instance, why the party aims to dissolve, restructure, or establish a new EU, while still wanting access to European funds. Or why exiting the Euro and Nato would be beneficial for Germany, as well as shifting away from the West and moving closer to Russia, which is only appealing to an extreme minority — the Putin supporters. These and many other contradictions within the AfD could be too glaring to be ignored by the voters this time. At least, that’s the hope.”

Hagen Strauss
Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Exclusion amplifies polarisation

In Rzeczpospolita’s view the parties need to break free from the shackles of political correctness:

“The appeal and rising support for this party can largely be attributed to its willingness to openly and loudly express what many ordinary Germans think today, a sentiment that the traditional political parties, trapped in a circle of political correctness, are hesitant to acknowledge. This triggers a self-reinforcing mechanism where the mere rejection of citizens’ alternative views propels politics towards increased polarisation and instability.”

Marek A. Cichocki