Who’s afraid of the far right?

Into its 25th year as an online cultural magazine, Eurozine can boast of a longevity unusual for an independent journalistic project of its kind. Founded as a collective of small print periodicals throughout Europe, Eurozine has always been aware of how precarious this specific sector of journalism is.

But 25 years testifies not just to longevity. Eurozine can also claim consistency. Just before the Millennium, the Internet was a way to further cultural magazines’ central aim: to widen – if not overcome – the boundaries of intellectual and critical debate in Europe. That remains Eurozine’s aim today, despite – or because of – everything we now know about the filter bubble.

If you are interested in finding out more about Eurozine’s inception and founding principles then take a look at the newest episode of Eurozine’s talk show ‘Standard Time’. Talking to Eurozine editor-in-chief Réka Kinga Papp, founding members of the network discuss the past, present and future of the European public sphere from their perspectives as experienced editors.

One detail I’d like to share here: in 2000, Austria was the focus of intense international scrutiny after the conservative People’s Party entered a coalition with Jörg Haider’s far-right. That year, the annual network meeting took place in Vienna and Bratislava. The renowned Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulić gave the opening address. Entitled ‘Who’s afraid of Europe?’, the talk addressed why the far-right was gaining ground across the continent.

Drakulić’s answer: ‘Europe is afraid of itself!’ The far-right was successfully exploiting people’s fear of identity loss, she argued, and liberal Europeans needed to offer something positive. That something was the chance of multiple identities and at the same time belonging.

In 2024 – election year in the EU and numerous European countries – nothing has changed to make that message less relevant. On the contrary. To find Drakulić’s words in the Eurozine archive is reasssuring: we’ve been here before. This is the benefit of longevity. Or as Réka puts it in the conversation: Eurozine is an anchor of sanity amidst the information deluge.

Published 6 March 2024
Original in English
First published by Eurozine

© Eurozine



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