Research consultancy Counterpoint today launches a short film (below) in the run up to the European Parliament elections, featuring interviews with leading academics and journalists from across Europe.
The film ("We need to talk about Europe" – below) discusses the main traits of Europe's populist parties and reinforces the importance of engaging with 'reluctant radicals', the reluctant supporters of populism. It analyses the threat that populism poses to liberal democracies and the key significance of bringing out the vote for the European Parliament elections in May.
Catherine Fieschi, director of Counterpoint, said: "The first mistake we can make is not to engage with reluctant radicals, because we can bring them back into the mainstream fold. This is key because, if we were to bring them back, we would deprive right-wing populist parties of institutional representation in some key places, including the European Parliament. And depriving them of institutional representation is not fixing the problem, but it is certainly depriving them from a measure of legitimacy and of a very strong political platform. So it is definitely a goal worth going for."
This film is part of Counterpoint's Recapturing Europe's Reluctant Radicals project. The project explores the different layers of support for populist parties in Europe and the many different – and contextual – motivations for this choice. Its ultimate goal is to find ways to bring these voters back to the mainstream. To read more about this project, please go to Counterpoint's website.