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Parties that express xenophobic discourse in the form of hate speech or promote an anti-migrant and/or anti-minority agenda

Key Area:
Political Parties-organisations - Racist & Xenophobic Discourse
22/01/2013 - 14:29
Short Answer

There are several parties in Germany that express xenophobic discourse in the form of hate speech or promote an anti-migrant and/or anti-minority agenda

Qualitative Info

“National Democratic Party of Germany” NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands)

The most prominent party in Germany that expresses xenophobic discourse in the form of hate speech or promotes an anti-migrant and/or anti-minority agenda is the “National Democratic Party of Germany”, NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD). From a political point of view, the NPD does not have enough power to make political decisions which could influence rights of particular groups such as migrants or minorities. In the two state parliaments where the NPD is represented, it only constitutes a small part of the opposition. Yet, this should not gloss over the fact that the political propaganda of the NPD may incite ethnic, religious or other kind of hatred between the majority population and different minority groups in Germany. For example, the NPD declares every person who is not an ethnic German to be an “alien element” (Fremdkörper) and wants to deprive them of the right to live in Germany (BVerfS 2010, p.72). Moreover, the party propagates a strict line of “repatriation of migrants“ (Ausländerrückführung (ibid., p.73). Following an anti-Islamic orientation, the NPD also provides promotional material supporting the 2009 Swiss prohibition of minarets.
The democratic parties in Germany have for years been discussing initiating a ban of the NPD. The first attempt to ban the NPD failed in 2003. The submission of a NPD ban request to the Constitutional Court is now at the top of the agenda in the German parliament. On 10 December 2012, the Minister-Presidents of the Länder agreed to submit a second NPD ban request to the Constitutional Court. On 14 December 2012 the Federal Council decided to submit the request to the Constitutional Court.

“German People´s Union“ DVU (Deutsche Volksunion)

The DVU is not represented in the national parliament or in any of the state parliaments. Due to internal conflicts and financial problems, the party´s capacity to act is severely limited. Responding to these problems the DVU and the NPD decided to unite under the name “NPD – The People´s Union” (NPD – Die Volksunion) in January 2011. To date, according to German law, the fusion of both parties is illegal (BVerfS 2010, p.96-98; BT 2011a, p.1). Nevertheless, the 2009 report of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution acknowledged that the DVU is able to stir up fears in the German population when speaking about “foreign infiltration” (Überfremdung) and “Islamisation” (Islamisierung) (BVerfS 2009, p.105-106).


“The Republicans“ REP (Die Republikaner)

The REP celebrated some electoral successes in 1989 and in the 1990s when the party entered the European parliament (1989) and the state parliaments of Berlin (1989) and Baden-Wuerttemberg (1992 and 1996).The party has increasingly been losing the support of voters since the end of the 1990s. At the national level, the REP was never voted into parliament (Edathy/Sommer 2009, p.46; Kailitz 2009, p.116). From a political point of view, the party has been more or less powerless since 2000. Nevertheless, the REP should not be dismissed when analysing the political right-wing milieu in Germany. The party has been drawing attention to itself through repeated right-wing extremist remarks, particularly at the local level. The risk of hate speech by the REP therefore exists, despite the party’s weak political impact. Based on the evaluation of Edathy and Sommer (2009), the REP represents the “new radical right”: a movement with an anti-migrant attitude and radically free-market thinking. Other parties in Europe which belong to this movement are the Austrian “FPÖ”, the Norwegian “Fremskrittspartiet” or the “Vlaams Belang“ from Belgium. The German “pro”-parties which are mentioned in the next section constitute a second representation of this right-wing populist milieu (Edathy/Sommer 2009, p.45). The REP is characterized by a distinct xenophobic orientation. Today the Party aspires to establish a homogeneous society and fights mainly against a supposed Islamisation of Europe (ibid., Kailitz 2009, p.120).


Citizens´ Movements “pro… ”: “pro Cologne”, “pro NRW”, “pro Germany” (Bürgerbewegungen: pro Köln, pro NRW, pro Deutschland)

The citizens´ movement “pro Cologne” was established in 1996 in form of an association (NRW VerfS 2010, p.58). Later, the association “pro NRW” emerged from the movement. After its establishment in February 2007, the members of “pro NRW” decided to transform the association into a local party seven months later (Arbeitsstelle Neonazismus 2010, p.13-14). According to the association, the pro-movement at a national level – “pro Germany”, which is registered as a political party was founded in January 2005(ibid., p.19). The association “pro Cologne” and both political parties, “pro NRW” and “pro Germany” are standing or will stand in upcoming local and national elections. Therefore, these citizens´ movements are analysed as political parties in this section.

Pro Cologne:

After the local election in 2009 “pro Cologne” is represented in seven City Councils (e.g. in Cologne, Bonn and Leverkusen) and four County Councils with one to five delegates (Arbeitsstelle Neonazismus 2010, p.17).

Pro NRW:

The state election of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2010 was a defeat for “pro NRW”. The party only received around 1 percent of citizens´ votes and was therefore not voted into the state parliament (NRW VerfS 2010, p.73-74). Since the 2009 local elections, three members of “pro NRW” are representing the party in the City Council of Gelsenkirchen. Moreover, one member has a mandate in the City Council of Lemgo (Arbeitsstelle Neonazismus 2010, p.17).

Pro Germany:

In September 2011, “pro Germany” stood in the election of the Berlin House of Representatives. This was the first election in which citizens could vote for the party.
The “pro”- associations are not equipped with enough comprehensive political power in the form of mandates in councils or parliaments to shape policy according to their ideas. Moreover, none of the “pro”- movements have many or influential followers to achieve future electoral successes. On the other side, the “pro”- associations, especially “pro Cologne”, got a lot of attention at the local level because of protests and campaigns against constructions of mosques and minarets, e.g. in Cologne-Ehrenfeld (Arbeitsstelle Neonazismus 2010, p.11). Although the movement at first stirred animosity against certain minorities such as prostitutes, refugees or drug addicts, “pro Cologne” and the other “pro”-movements now almost exclusively focus on campaigning against Islamisation. Slogans like “Freedom instead of Islam” (Freiheit anstatt Islam) or “Occident in the hands of Christians” (Abendland in Christenhand) reveal the nationalistic and racist attitudes of the pro-associations. The Islam has become the proclaimed enemy (NRW VerfS 2010, p.69. The movement caused a national scandal in September 2008, when they organised an Anti-Islamisation-Congress in Cologne. Right-wing extremists and populists from all over Europe were invited to speak at the congress. However, after great protests against the event, it had to be cancelled (Edathy/Sommer 2009, p.52-53). The members of the “pro”- associations are mainly former members of other parties and organisations, such as the NPD, the REP or the “German League for the Nation and Homeland” DLVH (Deutsche Liga für Volk und Heimat) and aim to foster fears and spread prejudices against Muslims (NRW VerfS 2010, p.61). This danger may not be neglected.




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Parties NPD, DVU, REP, Pro Deutschland, Pro NRW, Pro Köln
Size - Membership 7.300 (estimations by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution)
Electoral power no electoral power at the national level
Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Persons with disability
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance, Nationalism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Political discourse -parties - orgs
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