Hungary. Austria. Denmark. Finland, Greece. Norway. Sweden. Switzerland. Italy.

In all these countries, right-wing populist parties celebrate electoral successes, support the government, are directly involved in it or even lead it. In Germany, the AfD is steadily gaining votes, and in France, right-wing populist Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National is the only serious competitor for Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron.

Now Geert Wilders has won the election in the Netherlands. Because the Islamophobic put his core issue in the background and pretended to support the state. It's a tactic that also works for Marine Le Pen in France, who has moved far away from the more radical stance of her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Enlarge image

Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders in The Hague – creators of the right-wing mainstream in Europe (photo taken on 13 November 2023)

Photo: Peter Dejong / AP

Another factor in Wilders' success: Dilan Yeşilgöz, the leading candidate of the ruling VVD party, did not rule out a coalition with the radical PVV in the Netherlands before the election. And thus shifted the political center further to the right. After the election, when it was clear that her party would only be a junior partner in such a coalition, Yeşilgöz backtracked.

One thing is clear: With the election victory of the PVV, a party that clearly positions itself against the European Union will once again receive a majority of votes. And if Geert Wilders were to form a governing coalition in the Netherlands, it would also shift the political spectrum within the EU to the right.

Why are more and more people in European democracies voting for far-right parties? What are the established parties doing wrong? And how dangerous is this development – for the individual states and the European Community?
SPIEGEL reporter Nadia Pantel and Claus Hecking from SPIEGEL's science department talk about this in this episode.

The international podcast "Eight Billion" is published every Friday on and wherever podcasts are available. Do you have any suggestions, criticism, suggestions for topics or even praise for this show? Then send us an e-mail to the address .