The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has argued that the European Union’s (EU) migration, climate, and monetary policies have “completely failed” in a policy document adopted on Sunday. However, the party aims to reform the EU from within rather than withdraw from the bloc.
The policy document was adopted by AfD delegates at a party conference in the city of Magdeburg. It characterizes the EU as a “failed project” and calls for the bloc to be reformed as a “federation of European nations,” with member states reclaiming significant sovereignty.
The document states that the EU and the “globalist elites” supporting it have deviated from the original vision of the founding fathers of a European community. It points to the 2007 Lisbon Treaty as the moment when the EU transformed into an “EU super state,” with the power to act as a single entity and supersede national law.
Among a range of proposed reforms, the AfD suggests that the EU should strengthen its external borders, reduce its reliance on the US military through a policy of “strategic autonomy,” and safeguard the diversity of cultures and traditions in Europe from immigration.
Notably, the final version of the document omits the draft version’s call for the “orderly dissolution of the EU.”
At the Magdeburg conference, the AfD also selected 35 candidates to run in next year’s European Parliament elections. Maximilian Krah, an MEP since 2019, leads the list. Currently, the AfD holds nine seats in the parliament, making it the third-largest German party in the EU legislature.
In domestic politics, the AfD is experiencing a record surge in support, polling at 21%. This places the party ahead of Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) and second only to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). However, mainstream German parties have consistently rejected the idea of forming a coalition with the AfD. Additionally, a government-funded watchdog organization has recently called for the ban of the party due to its perceived “racist and nationalist” views.
Recent polls indicate that the AfD’s popularity has doubled since 2021 when the party garnered 10.3% of the votes in parliamentary elections. This surge in support coincides with Germany’s struggling economy following the imposition of sanctions on Russia, which was previously the country’s primary energy supplier. At a rally last year, AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla accused Scholz’s government of waging an “economic war” on the German people by cutting off energy imports from Russia.
It is worth noting that the AfD’s policies and positions have attracted controversy and criticism due to their nationalist and populist nature. Nevertheless, the party continues to appeal to a significant portion of the German population dissatisfied with mainstream politics and policies.