The Foreign Policy of the Radical Right: Targeting the EU’s Multilateralism

The Foreign Policy of the Radical Right

From 2018 and into 2019, Radical Right (RR) parties were in government in Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. This development provides an opportunity to examine whether RR parties in government have a distinct approach to foreign policy. The four RR governments did not engage much with foreign policy, but the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) was the one instance in which the RR succeeded in affecting the EU’s position.

Arising from this case, the paper firstly examines whether this opposition to the GCM was due to a systematic hostility to multilateralism. Secondly it examines whether the RR had a role in shaping the EU’s position on the GCM. The paper concludes that the RR’s antagonism to multilateralism focuses on its opposition to further EU integration in foreign policy. The RR governments, particularly in Hungary and Austria, succeeded in their campaign to diminish the actorness of the EU in the GCM negotiations and in undermining the credibility of the whole negotiations process.

Download the working paper here.

Keywords: EU actorness, foreign policy, migration, multilateralism, Radical Right.

Julia Himmrich is a Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.