The establishment of an anti-Establishment party
On 28 May 1979 the VNP was disbanded and the political party VlaamsBlok (Flemish Block, VB) was founded as a fusion of the VNP and the
nationalist wing of the VVP (Gijsels 1992: 88; Dewinter and Van Overmeire
1993: 91–3). Dillen (VNP) became party leader and Piet Bocken (VVP)
deputy leader. Shortly thereafter Bocken was replaced by Roeland Raes
(VVP), who continues to fill this post in 1999. For the first few years the VB
remained a small splinter party that drew its
This book provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the five main parties of the extreme right in the Netherlands (Centrumdemocraten, Centrumpartij), Belgium (Vlaams Blok), and Germany (Die Republikaner, Deutsche Volksunion). Using primary research — including internal party documents — it concludes that rather than right-wing and extremist, the core ideology of these parties is xenophobic nationalist, including also a mix of law and order and welfare chauvinism. The author's research and conclusions have broader implications for the study of the extreme-right phenomenon and party ideology in general.
? Let us have a look at Belgium, a country where the mainstream parties have installed such a cordon , refusing to cooperate with the radical right party Vlaams Belang (former VlaamsBlok) after this party began to make rapid electoral gains. Critics said that this strategy would only promote the further advance of the party, which would complain of being a victim and claim to be ostracized by the country’s “political elite.”
The critics seemed to have been right. The VlaamsBlok/Vlaams Belang got 10.4 percent in the parliamentary elections of 1991, 12.3 percent
)/Venstre VAS Left Alliance (Finland)/Vasemmistoliitto VB Flemish Bloc (Belgium)/VlaamsBlok VL Green Union (Finland)/Vihreä Liitto VLD Flemish Liberals and Democrats – Citizens’
Party (Belgium)/Vlaamse Liberalen en Demokraten –
Partij van de Burger VP Left Party (Sweden)/Vänsterpartiet VU People’s Union (Belgium:
Flemish-speaking)/Volksunie VVD People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy
brought forward to December 1978. The VVP was prepared to enter
into such a merger, for the duration of the election only, but laid claim to a
dominant role in the election list. This was, in fact, what happened, and in
December the two anti-Egmont parties campaigned for a joint list of candidates under the name VlaamsBlok. The list was dominated by the VVP both
in terms of ideology and candidates, but to everyone’s surprise only Dillen,
whose followers had persuaded him to stand for the list in Antwerp, managed to win a seat in Parliament. Claes failed in his bid to
’s Flemish Interest (VB – Vlaams Belang) party (previously called the VlaamsBlok) is quite possibly the most extreme of European PRRs. Until very recently, the party and its base openly espoused anti-Semitic sentiment. The party was even founded by a well-known Holocaust denier. The VlaamsBlok’s extremism led to an organized effort by the mainstream parties to shut it down, but this hardline stance increased the view of the VB as a martyr persecuted by the establishment. Non-cooperation nonetheless ensured the VB never entered a coalition government.
script, while an English transcription is
used for the languages which use only Cyrillic (e.g. Živkov vs. Zhivkov).
1 Danmarks Statistik. Resultater Folketingsvalg, 15.8.2011. Available online at www.
2 In 2004, the VlaamsBlok (Flemish Block) was outlawed by a decision of the Court
of Cassation which found the party in violation of laws against racism. A new party,
Vlaams Belang, was formed afterwards.
3 ‘Western Balkans’ is a political term brought into being by the EU. It encompasses
all of the countries of the
on the supranational level
is, then, performed by the EU as well, which gained notoriety for imposing
sanctions against Austria when the Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche
Partei Österreichs, FPŐ) was included in the coalition government (Mudde in
Eatwell and Mudde 2004:204–205).
Only in a few cases has the party been banned – most recently the case of
the Workers Party (Dělnická Strana) in the Czech Republic, which was banned
for inciting racism and xenophobia in 2010. Nevertheless, this case (similarly
as with the case of the VlaamsBlok) shows that the ban
has had a number of ‘expressive leaders’ … including Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Rand Paul amongst others. The Belgian VlaamsBlok had a leadership ‘triumvirate’ of Frank Vanhecke, Filip Dewinter and Gerolf Annemans.” He added: “However, these examples of multiple concurrent leaders remain exceptions to the rule” (Benjamin Moffitt, The Global Rise of Populism – Performance, Political Style, and Representation (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016), p. 168).
10 Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy (Cambridge: Polity
) recorded close to 10 percent of the vote
in 1986, and then saw its electoral score rise ﬁrst to 16.6 percent in 1990,
then to 22.5 percent in 1994, and then to a massive 26.9 percent in 1999. The
VlaamsBlok (VB) has also performed well at the polls in this time period,
recently securing over 16 percent of the vote in Flanders. In Scandinavia, the
Fremskridtspartiet (FRPd) and the Fremskrittspartiet (FRPn) (Danish and
Norwegian Progress Parties) have received over 10 percent of the vote on a
number of occasions since the late 1970s, and the Dansk Folkeparti (DF)