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Corona agitation is not a German phenomenon: All of Europe is struggling with right-wing conspiracy narratives and right-wing terror


Berlin, Feb. 16, 2021. Anti-Semitic conspiracy narratives have spread across the European continent in the wake of the Corona pandemic. The trend towards a decentralized but networked international right-wing terrorist scene continues. These are the findings of the Europe-wide report “State of Hate – Far Right Extremism in Europe,” published by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation together with the HOPE not Hate Charitable Trust from the UK and the Swedish Expo Foundation.

“Europe’s far-right and anti-democratic scene is connected in many ways – but anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and White Supremacy ideologies is uniting them. This makes this report by independent, civil society researchers all the more important, as it describes local manifestations and thereby also makes the commonalities visible, that we must fight together to protect democracy and human rights,” says Anetta Kahane, Chair of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

To find out how international right-wing extremism is interconnected and how widespread the influence of conspiracy narratives and QAnon is, civil society organizations and researchers were surveyed for the report:  for the first time a total of 30 countries were analyzed on an European-wide level.

All of Europe is struggling with conspiracy narratives from the Far Right

“Conspiracy narratives attacking supposed elites, as well as the various lockdown measures and vaccination pushes have been found across the whole continent. Common to all is the strongly held Anti-Semitic stance of the groups and narratives. They prove: Anti-Semitism is not only in Germany, but across Europe, core component of Corona agitation” explains Simone Rafael, co-author of the report and editor-in-chief of, the journalistic platform of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

The rapid and aggressive pan-European spread of misinformation and conspiracy myths through digital platforms and social media channels paralleled the establishment of QAnon’s aberrant and anti-Semitic conspiracy ideology.

With 150,000 members in Germany, its following is the largest outside the U.S. But the “superconspiracy narrative” has even been able to constitute itself across Europe.
Whether in Germany through the “Reichsbürger”, in France through the Mouvement des Gilets jaunes, in the Balkan states through “Qanon Balkan,” or through nationalist efforts in the Netherlands, Italy, and Greece: its strength lies in the integration of local contexts.

Right-wing terrorism is well networked despite decentralization

Another threat to a democratic Europe is the very active right-wing terrorist scene. Altough right-wing extremists are normally inclined toward nationalism, they see Europe as a common “Occident” to be “defended.” Previously loosely connected groups and individuals therefore no longer exchange their ideologies with each other only nationally, but radicalize themselves across borders. Therefore individuals who concretely put terrorist fantasies into practice don’t need organisations anymore. The NGOs agree that there must be better and continuous monitoring of potential perpetrators of violence on the part of the authorities. Too often, the civil society is called upon to uncover these networks, as security agencies often lack target-oriented tactics to counter informal ideological communities.

Simone Rafael emphasizes: “The analysis shows that the European Far-Right scene is increasingly moving towards transnationality and decentralized organization. Instead of individual national measures, transnational responses are needed to counter the increasing networking of European right-wing extremists who are prepared to use violence.”

The report is available for download at:


About the Amadeu Antonio Foundation:
Since its establishment in 1998, the goal of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation has been to strengthen a democratic civil society that consistently opposes right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.


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