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AfD party to campaign for German exit from European Union

AfD party to campaign for German exit from European Union

The German far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has voted to campaign for the country’s exit from the European Union if its demand for reforms within the bloc are not met. The decision on Sunday marks the first time any party has called for “Dexit” – a German departure from the EU in the mould…

The German far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has voted to campaign for the country’s exit from the European Union if its demand for reforms within the bloc are not met.

The decision on Sunday marks the first time any party has called for “Dexit” – a German departure from the EU in the mould of Brexit.

If the EU is not reshaped in line with the party’s ideas “in an appropriate timeframe”, Germany must leave the bloc, according to the draft manifesto for the forthcoming European Parliament elections agreed by delegates at a party congress in the eastern state of Saxony.

Congress attendees also voted through a call to abolish the European parliament – the very Brussels body that AfD candidates will be campaigning to join this spring.

“We see nation-states as having the exclusive competence to make laws,” the text read, blasting the “751 privileged members” of the present European house.

While both demands are now in the draft manifesto, a final vote later on Sunday will adopt or reject the entire campaign package. Elections for the European parliament will take place in May.

AfD was originally founded as a Eurosceptic party, but rose to its current strength and representation in Germany’s national parliament after rightwingers took over and switched its focus to opposing Islam and immigration.

Like other nationalist movements around Europe, its leaders argue that too much power has been transferred to Brussels, saying the EU has far outgrown its origins in economic cooperation.

“We don’t need to abolish the EU, but bring it back to its sensible core,” the AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland told delegates Saturday ahead of the vote, saying the party “has partners that would walk the path with us” such as Austria’s Freedom party and Italy’s League.

Concerned about scaring off potential voters in majority pro-EU Germany, party chiefs warned the congress against even harder proposals that would have called for an exit if AfD’s demands for change were not met by 2024.

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