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Nationalism will never liberate anyone!

On International Workers' Day, we, the Federation of Young European Greens, want to highlight the immense challenges that young people are facing on the labour market in Europe today and how these will not be solved with bigotry and nationalism.

Young people around Europe are facing uncertainties regarding their own future that differ significantly from those faced by previous generations. While access to quality education is eroded with liberal policies that increasingly make education a luxury for those with the means, even those with the formal qualifications find it increasingly difficult to find adequate employment. Europe's youth has gotten used to unpaid internships, part-time work, temporary work, work for hire and a variety of other previously untypical forms of employment. What is common for these is that the employee hirself has very little security in terms of size of income, sustainability of income or access to social security, which can range from unemployment benefits to accumulation of one's pension. Steady deregulation coupled with no attempts at strengthening the position of employees on the labour market, which has been the policy carried out by Conservatives, Social Democrats and Liberals across Europe, has created a generation of Europeans with not much of a future to look forward to.

This is what the far right is trying to capitalise on. They appeal to disillusioned citizens for whom the status quo inevitably appears as things going worse. In that situation, any change can create a glimmer of hope. Nevertheless, there is nothing that supports the claim that the far right can bring about a positive change in the lives of the disadvantaged.

The far right and right-wing populists have increased their representation in political institutions across Europe in the last years. In those cases where such parties have assumed positions of significant political responsibility, such as in a national government, the results are bleak. In Hungary, the right-wing populist government led by Viktor Orbán has conducted what has been characterised as "anti-poor policies". Unemployment benefits have been slashed, tax reforms have benefited the wealthy, and the right to strike has been restricted - while Orbán tries to direct people's attention to refugees or cosmopolitan institutions such as the Central European University or NGOs. In Finland, the far right True Finns have been a part of a right-wing coalition government since 2015. The result has been heavy austerity policies in terms of reduced wages and extensive budget cuts hitting some of society's most vulnerable groups the hardest. And the government parties, the True Finns included, have tried to turn the conversation away to non-issues.

This, among others, is what awaits societies that end up with the far right or right-wing populists in charge. Of course, we should also be cautious of other elements of the far right's agenda that could be implemented shall they gain territory in Europe. We here think in particular of Marine Le Pen and the fascist elements of her and the National Front's agenda. If elected on Sunday, she has announced she will organise a referendum in the first 100 days of her mandate. The aim of it would be to change the French Constitution in ways that would entrench her power for the foreseeable future, for instance by changing the electoral system to one that gives the first party a 30% bonus, by setting up rules for national priority, and by scrapping European legislation.We, the Federation of Young European Greens, call upon all Europeans to take the threat of the far right seriously and combat it today and every other day. An authoritarian and racist movement is finding fertile ground in Europe, as the liberal economic policies lead more and more people to disillusion. In order to combat the far right, we need to block them from accessing positions of political power. And we need to construct a political alternative in Europe.

We want all young people in Europe to have a future to look forward to, as so many young Europeans used to have in previous generations. Our Europe is a Europe where young people are not forced to increasingly precarious life situations, but where a universal basic income provides security. Our Europe is a Europe where freedom of movement is a fact and a practice for millions of young people, in the framework of their studies, their work, or other aspects of their lives. Our Europe is a Europe where the system of production and consumption does not leave a planet that is unlivable to future generations. This is for us the liberating struggle of our generation. Enjoy International Workers' Day and join us in this fight!