The former CEO of the Trump campaign has launched an ambitious scheme to foster hard-right nativist politics in Europe but, as The Guardian reports, he is being hemmed in by local laws.
“The former chief strategist to Donald Trump has spent months trying to recruit European parties to his Brussels-based group, the Movement, which he promised would operate as kind of a political consultancy for like-minded parties campaigning in the bloc-wide vote in May 2019,” the newspaper observes. “But the Guardian has established that Bannon would be barred or prevented from doing any meaningful work in nine of the 13 countries in which he is seeking to campaign, according to national electoral bodies and relevant ministries. Confronted with the findings, Bannon acknowledged he was taking legal advice on the matter.”
Bannon has promised to spend millions of his own money as well as disperse funds from unnamed sources. He also wants to offer in-kind service in the form of sophisticated data-collection and analytics, to be used for social media campaigns. The plan is to further inflame right-wing nationalism in Europe via a transnational network. As such, Bannon’s project is fundamentally ironic, which makes it all the more appropriate that it is national legal barriers that are proving to be the biggest hurdle.
Bannon’s Movement will almost certainly not get far. Aside from legal difficulties, some of the local groups Bannon wants to support are shunning his offers of assistance.
Indeed, The Guardian suggests that European laws are so stringent and Bannon himself is so controversial, the Movement could end up only helping one figure, a Dutch member of Parliament. When told this, Bannon replied, “It’s a start.”