On Tuesday, 12 September 2023, MEP Irena Joveva spoke during the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on combating the normalisation of far-right and far-left discourses including antisemitism. According to her, “normalisation leads to acceptance”, and the discourse of the opportunists, who create fear and mistrust among people for their own gain, must not be accepted or normalised: “We must not let them dictate the pace of our actions.”

Joveva began her speech by saying that she is one of the many who receive hateful comments on a daily basis, stressing that she wasn’t talking about critical comments, but vicious and dangerous ones. She is convinced that we must all take on the issue of the normalisation of radical discourse, as it is on the rise.

“Normalisation leads to acceptance. Acceptance in turn influences the perception of reality.”

She regretted that this is also the case in the European Parliament. She referred, among other things, to the European People’s Party’s deals with the far right to obstruct much-needed legislation, but above all, she said, she was referring to the “dangerous populist demagogy that is dictating the pace”.

“We ought not to normalise and accept this. They are opportunists. They create fear and mistrust among people for their own gain. Through manipulation. They use, for instance, someone’s origin to advance nationalism under the guise of patriotism.”

With that in mind, she ended her address by urging everyone in the political centre, to which she herself belongs, to reject such discourse upfront and “not to yield to the desires of extremists to influence our policies or actions”.

“Come on. Let’s set standards,” Joveva concluded.

You can watch the MEP’s speech here.

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