European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici claimed that if anti- populist parties win in the European Parliament elections, “war” could come to Europe.
Moscovici refused to name parties or politicians, but he referred to them as “populists” and “nationalists” during a meeting of the Centre for European Reform.
Moscovici said that nationalists would lobby for national preference that could send European Union into crisis and potentially to “war”.
“If we reintroduce divisions between us, North-South, East-West, and if national preference becomes Europe’s way of thinking, Europe will die,” Moscovici said.
“Without Europe, I’m sure the war can re-emerge here,” he added, before referencing a speech from former French President François Mitterand who claimed, “Nationalism is war.”
In August, Moscovici commented that the results of 2019 European Parliament elections were of the utmost importance, adding that a surge in support for far-right nationalist parties could change the face of Europe:
“A lot is at stake, in the elections. Do we say ‘enough’ or do we push for more? Do we continue to call ourselves ‘European’? Are we capable, in a world ruled by the likes of Trump, Putin and Jinping, to say that we have a European model that is the right mix of economic efficiency and social justice?”
In September, Muscovici sparked protests over his comments on Europe’s nationalists because he referenced known dictators in history as the best representatives of nationalism:
“There is not – happily – the sound of stomping boots, no Hitler. Little Mussolinis – that remain to be seen. We are at a historic moment. Our history is tragic, we must avoid returning to darker days.”
His remarks were not taken lightly by Italy’s governing parties. Italian Deputy Prime Minister and a far-right leader, Matteo Salvini told the commissioner to “wash his mouth out”:
“EU Commissioner Moscovici, instead of censuring his France that rejects immigrants in Ventimiglia, has bombed Libya, and has broken European parameters, attacks Italy and talks about many little Mussolinis around Europe.”