Logo: Strike a Light by Rob Howard under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
by Yordan Kutiyski
Ever since Bulgaria’s admission to the European Union (EU) in 2007, the country’s domestically weak far right has managed to send its representatives to the European Parliament (EP). Prior to 2014, these MEPs remained largely isolated, retaining a non-affiliated status. Initially, Volen Siderov’s far right party Attack, the first of its kind in post-communist Bulgaria, won three seats in the legislative body in 2007. Formed in 2005, Attack quickly gained electoral support, conveying a strong xenophobic and anti-minority rhetoric combined with emphasis on Orthodox Christian values and opposition to globalization. No other Bulgarian party has previously sought to attract voters using such a strategy. Attack participated in the short-lived Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty group in the EP. Further efforts for constructing a lasting political grouping on the far right with the participation of Bulgarian parties remained futile, making their influence on debate-shaping and decision-making hardly possible. Winning a seat less in 2009, Attack remained outside of any recognized EP political group.