“This past weekend, there was an effort to give birth to what might be called a Nationalist International. In Koblenz, Germany, leaders of the main nationalist parties of Holland, Germany, France and Italy, among others, joined together in public for the first time, celebrating the victories of Brexit and President Donald Trump and vowing to build on them.

“2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up,” said Marine Le Pen, head of France’s right-wing National Front party and a leading candidate for the French presidency this coming spring. “2017, I am certain of it, will be the year of the awakening of the peoples of continental Europe. It’s no longer a question of if, but when.” Geert Wilders, who is likely to become Holland’s next prime minister after March elections, put it this way: “Yesterday a new America, today Koblenz, tomorrow a new Europe. We are at the dawn of a Patriotic Spring.”

Nationalism is something more and more countries have in common. The day before Le Pen and Wilders’s remarks in Koblenz, Trump said in his inaugural speech, “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.” He urged each American to “open your heart to patriotism.” Later this week, Trump will have his first meeting as president with a fellow head of state: Theresa May, prime minister of Britain, who is herself at the head of a movement based on the assertion of national sovereignty, in her case against the European Union.

It’s not immediately obvious how nationalist movements — motivated by slogans like Trump’s “America First” — might unite in solidarity. The Koblenz meeting was the first of its kind precisely because Europe’s nationalist parties and groups have not found it easy to get along. Many in Germany’s far-right party, the Alternative für Deutschland, which was the host and convener in Koblenz, opposed the meeting and, in particular, the large role for Le Pen, whose party they see as overly socialist. Le Pen strove to square this circle, emphasizing the claim that the European Union and the euro “deny diversity.” “I love France because it is France,” she said. “I love Germany because it is Germany.” This drew great applause from the audience.”

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