Jörg Meuthen

Jörg Hubert Meuthen (German: [ˈjœɐ̯k ˈmɔʏtn̩]; born 29 June 1961)[1] is a German economist serving as a member of the European Parliament for the Centre Party.[2][3] He was the leading candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the 2019 European Parliament election.[4] He served as federal spokesman for, and thus leader of, the AfD from July 2015 until his resignation in January 2022, caused by conflict with right-wing extremist elements in the party.[5][6] He was frontrunner for the AfD at the 2016 Baden-Württemberg state election and was a Member of Parliament and parliamentary leader from March 2016.[5]

Jörg Meuthen
2019-09-01 Wahlabend Sachsen by Sandro Halank–003.jpg
Meuthen in 2015
Leader of the Alternative for Germany
In office
5 July 2015 – 28 January 2022
Serving with Tino Chrupalla
Preceded byBernd Lucke
Succeeded byAlice Weidel
Leader of the Alternative for Germany in the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg
In office
11 October 2016 – 8 November 2017
Chief WhipAnton Baron
Preceded byHeiner Merz
Succeeded byBernd Gögel
In office
16 March 2016 – 6 July 2016
Chief WhipBernd Grimmer
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHeiner Merz
Member of the
European Parliament
for Germany
Assumed office
8 November 2017
Preceded byBeatrix von Storch
Member of the
Landtag of Baden-Württemberg
for Backnang
In office
11 May 2016 – 31 December 2017
Preceded bymulti-member district
Succeeded byMarkus Widenmeyer (2018)
ConstituencyAlternative for Germany list
Personal details
Born
Jörg Hubert Meuthen

(1961-06-29) 29 June 1961 (age 61)
Essen, West Germany (now Germany)
Political partyZentrum (2022–present)
Other political
affiliations
Alternative for Germany (2013–2022)
Christian Democratic Union (1977)
Spouse
Natalia Zvekic
(m. 2018)
Children5
Alma materUniversity of Münster (no degree)
University of Mainz
University of Cologne (Dr. rer. pol.)
Occupation
  • Economist
  • Politician
  • Public Servant
  • Professor
WebsiteOfficial website

LifeEdit

Meuthen is a professor of political economy and finance at the Academy of Kehl Initially close to the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), he joined the AfD because of its eurosceptic positions. He strongly defends economic liberalism.[7] He also adopts national-conservative positions and a rhetoric considered xenophobic against migrants and Muslims.[8] He is married to the Russian-born Natalia Zvekic, whose ex-husband came from Yugoslavia.[9]

He was leader of the AfD in the 2016 regional elections in Baden-Württemberg and has been a member of parliament and parliamentary leader since March 2016. In November 2017, he joined the European Parliament following the resignation of Beatrix von Storch. Re-elected MEP in May 2019, he is a member of the parliamentary group Identity and Democracy (ID). While he maintains that "the AfD must be a bourgeois party with a bourgeois reason and endowed with an appearance of seriousness," he was strongly challenged in 2020 by the trend Der Flügel of the party, of which he had one of the leaders excluded because of his neo-Nazi past, to the point that a split was provoked. He was accused of wanting to polish the image of the AfD, asserting his personal ambitions and obtaining the position of head of the list and therefore of candidate for the chancellorship of the AfD for the Bundestag elections. He was booed at the party congress in November 2020, and was then targeted by a motion of no confidence that received 47 per cent of the votes.[10]

The regional film fund HessenFilm [de] fired CEO Hans Joachim Mendig over a controversial meeting with Jörg Meuthen in September 2019.[11] Meuthen announced in October 2021 that he would not be running in the next leadership election.[12]

Political viewsEdit

Meuthen was initially considered part of the Bernd Lucke-related, more economically liberal and moderate wing of the AfD near the start of the party's founding. He has described himself as an economic liberal but "pretty conservative" on other issues.[13] Following the election of Frauke Petry as AfD chairwoman, Meuthen was seen to ally himself with the party's more right-wing faction.[14] In 2016, he expressed support for what he termed a "conservative reformation" in Germany and argued against what he regards as lingering influence of the West German student movement on German politics.[15] He has expressed opposition to extremist elements within the AfD.[10]

European UnionEdit

In 2015, Meuthen stated he was not a "Europe hater" but opposed the Eurozone, claiming the Euro currency had "perverted" European unity.[16] In 2019, he argued that the European People's Party had moved too far to the left and criticized the EPP's decision to expel Viktor Orban's Fidesz party.[17]

ImmigrationEdit

Meuthen has expressed opposition to the immigration and asylum policies under Angela Merkel. During an AfD party conference in 2016, he stated "We are opposed to allowing immigration in such large numbers with open eyes that we will no longer recognize our own country in just a few years. The leading culture in Germany is not Islam, but the Christian - occidental culture. The call of the muezzin cannot claim to be as self-evident as the Christian ringing of church bells."[18]

Meuthen has argued that asylum seekers should be granted temporary resident permits as opposed to full citizenship and permeant residency.[19]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, Meuthen stated that Germany should suspend its membership of the Schengen agreement, arguing that open borders were contributing to the spread of the virus.[20]

Foreign policyEdit

Meuthen has expressed support for Israel and has called on the German government to ban the Lebanese-based militant group Hezbollah.[21]

ResignationEdit

On January 28, 2022, Meuthen declared that he would resign from the party chairmanship with immediate effect and resign from the AfD.[22]

He justified this with the fact that he had lost the power struggle with the formally dissolved right-wing extremist "Der Flügel" ("the wing") over the political direction of AfD. Meuthen criticized that the party had developed far to the right and was in large parts no longer concurrent with the liberal democratic basic order in Germany.[22][23] In June 2022 he joined the Centre Party.[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Die Kirchensteuer als Einnahmequelle von Religionsgemeinschaften". www.peterlang.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Home | Jörg MEUTHEN | Abgeordnete | Europäisches Parlament". www.europarl.europa.eu (in German). Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Jörg Meuthen". www.efddgroup.eu. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Scharfe Kritik an Robert Habeck: Meuthen führt AfD in Europawahl". www.zdf.de (in German). Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Bundessprecher; Spitzenkandidat der AfD für die Landtagswahl in Baden-Württemberg - Hart aber Fair - Das Erste". www1.wdr.de (in German). Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  6. ^ tagesschau.de. "Meuthen verlässt die AfD". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  7. ^ Alexander Häusler: Ausblick. In: Derselbe (Hrsg.): Die Alternative für Deutschland. Programmatik, Entwicklung und politische Verortung. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2016, 239–245, hier: S. 242.
  8. ^ Soldt, Rüdiger. "AfD-Politiker: Paktiert Jörg Meuthen mit den Rechtsradikalen?". Faz.net.
  9. ^ "Jörg Meuthen: Ehefrau, Kinder und Privates - Wer ist der AfD-Kandidat?".
  10. ^ a b "Profondes divisions dans l'extrême droite allemande". Le Monde.fr. 30 November 2020.
  11. ^ Blaney2019-09-25T02:35:00+01:00, Martin. "Germany's HessenFilm fund fires CEO after meeting with far-right politician sparks outrage (exclusive)". Screen. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Germany's far-right AfD: Moderate co-leader Meuthen gives up, spelling victory for radical fringe | DW | 11.10.2021". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 31 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Alexander Häusler: Ausblick. In: Derselbe (Hrsg.): Die Alternative für Deutschland. Programmatik, Entwicklung und politische Verortung. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-10638-6, S. 239–245, hier: S. 242.
  14. ^ Hubert Röderer (8 July 2015). "Kehl: Wer ist der Kehler Professor an der AfD-Spitze?". Badische-zeitung.de. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  15. ^ Wolfgang Gessenharter: Strategien und Einflusssphären der ‚Neuen Rechten‘. In: Mechtild Gomolla, Ellen Kollender, Marlene Menk: Rassismus und Rechtsextremismus in Deutschland. Figurationen und Interventionen in Gesellschaft und staatlichen Institutionen. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2018, S. 57.
  16. ^ hup, tst (23 July 2015). "Südwest: Jörg Meuthen: "Europahasser? Das könnte falscher nicht sein"". Badische-zeitung.de. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  17. ^ Meuthen hofiert Orban. www.fr.de, 6. März 2019.
  18. ^ "Bundesparteitag in Stuttgart soll Richtung weisen: AfD will Volkspartei werden". SWR.de. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  19. ^ AfD-Chef Jörg Meuthen bei Dunja Hayali: „Integration ergibt keinen Sinn“.
  20. ^ Robert Bongen, Julian Feldmann, Birgit Wärnke: Unbekümmert durch die Pandemie. www.tagesschau.de, 26. März 2020.
  21. ^ Mariam Lau: „Diese Mitglieder scheuen auch vor antisemitischen wie rassistischen Positionen nicht zurück“. In: Die Zeit vom 28. Februar 2019, S. 5 (online, Abruf am 2. März 2019).
  22. ^ a b "Ex-AfD-Chef Meuthen zu seinem Austritt: "Keine Zukunft mehr"". www1.wdr.de (in German). 29 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  23. ^ derwesten.de, DerWesten- (28 January 2022). "AfD: Jörg Meuthen gibt Austritt bekannt – "Das Herz der Partei schlägt heute sehr weit rechts"". www.derwesten.de (in German). Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  24. ^ "Ex-AfD-Chef Meuthen in Zentrumspartei gewechselt". www.zdf.de (in German). Retrieved 10 June 2022.