The Groupement de recherche et d'études pour la civilisation européenne ("Research and Study Group for European Civilization"), better known as GRECE (French acronym for "Greece"), is a French cultural association and think-thank. The organization is the origin of the French Nouvelle Droite ("New Right"), the European New Right, and the identitarian movement.
GRECE was officially founded in 1969 by 40 persons, notably the philosopher Alain de Benoist, who has been described as its leader and "most authoritative spokesman". It has publicized the periodicals Éléments, Krisis, and Nouvelle École. Other metapolitical activities include publishing books and organizing conferences and other meetings. Prominent members have included Alain de Benoist, Dominique Venner, Guillaume Faye, Jean Haudry, Pierre Krebs, Pierre Vial, and Robert Steuckers, among others. Several have left due to differing views, sometimes creating new organizations, such as Terre et Peuple.
Controversy in the Right
In his New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe (Bloomington, IN, USA: 1stBooks, 2004), Michael O'Meara had written that :
- Recently, however, GRECE’s opposition to multiculturalism has undergone a significant shift. Until 1998, it consistently opposed multiculturalist efforts to recognize immigrant communities as separate legal entities, for it claimed these efforts threatened the integrity of French identity. Then, rather unexpectedly, it reversed course, adopting a “communitarian” position favoring the public recognition of non-French communities—so that immigrants could be able to “keep alive the structures of their collective cultural existence.” To some, this shift constitutes nothing less than an identitarian betrayal, for others a recognition that Europe’s enemy is not the immigrant per se, but the system responsible for immigration. The shift was not without controversy, with New Rightists like Guillaume Faye and others rejecting it. (p.77)
However, it is notable that Alain de Benoist, despite holding reservations about quickly immigration problems can be solved, still criticizes immigration, which signifies that his critics are clearly biased in their protrayal of his position. He has clearly declared in his Manifesto for a European Renaissance (London: Arktos, 2012) that "immigration such as one sees today in Europe constitutes an undeniably negative phenomenon" and that "the New Right favors policies restrictive of immigration, coupled with increased cooperation with Third World countries where organic interdependence and traditional ways of life still survive, in order to overcome imbalances resulting from globalization."
It is obvious from this and a number of other works by Benoist that O'Meara is seriously exaggerating Benoist's supposed "betrayal" (which some would argue is not a real betrayal to begin with). Also, recently one writer has remarked that "it seems clear from several of his works [...] (such as his 'Manifesto of the New Right,' 'Immigration: Reserve Army of Capital,' 'What is Racism?') that Alain de Benoist does believe that maintaining the separateness of the various cultural, ethnic, and racial groups is very important and he certainly does not accept the permanent re-settlement of Europe by racially foreign immigrants (as O'Meara claims); rather, he believes taking a less radical procedure to solve the matter."