The arrival of the True Finns on Europe’s electoral map is just the latest in a spree of nationalist successes – a trend rooted in fears over immigration which has come of age with the economic crisis.

For analyst Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman Foundation in Brussels, the EU’s task is easy. Europe must “accept controlled immigration, and concentrate now on integration”.

The eurosceptic party and its 48-year-old leader Timo Soini “should be seen in terms of a movement towards inward-looking nationalism, a populist wave which is sparing no one, even the most integrationist, successful economies,” analyst Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman Foundation in Brussels said.

“This was a referendum on EU policy,” Mr Soini retorted bluntly after the dust settled.

“We will keep our money and our right to make our own decisions,” he insisted.

Not every nationalist in Europe is far-right.

Scotland, with a population the size of Finland, has been governed for the last four years by long-established centre-left nationalists – tipped by polls to strengthen their minority grip by winning a second, five-year term next month.

But that may be exceptional because the drift elsewhere seems clear. France’s Marine Le Pen has comfortably slipped into her notorious father Jean-Marie’s mantle as head of the far-right National Front.

A poll last month suggested she could take 20 per cent of votes and beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of the 2012 Presidential election if IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn runs on the Socialist ticket. In The Netherlands, Geert Wilders made his name with a blunt anti-immigrant film that compared the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, while far-right parties have influential roles in or backing minority governments in Italy and Denmark.

Heinz-Christian Strache – the darling of Austria’s far-right – records rap songs about his hatred of Muslim symbols in Europe or the Brussels machine.

Far-right figures also sit comfortably in Parliaments in Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia and Sweden.

Meanwhile, Flemish nationalists – spurred on by rivals in the outside-right lane – are itching for an excuse to break up Belgium.

In Hungary, conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies are scaring Brussels liberals.

These include tough media curbs, a failure to stop extremist Jobbik party vigilantes rounding up Roma gypsies, and a Constitution, backed by lawmakers on Monday, containing references to the fatherland.

“European federalism was a beautiful idea, one I myself believed in,” Hungary’s foreign minister Janos Martonyi said recently.

But, he added: “it’s a fact that the concept of the nation-state has gained in strength and significance”.

“These are an amazing set of results, and prove conclusively that euroscepticism can win – and win big,” said Nigel Farage, Europe’s arch-critic of integration.

Head of the UK Independence Party, has secured a million votes in Britain’s 2010 general election and is a formal ally of Mr Soini in the European Parliament.

Just three per cent of Finland’s 5.3 million citizens are foreign, and its economy is exemplary.

One of only a handful of Triple-A credit-rated eurozone states, it has a disproportionately influential voice in EU economic debates.

Yet domestic fears the EU’s most northerly state – which reaches into the Arctic – could be over-run by Arab North Africans flooding in via Italy helped secure Mr Soini’s party a one-in-five vote from a high turnout.

Those concerns have fused perfectly with bailout fatigue after Greece, Ireland and Portugal each needed help.

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