Wednesday

8th Dec 2021

Lithuanian party denies political alliance with Marine Le Pen

Lithuania’s Order and Justice party on Wednesday (11 June) denied rumours it has teamed up with Marine Le Pen to form the far-right European Alliance for Freedom group.

A spokesperson at the right-wing nationalist party told this website that its chairman Rolandas Paksas has not had any contacts with Le Pen on forming her European Parliament faction.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Marine Le Pen's National Front jumped from three to 24 seats in the EP (Photo: European Parliament / Pietro Naj-Oleari)

“Mr Paskas hasn’t had any discussions about this with Ms Marine Le Pen because actually after the elections he wasn’t in Brussels, so there wasn’t any meetings,” said the contact.

A group gives MEPs access to more money and influence.

Parliament rules require a group to have at least 25 MEPs representing seven different member states. Le Pen’s alliance of 38 MEPs is composed of only five parties so far.

The future faction, announced last month, includes allies from the Netherlands' Freedom party, Austria’s Freedom party, Italy’s Lega Nord, and Belgium’s Vlaams Belang.

Rumours circulated on Wednesday suggested another two political groups had joined, meeting the parliament’s minimum threshold.

The two extra parties cited include Lithuania’s Order and Justice party and Poland’s Congress of the New Right.

But Lithuania’s Order and Justice party, for its part, told EUobserver they intend on staying with Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic political group, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD).

“We are still in the EFD, Mr Paskas, he hasn’t made any decision yet to change the group so we are still with the EFD. We are discussing it but perhaps we stay where we are at now,” she said.

The Lithuanian party has two MEPs, Rolandas Paksas and Valentinas Mazuronis.

Mazuronis is Lithuania’s current minister of environment.

Sources say Mazuronis may split with Paksas and team up with the Liberals, ALDE group.

“I know that ALDE tried to get him on the board,” said a contact at the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, Poland’s Congress of the New Right and its four MEPs is set to meet on Thursday in Brussels.

The Swedish Democrats say they are not interested in teaming up with Le Pen.

“We are not going to join that group [Le Pen's],” said Martin Kinnunen, the party’s spokesperson, in an email.

Kinnunen said they applied to join Farage’s group and the British Conservative European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

“We hope to have more information during next week,” he added.

German anti-euro AfD party - with seven MEPs - is reportedly interested in ECR, while Lithuania’s one deputy from the Peasant and Green party is looking at either the ECR or centre-right EPP.

Le Pen meets Ukip man

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen met outgoing independent MEP Godfrey Bloom, who still retains Ukip membership in Britain.

Schinas spars with MEPs over migration job title

A number of MEPs pressed Margaritis Schinas to drop the "Protecting the European Way of Life" title of his portfolio, which deals with migration. But Schinas refused, claiming it needs protecting from terrorists and populists. He failed to convince.

Poland's 'vague' nominee flops in EU hearing

Poland's nominee for agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, is likely to face a second hearing after MEPs from top political groups lambasted his "vague" performance on Tuesday.

Analysis

How MEPs will quiz the next commissioners

The EU parliament will organise public hearings to assess the future commissioners' suitability for their job and their knowledge about the portfolio they had assigned, before the new EU commission takes office on 1 November.

Interview

EP must be tougher on nominees, MEP says

European commissioners ought to be forced to sell shares in firms that they will one day regulate, a French MEP at the coalface of an EU vetting process has said.

News in Brief

  1. EU agrees to sanction Russian mercenaries
  2. Germany asks Iran for realistic nuclear proposals
  3. US to send troops to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine
  4. Will EU follow US on China Olympics boycott?
  5. EU flight passengers dropped 73% in 2020
  6. EU 'biggest vaccine-donor in world', von der Leyen announces
  7. Majority of EU citizens worried about internet's impact
  8. Redesigned euro banknotes coming from 2024

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Latest News

  1. Denmark and Hungary oppose EU rules on minimum wages
  2. Slovenian corruption estimated at 13.5% of GDP
  3. Lithuania seeks EU protection from Chinese bullying
  4. Using Istanbul Convention to stop online abuse of women
  5. EU spends record €198bn on defence in 2020
  6. EU Parliament demands justice after 'anti-vax' attack on MEP
  7. Kaczyński and Le Pen make friends at anti-EU 'summit'
  8. Croat police kept handwritten logbook of likely pushbacks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us