Monday

27th Mar 2017

Focus

Right-wing MEPs to form new constellations in EU parliament

  • Italy's Lega Nord may leave the EFD to join Le Pen's Front National (Photo: Cau Napoli)

Italy’s anti-immigration Lega Nord is set to splinter from the European Parliament’s right-wing, eurosceptic political group, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD).

The EFD counts Nigel Farage’s Ukip among its group of core members, along with Morten Messerschmidt’s Danish People's party. Both made major gains in Sunday’s elections.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But the Italian party wants to team up instead with Marine Le Pen’s Front National in the wider hopes of forming a new far-right faction.

"I will see Marine Le Pen on Wednesday in Brussels, we will take stock of these European elections, we will work out a common agenda and a team. Our first battles will be against the euro and immigration," Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini said in an interview with La Repubblica

Lega Nord’s intentions do not come as a surprise.

“They have been telling us since the beginning of this year, they are announcing everywhere, every time they can, that they are going with Le Pen, so we knew they were leaving,” said a source.

The Italians, along with Dutchman Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom party (PVV), Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO), Belgium’s Vlaams Belang and, possibly, the Swedish Democrats (SD), are to discuss this week how to turn Le Pen’s European Alliance for Freedom into an official parliament group.

Despite Lega Nord’s possible departure, the EFD expects to pick up new members from the pool of some 60 new anti-EU euro-deputies.

“I think we are going to have a quite a lot of them coming here,” noted the source.

Parliament sources project a number of likely group affiliations.

They note Poland’s Congress of the New Right (KNP) may decide to join the EFD.

However, the group could lose two seats from the Finnish right-wing and populist Finns party. The Danish People's Party is also set to pull its four deputies.

The EFD’s six Nordic deputies may instead join the British Conservative and Polish-dominated group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

Meanwhile, both the EFD and ECR are vying to attract a number of other smaller parties.

Among the candidates are Germany's Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), Greece’s Independent Greeks (ANEL), and Slovakia’s Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLANO).

The neo-Nazis, for their part, are likely to go solo.

Germany is set to send one from the NPD party.

Another three are to arrive from Greece’s Golden Dawn, which got just over nine percent of the vote.

Two of them are former professional soldiers.

At the head of the Golden Dawn list is Eleftherios Synadinos, a retired lieutenant general whose military background includes leading the army's special forces, according to Greek media outlet EnetEnglish.gr.

Another notable name is Georgios Epitideios who came third on the list after Fountoulis Lampros.

Epitideios was reportedly a former director in the department of crisis response at the EU’s military staff, a division inside the EU foreign policy service. He is also said to have spent some time in Nato.

Greece's Golden Dawn seeks allies in EP

Golden Dawn, set to debut in the EP after Sunday's vote, has few allies among well-established far-right parties, but plenty of links with radical fringe groups across Europe.

Le Pen gathers allies for new far-right EP group

French leader Marine Le Pen of the National Front was in Brussels Wednesday to gather allies, but came up short in her bid to form a far-right European Parliament group.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  2. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  3. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  4. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  6. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  7. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  8. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  10. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  11. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  12. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People