Sunday

24th Jun 2018

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  2. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  3. EU closes deficit procedure against France
  4. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  5. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  6. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  7. EU adopts posted workers directive
  8. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  2. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  3. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  4. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  5. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'
  6. How a US firm pushed for EU €2.1trn pension fund
  7. Commission defends Africa migrant plan ahead of summit
  8. Bavaria hijacks EU migration talks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us