Friday

18th Jan 2019

Focus

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

Support quality EU news

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

... or join 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.

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.

Cameron mends ties with Juncker

British PM Cameron has reached out to Juncker, after having failed to prevent his nomination as European Commission chief.

News in Brief

  1. EU trade commissioner asks for green light for US talks
  2. Slovakia's commissioner takes unpaid leave to run for presidency
  3. Minority elects Lofven as prime minister of Sweden
  4. Putin opposes EU prospects of Serbia and Kosovo
  5. Tsipras launches campaign to ratify Macedonia deal
  6. US-EU meeting in doubt after Trump cancels plane
  7. Germany and China to sign pact on finance cooperation
  8. Labour divided on second Brexit vote plan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Germany led way on EU human rights protection
  2. How to troll the European Parliament elections
  3. MEPs in Strasbourg: everywhere but the plenary
  4. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks
  5. MEPs allow Draghi's membership of secretive bank group
  6. EU parliament backs Morocco deal despite row
  7. Barnier open to 'future relations' talks if UK red lines shift
  8. German spies to monitor far-right AfD party

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us