Tuesday

21st Nov 2017

Focus

Le Pen fails to create far-right EP faction

  • Marine Le Pen was unable to form a group at the European Parliament (Photo: RemiJDN)

Far-right duo Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders have failed to form a group in the European Parliament.

Wilders told Dutch media outlet ANP on Monday (23 June) they were unable to meet the minimum parliament criteria of having members from at least seven different member states.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“Unfortunately we didn't meet the June 24 deadline to form an official grouping with six other parties in the European parliament,” he said.

Le Pen announced in late May that her National Front party of 24 MEPs would team up with allies from the Netherlands' Freedom party, Austria’s Freedom party, Italy’s Lega Nord, and Belgium’s Vlaams Belang.

The plan was to create a group called the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF) in order to obstruct policy making at the European Parliament in a wider effort to repatriate national sovereignty.

A parliament group means more money and more influence in the EU assembly.

Media reports over the weekend suggested Le Pen was already preparing for a defeat.

On Sunday, the Independent newspaper cited National Front’s secretary general Florian Philippot as saying it “would not really be a disaster” if the EP group project failed.

“Our patriotic mission is to defend France and the French,” he said.

In the end, the far right faction was short of two members.

Poland’s Congress of the New Right (KNP) had earlier been cited as a possible partner.

But views held by KNP leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke are said to be too extreme for the anti-immigrant Wilders.

The Polish 72-year old anti-establishment leader reportedly wants to deprive women the right to vote.

A KNP spokesperson told EUobserver earlier this month Wilders was against their neo-liberal positions.

"We were informed that Mr. Wilders is against us due to his opposition to our free market ideology," noted the spokesperson.

Wilders, for his part, said he would not form a group “at any price” and has not ruled out forming the group at a later date.

"I'm convinced that we can do it later in the year and that we will then have found MEPs from the seven necessary countries," he said.

Wilders in early May floated the idea of possibly forming a faction with Ukip leader and eurosceptic Nigel Farage.

Farage, who managed to form his Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group last week, vowed never to team up with Le Pen, however.

The EFD has 48 euro-deputies from seven member states. One of the EFD MEPs defected from Le Pen’s National Front.

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.

French far right at 'gates of power'

French PM Valls has warned the far right is “at the gates of power”, as the ruling left struggles under its unpopular president, Hollande.

National Front in EU fraud allegation

The National Front is facing allegations of fraud for having the EU parliament pay salaries to MEP assistants who perform tasks unrelated to the assembly.

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.

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. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  3. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  4. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  6. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  7. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  8. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  9. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  11. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  12. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'