Tuesday

4th Oct 2022

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

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

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.

Feature

Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy

EUobserver spoke with several business figures and all confirmed they voted for Georgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy because it promised stability, less bureaucracy and tax cuts. Matteo Salvini's anti-EU rhetoric scared them, while they trust Meloni has "more common sense".

Europe's far-right celebrates Meloni victory

In Warsaw and Budapest, the prime ministers were quick to congratulate the new Italian leader, who — they hope — will back them in their battles with the EU over civil rights, rule of law and democratic backsliding.

EU seeks crisis powers to take control over supply chains

The Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) introduces a staged, step-by-step, approach — providing emergency powers to the EU Commission to tackle any potential threat which could trigger disruptions or shortages of key products within the EU.

Podcast

How Europe helped normalise Georgia Meloni

Should Georgia Meloni be considered neofascist? She insists she's a patriotic conservative. And indeed, if she's prime minister, she's expected to respect Italy's democracy — if only to keep money flowing from the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  2. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  3. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  4. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  5. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat
  6. Poland insists on German WW2 reparations
  7. Russia halts gas supplies to Italy
  8. Bulgaria risks hung parliament after inconclusive vote

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Last-minute legal changes to Bosnian election law stir controversy
  2. EU wants probe into alleged Nagorno-Karabakh war crimes
  3. EU officials were warned of risk over issuing financial warning
  4. EU debates national energy plans amid calls for more coordination
  5. What Modi and Putin’s ‘unbreakable friendship’ means for the EU
  6. EU leaders have until Friday for refugee resettlement pledges
  7. Cities and regions stand with citizens and SMEs ahead of difficult winter
  8. Editor's weekly digest: A week of leaks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us