Tuesday

16th Aug 2022

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.

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

“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.

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.

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.

Column

Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.

Opinion

Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Germany rejects visa ban for Russian tourists
  2. Iran responds to EU's 'final text' on nuclear deal
  3. Model minority myths
  4. EU must make public who really owns its fishing fleets
  5. Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis
  6. Europe's wildfire destruction set to hit new record
  7. How Putin and Erdoğan are making the West irrelevant
  8. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us