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18th Mar 2019

European far-right political party risks collapse

  • The AEMN may see trouble ahead (Photo: European Parliament)

The future of a European far-right political party is in doubt following revelations that one of its members wishes to jump ship from the group.

On Thursday (22 February), the European Parliament's independent oversight authority, told EUobserver that it is verifying whether the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN) still complies with the conditions for registration after one of its members told the Italian press he wants to withdraw his membership.

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"We are looking into this matter with a view to verifying whether AEMN still complies with the conditions for registration," a senior official from the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations, told EUobserver.

Independent of the EU parliament, the authority registers, controls, and oversees European political parties and their affiliated foundations.

The issue is critical. For a party to register as a European political party and get access to EU funds it must have at least seven members from different countries.

Francesco Graglia is officially the Italian member of the AEMN party. But earlier this week he told La Stampa newspaper that he wants nothing to do with the AEMN and that he wants his membership withdrawn.

"I do not know them," he was quoted as saying.

Graglia's quote appears to contradict earlier statements and clashes with what he told the authority's director, Michael Adam. In an email exchange with Adam's dated 18 October, 2017 Graglia confirmed his AEMN membership.

"I confirm my membership in AEMN and declare that I will fulfil the duty of member," he wrote. He then signed a declaration of membership. The correspondence is published on the authority's website.

AEMN had registered earlier this year in late January after missing a previous deadline.

The party is headed by Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs, an accused Russian spy. Its founding members include the Italian neo-fascist Tricolour Flame party and Sweden's National Democrats, among others.

The seven state rule has been abused in the past where differing members of a single national party were sponsoring more than one European political party.

Last year, French media revealed that a member of the far-right nationalist Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF) was in fact bogus. The person's name had allegedly been forged to meet the seven-member threshold.

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