Saturday

13th Apr 2024

Le Pen launches plan to unite the far right

  • Le Pen launches plan to unite Europe's far-right (Photo: RemiJDN)

Europe's far-right parties are set to contest next year's European elections on a common manifesto, according to French National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

At a press conference in the Strasbourg Parliament on Wednesday (23 October), Le Pen, flanked by Franz Obermayr of the Austrian anti-immigration Freedom party, told reporters that she was hopeful of persuading nationalist candidates from across the EU to run on the ticket of the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Le Pen said that people should vote for EAF parties "if they want to remain a free people", adding that "we are the only parties who can return sovereignty."

Referring to the recent tragedy on the shores of Lampedusa, where a boat carrying over 500 asylum seekers sank, killing over 300 people, Le Pen commented that "responsibility lies with people who encourage migrants to believe that they can claim asylum because they risk their lives to come to Europe."

Senior figures in the parliament are growing increasingly anxious at the prospect of record numbers of eurosceptics being elected next May, potentially winning more seats than several moderate establishment parties.

Earlier this month, a survey by pollsters Ifop for French newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur, put Le Pen's National Front party on 24 percent, higher than the centre-right UMP and the governing socialist party.

Geert Wilders' Dutch Freedom party, also flying high in national opinion polls, is another ally, while the Belgian Vlaams Belang, Austria's Freedom party and the Swedish Democrats are also part of the federation.

However, Le Pen took a side-swipe at UK eurosceptic party UKIP, widely expected to perform strongly in May, commenting that Nigel Farage's party "lacked maturity" and were "afraid of their own image".

The EAF was set up in 2010 and received over €750,000 from the European Parliament in 2011 and 2012. However, unlike other pan-EU parties it is composed of individual members rather than national parties.

Under the European Parliament's internal rules, at least 25 MEPs from seven countries are needed to form a party group. The 31 'non-attached' MEPs and the UKIP-dominated Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) account for most of the eurosceptic deputies in the Parliament.

But difficulties maintaining discipline and a failure to agree on common programmes have dogged previous attempts to unite the far-right.

The Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty (ITS) group was set up in 2007 but only lasted ten months before collapsing when three MEPs representing the Greater Romania party walked out in protest at inflammatory remarks made by Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian dictator, about Romanian people.

Crisis likely to bolster far right in EU parliament

Extreme right parties, from anti-immigrant and xenophobic populists to outright neo-fascists, are almost certain to increase their presence in the European Parliament after the 2009 elections unless the European Union and mainstream parties wake up to the threat and take action, long-time monitors of far right activities are warning.

France: Hollande leads, Le Pen shocks in third place

Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy will go through to the second round of the French presidential elections following Sunday's vote but the big winner of the evening was the far-right's Marine Le Pen in third place.

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us