21st Oct 2018

Eurosceptics kick out Italian Lega Nord party

The eurosceptic group in the European Parliament has kicked out four members of the Italian Lega Nord, while seven Polish deputies also moved from the group and joined the non-attached MEPs.

The official announcement of the changes was made on Thursday (16 March) in the Strasbourg plenary.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The co-leader of the Independence / Democracy group (IND/DEM) Nigel Farrage said the majority of its members could no longer work together with the Italian party, despite the effort "to make some arrangements so as not to harm its pre-election position in Italy."

The relations in the group have deteriorated after a controversial gesture by an Italian minister Roberto Calderoli from the Lega Nord who wore a T-shirt depicting one of the Danish Muslim cartoons.

The group's bureau on Wednesday night (15 March) decided to re-constitute the group so as to avoid a vote on expelling the Italian members, as they had previously failed to gather the backing of two thirds of the group's members needed to kick them out.

"I cannot say it was a good move. It was a necessary move," commented the Danish co-leader Jens-Peter Bonde.

"There was no way back for us after the Italian minister's gesture, we could no longer defend this party to remain in our group," he said.

But Lega Nord's Franceso Enrico Speroni complained of "irregularities in the procedure" and urged the parliament's officials to check whether it was legitimate.

Poles lost on the way

As a result of the move, seven deputies from the League of Polish families also left the eurosceptic group, the smallest in the European Parliament.

They were supposed to sign a letter informing the parliament's president about joining the re-structured group, but failed to do so by the set deadline.

While the IND/DEM group's leaders commented they were surprised by the Polish MEPs' move and still expected they might join the faction, some insiders hint the Poles might be preparing to set up a new political group.

The European Parliament's rules stipulate that a minimum of 19 MEPs is needed to establish a new group, with at least 5 member states represented.

The IND/DEM group without the Polish members has 22 deputies.

Parliament nations group gets a power boost

Mid-term political shuffles in the European Parliament have given a major boost to a rightist nations group while the assembly's eurosceptic group has lost five of its members.

Bavarian election puts Merkel on defensive

Voters in Germany's largest state hived off to the left and right of the ruling conservatives in Sunday's elections - posing questions for Merkel's authority.

News in Brief

  1. Germany leads EU criticism of Saudi Arabia
  2. Huge pro-EU march takes place in London
  3. Macedonia MPs back name deal in initial vote
  4. EU to open trade talks with US on beef
  5. EU court orders Poland to suspend firing judges
  6. Japan to focus on circular economy at G20
  7. Italian budget 'significant deviation' from rules, says EU
  8. Podemos initiates debate on legalising marijuana in Spain

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  2. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  3. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  4. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  5. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud
  6. Polish left a glimmer of hope in fight against illiberal democracy
  7. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  8. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us