Saturday

19th Aug 2017

Plans for European far-right group intensify

The European Parliament looks set to have a far-right grouping within its corridors by mid-January, with MEPs from new member states Bulgaria and Romania helping to make the formation possible.

Under EU rules, there need to be at least 20 MEPs from six different member states for a political group to be formed.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The group could emerge during next week's Strasbourg plenary session (Photo: EUobserver)

The bloc's 1 January expansion means that the group-in-making is likely to get one MEP from Bulgaria's extreme Ataka party and five MEPs from Romania's nationalistic and anti-Roma Greater Romania Party.

Attempts to form a far-right political party in the Brussels assembly have been on-going in recent years but have generally been hampered by divisions among the various national groups and the lack of a common political platform.

But according to Austrian MEP Andreas Moelzer, who has been one of the main proponents of forming a European far-right movement, the group could be established on 15 January and is expected to be called "Identity, Sovereignty and Transparency (IST)."

Mr Moelzer told Austrian news agency APA that the new group is expected to be headed by Bruno Gollnisch, a member of France's National Front.

There are "still a few imponderables, but it is pretty much watertight," Mr Moelzer told APA of the 15 January plans.

He said the group is likely to have at least 20 members and will have a "minimal consensus" programme being broadly against immigration, against Turkey's EU membership, against the EU constitution for its "tendencies...towards a central government."

The loose programme marks the disharmony between the different national elements with one of their main motives for forming a group being to get more say in the European Parliament.

"It is more a technical than a political group," Alessandra Mussolini, grand daughter of the facist Il Duce, told APA.

"We are mainly getting together out of necessity. Survival is only possible in a political group," she added, referring to the fact that groups have a right to more funds and political positions in the European Parliament, something non-attached MEPs do not have.

Should the far-right party get off the ground, it will bring together a motley group of politicians.

Mr Gollnisch is waiting for a court verdict on charges of questioning the Holocaust. Bulgarian would-be member Dimitar Stoyanov late last year circulated a derogatory email in the European Parliament about "Gypsies" after a Hungarian Roma MEP was nominated for MEP of the year, while the Greater Romanian MEPs come from a party whose leader, Cornelio Vadim Tudor, has drawn attention for his racist tones.

Other MEPs that may join the group include two independent members, Italy's Luca Romagnoli and the UK's Ashley Mote, as well as MEPs from the Flemish Vlaams Belang.

EU faces big Roma question after 2007 enlargement

Romania and Bulgaria's membership of the EU will bring almost three million more Roma citizens into the bloc, but the ethnic population is still facing strong discrimination with a racist incident in the European Parliament highlighting the problem.

Far-right aims to form group in European Parliament

Far-right politicians in the European Parliament are trying to form a political group in the Brussels assembly possibly by the end of this year, with talks planned in Strasbourg this week on details of the political platform, EUobserver has learned.

MEPs freeze out extreme right group

MEPs have rallied together against members of the European Parliament's new far-right group to exclude them from key positions in parliament committees.

Analysis

Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue

Fico convinced the EU commission chief to take action in the perceived problem of discriminatory food practices, even though the evidence for the phenomenon is anecdotal.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides