Tuesday

30th May 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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

MEPs vote to start democracy probe on Hungary

The European Parliament took the first step towards launching the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for backsliding on democracy. The process might lead to sanctions, but Orban is not backing down.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhat's Going on in Catalonia? Join the Debate on 8 June
  2. Swedish EnterprisesDo We Need a More Social Europe? A Lively Debate Awaits You on 7 June
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersDiscover the Role of Feminism in the Peripheries of Europe on 9 June
  4. Malta EU 2017EU Group Launched to Focus on Priorities and Policies Concerning Children
  5. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  8. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  9. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  10. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  11. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  12. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade

Latest News

  1. Nouvelles suspicions sur le groupe de Le Pen au Parlement européen
  2. EU sets out demands on post-Brexit people's rights
  3. IT security system risks EU fundamental rights
  4. Macron and Putin hold uneasy first talks
  5. From Greece to Scotland, we stand by Europe
  6. Juncker keen to build EU 'bridge' to Trump
  7. Ministers water down post-Dieselgate reform
  8. Club de combat: des espions russes recherchent des recrues européennes