The target “with our votes is to prevent the approval of new provisions created to the detriment of peoples’ right” and which create “new progresses in the European integration.” Marine Le Pen, leader of the French Front National, has found euroscepticism to be the glue sticking together the far-right forces of the next European Parliament. During a press conference held in Brussels with Matteo Salvini, head of the Italian Northern League, Geert Wilders, head of the Dutch Freedom Party, Gerolf Annamans, leader of the Flemish Vlaams Belang, and Harald Vilimsky of the Austrian Freedom Party, the French politicians said she is quite confident: “It’s the five of us so far, but we are negotiating with other forces to have 7 states and create our group.” According to the Strasbourg rules in fact, the creation of a parliamentary group is subject to having at least 25 MEPs from 7 different Member States. “Without a group we won’t be able to have our say or present amendments during Plenary Sessions because Non-Attached Members are not allowed to do so, nor to be Rapporteurs for any report.” According to rules in fact, amendments to directives under discussion can be presented only by political groups or with the support and signatures of 40 MEPs. The assignation of legislative files too is decided by groups, hence non-attached members, apart from extremely rare exceptions, are never in charge of them. They are also the latest to speak and with reduced times at Plenary Sessions.
This is why Le Pen is eager to form a group, and she has been working on this for months so far. Still, she needs two more allies and time flies, given that there are only three weeks left to create an official group. Excluding the neo-Nazi far-right forces such as the Hungarian Jobbik and the Greek Golden Dawn (“we deeply disagree on some issue and they are not joining us,” she reassured), Le Pen is exploring several hypotheses. First, the Swedish Democrats – in spite of their name, an extreme-right and Islamophobe party. The problem is, Farage has opened the negotiations with them too. “So far they haven’t said they are going to join his group, let’s see” said Le Pen, who said the UKIP leader is now a competitor “who would like us not to create our group, but we’ll make it.” However, Le Pen added they could “unite with the common purpose of fighting the most negative effects of the European Union” in the future.
A blunt Salvini said “Farage represents the interests of the British financial and economic interests, which are the opposite of the interests of Italian enterprises and craft. Yet, Salvini has it in for the UKIP because during the last term the Northern League and the UKIP belonged to the same political group – Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) – but the political relation wasn’t renovated, especially because of Borghezio’s behaviours. Now the Northern League would like to join far-right parties even though they are not nationalists but regionalists. “Vlaams Belang too is regionalist,” explained Salvini, “anyway, we will now focus our efforts on the battle against euro, which is dismantling our economy, against illegal immigration which is destroying Europe and against an unprecedented unemployment rate.” Then, “when we’ll have these emergencies contained, we’ll enjoy ourselves in deciding the borders of the homeland we have in our hearts.”