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(K)An alliance of Europe’s right-wing populists in the EU Parliament


Because they cannot form a large group in the EU Parliament, they try to cooperate on a small scale. But even when it comes to migration, there is a problem.

The dream is big, the reality much more mundane. Because Europe’s right-wing populists have not yet been able to achieve their goal of forming a single, powerful group in the EU Parliament, they are now trying to do it on a small scale: starting with cooperation on those issues that are most important to EU rights in “illegal migration out of control.”

Seven men sat there on the podium, yesterday afternoon in the EU Parliament, and spoke about the difficult situation in their home country. The French MEP Jean-Paul Garraud (Rassemblement National), who complained about around “a million clandestine immigrants in France” and at the same time admitted: there are no real figures. The MP for Spain’s right-wing populist Vox party, who wants to let Spaniards vote on whether they “agree with illegal migration or not.” Or FPÖ-EU delegation head Harald Vilimsky, who sees a suitable means of curbing migration if the planned Schengen expansion is prevented: “A completely wrong concept in our time.”

At Vilimsky’s initiative, the representatives of the various right-wing parties came together for a conference. This should be the starting point for more cooperation between the European right on the topics of “migration, currency and inflation, energy and peace”, said the FPÖ MP. The goal is “towards the alliance”.

Only Fratellis don’t want to be on the right

The picture of the right-wing populists on the podium alone showed yesterday that a common right-wing front cannot be formed in the EU Parliament. There sat representatives of the FPÖ, Rassemblement National and Lega – all of whom belong to the right-wing group “Identity and Democracy” (ID). There were MPs from Poland and Spain, who in turn belong to the right-wing populist family of the EKR. And they were joined by representatives of the Hungarian governing party Fidesz. After their involuntary departure from the European People’s Party, its 12 MPs have not yet joined either of the two right-wing populist groups ID and EKR.

Those who were conspicuously absent were the representatives of the Italian governing party Fratelli d’Italia. The “Brothers of Italy” led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni are part of the ECR group and categorically refuse to join the ID like their right-wing rival party, the Lega. And speculation about forming a single right-wing group, said Fratelli MP Nicola Procaccini recently to the online medium Euractive: “At the moment this possibility is excluded.”

As a result, the disunited right in the EU Parliament loses a lot of power: together with the Fidesz deputies, they would have 149 seats. This would be the second largest faction and could maneuver many political decisions in their direction.

But as it is, right-wing opinions differ on many sensitive issues. The ID is more pro-Russian, while the EKR, which is dominated by the Polish PiS party, is extremely critical of the Kremlin. Even migration is a contentious issue: on Wednesday, the French MP Garraud poisoned Italy on the right-wing podium, which is known to be governed by the right-wing right now. Garraud complained that the boat people were still coming from there to France.

Meanwhile, Vilimsky played it safe and did not dream of a common European list of the right in the next EU elections. “We are against transnational lists. We represent Austria and not the EU.”

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