The National Rally joins the new far-right group created by Viktor Orbán in the European Parliament

It has been official since Monday July 8: the National Rally has joined the “Patriots for Europe” group, created by Viktor Orbán in the European Parliament. On June 30 in Vienna, the head of the Hungarian government had in fact revealed his “intention to form this group, in concert with the Austrian far-right party FPÖ and the movement of former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš [ANO ]”, recalls France info.

But in reality comments Libération, “the novelty is limited to say the least since it is a takeover bid for the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, created by the RN in 2019”. The “Patriots” group is above all “the new name of the ID group, which retains its structures, its personnel, its funds…”, adds Le Point.

Thus, the leader of the RN Jordan Bardella was “immediately elected president of the group during the constitutive meeting [Monday July 8 in Brussels Editor’s note], at which he was not present,” reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Our MEPs will play their role fully tomorrow (Monday) within a large group which will influence the balance of power in Europe to refuse migratory overwhelm, punitive ecology and the confiscation of our sovereignty,” he indicated. Sunday July 7, before the rallying of MEPs to the “Patriots” becomes official, quotes HuffPost.

Third group in the European Parliament

In addition to the RN, these are “the League of Matteo Salvini, the Party for Freedom (PVV) of the Dutch Geert Wilders, the Portuguese movement Chega, the Spanish Vox, as well as the Danish People’s Party and the extreme party right-wing Flemish separatist Vlaams Belang”, who also joined the “Patriots for Europe” [France info]. To which are added a few elected officials from smaller radical right groups, bringing the total to “84 deputies from 12 countries”, according to a press release from the Patriots, reports Politico. The minimum threshold necessary to create a group being “23 elected officials from seven countries”, recalls Libération.

The “Patriots” should therefore “establish themselves as the third force in the European Parliament behind the pro-European right [EPP, 188 elected] and the social democrats [S&D, 136 elected]”, notes HuffPost. The new alliance would thus surpass “the liberals of Renew [76 elected officials], the group to which the party of French President Emmanuel Macron belongs, and [the other] radical right group [CRE] associated with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni [78 elected officials]. ]”, adds the online media.

During the previous mandate from 2019 to 2024, “the majority groups [PPE, S&D and Renew Editor’s note] had however put in place a ‘sanitary cordon’, preventing the elected representatives of the ID group from obtaining the slightest responsibility in the functioning of Parliament European”, underlines Le Point. Which should always be the case according to the first political group in the Strasbourg hemicycle, that of the EPP conservatives, reports the weekly. “Our line is extremely clear, we do not negotiate with the extreme right,” says the office of Valérie Hayer, French president of the Renew group [Le Point]. On the side of the Social Democrats, they recall that they signed, with the Liberals, the Greens and the Left, a joint declaration, on May 8, in which they committed to “never cooperate or form a coalition with the extreme right and radical parties, at any level” [Le Monde]. Politico reveals that Les Patriotes could still obtain two parliamentary committee chairs, those on “transport and on education and culture”.

The European far right remains fragmented

Despite the desire of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to create a single far-right group in the European Parliament, expanding it to “Giorgia Meloni [and] the Polish PiS”, they however decided to remain within CRE (European conservatives and reformists) “because of the strong ideological differences” which oppose them to the Magyar leader and Marine Le Pen, notes Le Figaro. While the former “defend increased support for Ukraine, hold to their membership of NATO as well as their relationship with the United States, the latter display their closeness to Vladimir Putin and their distrust of of Ukraine”, deciphers the daily.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. The Patriots serve the interests of Russia. Either consciously or unconsciously. And they thus threaten security and freedom in Europe,” reacted Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose party belongs to the CRE group.

Furthermore, “this reorganization of radical rights in Europe will not stop there”, analyzes Libération, which reports that “the German AfD (15 MEPs) is, in fact, seeking to create its own group, the Sovereignists, to the right of the extreme right”. The group from across the Rhine, excluded last May from the ID group due to the controversial remarks of its leader, wishes to ally itself with small Eurosceptic groups, such as the Polish “Konfederacja”. A party which obtained six seats during the European elections of June 9, marked by a relative progression of the extreme right, indicates Libération.

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