New Far-Right Group In European Parliament Threatens To Shake Brussels Consensus

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Banner read “Rethinking Europe” are pictured ahead the Electoral evening of the farright Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) after the European Parliament elections in Berlin, on June 9, 2024.

The recent European election has brought very expected results. The surge of the European far-right has been an objective reality ever since the first migration crisis in 2015. However, in the 2020s the right’s influence has become so significant that it threatens the unity of the European Union and the future of European integration.

Some political movements that were ostracized before, such as Giorgia Meloni’s “Brothers of Italy”, Marine Le Pen’s “National Front” or Austria’s “Freedom Party” have now become mainstream, winning the European elections in their respective countries. New far-right leaders have emerged that are giving headaches to European bureaucrats, such as Marion Marechal, Eric Zemmour, Sahra Wagenknecht, etc.

Both of European Parliament’s far-right groups have grown significantly following the June election: European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) gained 14 seats, Identity and Democracy (ID) gained 9 seats. However, an even sharper increase (36 seats) was noted among the Non-Inscrits (NI) group, which is a group of parties that do not yet have a European party affiliation. These include a number of far-right parties that are even more to the right of the political spectrum than the two aforementioned alliances.

In recent days, reports surged that “Alternative for Germany”, which forms part of the NI group following its expulsion from the ID, has plans of establishing a third far-right political grouping in the European Parliament under the title “The Sovereignists”. This may prove to be a difficult task, as a new political group requires the minimum amount of 23 MEPs from at least 25$ of EU member states (7 countries in total). However, German AfD seems to have reached those numbers, as The Sovereignists group is set to be formed in the next few days.

The group will comprise 9 political parties, including Alternative for Germany (14 MEPs), Polish Confederation Party (6 MEPs), Bulgarian Revival Party (3 MEPs), Spanish “Se Acabó la Fiesta” Party (3 MEPs), “S.O.S. Romania” Party (2 MEPs), Slovakian Republika Movement (2 MEPs), French Reconquête Party (1 MEP), Hungary’s “Our Homeland” Movement (1 MEP), and Greek Niki Party (1 MEP). In total, the group will comprise 33 MEPs, who will most likely advocate for a Europe of sovereign independent states and against European bureaucracy.

This proves to be yet another issue for the European integration project, as this is the first time that an openly Eurosceptic alliance will form part of the European Parliament. This will also give ECR and ID more confidence when it comes to expressing Eurosceptic views, as the far-right will now collectively have over 175 MEPs.

Additionally, the Sovereignists are set to become an openly pro-Russian group, as most political parties favour the resolution of the Ukraine conflict and reestablishment of relations with Russia. What is more, some of the parties have territorial claims in Ukraine themselves, such as the Hungarian “Our Homeland” Movement or the Romanian “S.O.S. Romania” Party. This is going to make pro-Russian voices in Europe more prevalent, especially as the presidential election in the United States is approaching, with Donald Trump being the most likely winner.

The Sovereignists will defend traditional values, as most of them oppose the LGBTQ+ movement, the erosion of the Western cultural system and morals, as well as the cultural degradation of the population. It will also become an anti-immigration group, criticizing Europe’s open borders policies and he norms of political correctness and tolerance.

All in all, the European election has made far-right voices more heard, thus, making it more challenging for the Brussels consensus to stand firm. The European Parliament is only one of the institutions of the European bureaucracy, but it is one of the most important ones. Recently, Ursula von der Leyen was nominated for the position of the President of the European Commission, but it will ultimately be the European Parliament that will vote on her candidacy. If she fails to get the support of the majority of MEPs, she will not be the next President. Far-right parties will have a direct role to play in these political games and they will be looking forward to making von der Leyen’s political life as miserable as possible .

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