Le Pen, Orban, Salvini sign declaration to launch far-right European alliance

·2-min read

The document has been presented as the foundation stone of a future European alliance of extreme right-wing parties. But important questions remain unresolved. Several far-right groups, notably in Germany and Romania, have refused to join the initiative.

Marine Le Pen of the French far-right National Rally party is one of fifteen signatories of a common declaration, published on Friday, announcing the formation of a major alliance of far-right representatives in the European Parliament. The group's intention is "to reform Europe".

Joining Le Pen in signing the document are Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, Matteo Salvini of the Italian League, Jaroslav Kaczynski of Poland's Justice and Law party, Santiago Abascal of the Spanish group Vox, and Giorgia Meloni of the Italian neo-fascist Brothers of Italy movement.

The declaration criticises the European Union for its federalist ambitions which, say the 16 signatories, "inevitably lose sight of the people, the beating heart of our civilisation".

In the light of this situation, the declaration continues, "the continent's major patriotic parties have recognised the crucial importance of coming together to give their position greater weight in debates and the reform of the EU".

According to Viktor Orban, "this declaration concerns the future of the EU, the protection of nations, of families, and of traditional Christian values."

The document calls for a mechanism to protect member states by allowing national constitutional courts to ignore or alter the rulings of the European Court. That Luxembourg-based institution has recently, for example, criticised legislation in both Poland and Hungary as being contrary to EU founding principles.

Several heavyweight abstentions

The "common declaration" does have some notable absentees. Germany's Alternative AfD party is among the most obvious, but there's no sign of either the Swedish or Romanian far-right. The Dutch sovereignty party, JA21, also refused to sign.

At this stage, the signatories do not plan any political fusion at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Critics of the initiative have suggested that huge divergences remain between several of the movements involved.

"How do you think Meloni and Salvini are going to get along?" asks Green European deputy Philippe Lamberts, pointing out that Salvini currently participates in the Rome government led by Mario Draghi, while the Brothers of Italy are openly fascist.

And there's the clash between Marine Le Pen and Jaroslav Kaczynski of Poland's Justice and Law party over Vladimir Putin's Russia. The French National Rally enthusiastically supports the Kremlin boss, who is despised by the Polish far-right. Kaczynski has repeatedly refused to meet Le Pen because of this divergence.

The president of the European social democratic group, Iratxe Garcia Pérez doesn't expect the far-right "alliance" to last long.

"They're incapable of working together," she says, "and will end up fighting among themselves."

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