Far-right parties join Tories in rejecting common EU candidate

  

Europe's far-right parties have aligned themselves with the British Conservative Party, announcing they will not present a common candidate for the European elections, but still intend to create a parliamentary group in Strasbourg after the May vote, EurActiv France reports.

The far-right is ready to run jointly in the European elections, but only up to a certain point. At a press conference in Strasbourg, anti-EU MEPs, Marine Le Pen, Franz Obermayr and Philip Claeys, announced they would not choose a common candidate for the European elections.

Under the umbrella of the European Alliance for Freedom, the French National Front (FN), the Austrian Party for Liberty (FPÖ) and the Belgian Vlaams Belang (VB) hope to lay the foundations for the creation of a far-right grouping at the EU level.

“We thought about the possibility of presenting a candidate for the European elections,” MEP Franz Obermayr from the FPÖ admitted at the press conference, saying there was no lack of “charismatic leaders” in far-right parties in Europe, such as Marine Le Pen in France and Dutch Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

However, “we will not do it for democratic reasons,” the Austrian MEP claimed.

Their reason for refusing to present a common candidate may appear puzzling at first. Indeed, for the first time, the Lisbon Treaty allows the European Parliament to have a say on the election of the European Commission president, a major democratic breakthrough for the EU, according to many observers.

The far-right are far from being isolated in their fight. With their announcement, they have aligned themselves with the European Conservatives and Reformist (ECR) group, which is dominated by the British Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Last month, the ECR announced it would not present a common candidate, saying it refuses to validate the idea of a European electorate. Presenting a common candidate would be tantamount to "setting up a government where there is no nation,” the Conservatives argued.

"We don't aspire to have a common manifesto, and we will not play the game of pretending that there is a European electorate," said Daniel Hannan, a British Conservative MEP who is also secretary general of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR).

Nationalist causes

Unsurprisingly, far-right parties are set to focus on national issues during their European election campaigns.

“We need to deal with what is going on in our country before moving to others,” Obermayr said.

“The restoration of the sovereignty of the member states is a priority at these elections,” Philip Claeys added. Other priorities include halting negotiations with Turkey, and controlling member states’ borders.

“But the more things progress, the more our vision is common,” Marine Le Pen stated.

Parliamentary group

The establishment of a far-right parliamentary group in the European Assembly remains at the top of the agenda for the three far-right leaders. In order to do so, they will need to gather at least 25 MEPs from at least seven EU member states.

“On the establishment of a parliamentary group, it is difficult to move faster,” the FN president explained, adding she hopes to get 20 seats after the elections.

According to the latest estimates by Poll Watch, the FN is set to obtain 20% of French votes, or 18 seats in the European Parliament. Austria's FPO receives 22.5% of voting intentions (4 seats) while Belgium's VB could get 4.6%, or one seat.

>> Click here for all surveys by Poll Watch in each member state

Timeline: 
  • 22-25 May 2014: EU elections held across all 28 member states
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Comments

David Smith's picture

This article makes little sense, it seems to be suggesting that the British Conservative party is considered "Far Right", why would the marginally eurosceptic UK Tory party want to be associated with any anti-EU party such as the British UKIP, would they ever entertain sharing a common candidate with the far-right?! Sounds to me that European far-right have used this never going to happen event to gain publicity for their own ends whilst someone at EurActive has fallen for it, giving it far more credence than they really should have.

evad666's picture

"marginally eurosceptic UK Tory Party" Pull the other one they are merely the right wing of the mindless Europhile party which controls the UK.

Joe Thorpe's picture

There is no point in the UK conservatives putting a candidate forward their candidate would have as much success as a range of kitchenware made of chocolate. But he they EU are obviously paying to to type your shock & horror at someone not playing to the game

Barry Davies's picture

David Smith appears to have been taken in by the eussr, and labour propaganda that UKIP is a far right party, in fact it rejected an alliance with the far right parties that the tories are allied with because UKIP is not a right wing party, or a left wing party, or a centrist party at all. The members come from all political hues, only 30% are ex tories, the latest person to join as a sitting councillor is a lib Dem, but they do have one thing in common that left and right wingers, despise, and that is the idea that democracy is a good thing, and that we will never regain it whilst we are part of the corruption ridden democratically deficient eussr.

Mats Jangdal's picture

What is a far-right party? Is there an established scientific method to identify one?
Euractive is a leftist publication. The way they choose their stories and the angles played, gives it away.
Shall we therefore call it far-left or even far-out, to make it sound unattractive?

Barry Davies's picture

Euractive is a fascist publication, purports to be leftist but wants domination of the continent to be handed to a bunch of unelected failed politicians.

James 's picture

Another strong indication that the Tories and UKIp and friends are wishing the UK (minus Scotland?) to play an even more marginal part in running the EU. What a surprize!

Perhaps they think "a la Chamberlaine" that Europe is some far off land of which we know so little...Like the Crimean incident?

Barry Davies's picture

James the only people who want Scotland to be independent is the SNP, UKIP is for the whole of the UK not just part of it, and the europhile tories are no more UKIP's friends than lab or lib dum or green. I take it by the crimea incident you can the problem that the political pygmy barosso added to when he threw his dolly out of the pram because his empire building hit a road block.

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