Libertas announced yesterday that the party's UK campaign will be led by former soldier Robin Matthews, who claimed that "Libertas offers the only real opportunity for people across the UK to get a better deal from Europe".
In France, meanwhile, Libertas will unveil a trio of politicians to spearhead its campaign: Viscount Philippe de Villiers, Frédéric Nihous and Jérôme Rivière.
De Villiers is a well-known face in French politics, having contested two presidential elections on the far-right, eurosceptic platform of his Mouvement pour la France (MPF) party. He has also generated controversy due to his public pronunciations on Islam and Muslim immigration.
Nihous hails from the CPNT (Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Tradition) party, an agrarian movement that aims to defend the traditional values of rural France, notably hunting. The party won six seats in the 1999 European elections but lost them all in 2004, when it did not surpass the 3% voter threshold that allows a party to be reimbursed for campaign expenses.
EurActiv has also learned that Rivière, a former UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire) politician who supported Philippe de Villiers' 2007 presidential campaign, will be unveiled as a candidate. Rivière was a member of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party until his expulsion in mid-2007. It had previously been thought that Rivière would serve as Libertas France's campaign director without putting his name forward for the June ballot, according to French media reports.
European elections experts at pro-EU integration think tank Notre Europe described the Libertas France conglomeration as an "eclectic mix", expressing their surprise that de Villiers has allied himself to Declan Ganley's movement.
"We find it very surprising that Philippe de Villiers, who is a staunch sovereignist, should join Libertas, who describe themselves as anything but sovereignist. In fact, they call themselves Europeanist," they said, adding that "there is a definite contradiction there – these are very different animals".
This trio is a further indication, the source claimed, of Libertas's method of "fishing for candidates" around Europe to create a "maverick umbrella" of party faces.
Meanwhile, the launch of Libertas's electoral manifesto, which party founder Declan Ganley told EurActiv "will lay out our policies in a very wide range of areas," has been postponed from 25 March to an as-yet-unnamed later date. This event was due to take place in Rome.