Orbán, Le Pen, Salvini, Kaczyński join forces to impact on the future of EU

Fole photo. French Member of Parliament and president of the far-right 'Rassemblement National' party, Marine Le Pen (R), speaks to the media next to Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Premier, Matteo Salvini (L), as they attend 'the economic growth and social prospects in a Europe of nations' meeting, in Rome, Italy, 08 October 2018. [EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DI MEO]

Far-right parties from 16 EU countries, including Frances’ Rassemblement National, Poland’s PiS,  Hungary’s Fidesz, and Italy’s Lega, united on Friday (2 July) with the declared objective of making their voice heard in the context of the debate on the future of Europe.

According to press releases, the leaders of “right-wing parties” signed simultaneously in several European capitals a document calling for deep reform of the EU, because in their words, “instead of protecting Europe and its heritage, it is itself becoming a  source of problems and anxiety”.

A conference of signatories of the letter is planned for September in Warsaw

The document is signed by  Jarosław  Kaczyński  (PiS,  Poland),  Giorgia  Meloni (Brothers  of  Italy),  Santiago  Abascal  (VOX,  Spain),  Viktor  Orbán  (Fidesz, Hungary), Matteo Salvini (Lega, Italy), Marine le Pen (RN, France) and several other right-wing parties from Bulgaria (VMRO), Austria (FPÖ), Belgium (Vlaams Belang), Denmark (Dansk Folkeparti), Estonia (EKRE), Finland (Perussuomalaiset),  Greece (Ellinikí Lýsi),  Netherlands(Ja21),  Lithuania (Lietuvos lenkų rinkimų akcija) and  Romania (Partidul Național Țărănesc Creștin Democrat).

“The  cooperation of European nations should be based on tradition, respect for the culture and history  of  European  states,  respect  for  Europe’s  Judeo-Christian  heritage and   the   common   values   that   unite   our   nations,   and   not   on   their destruction,” the signatories point out.

Leaders of right-wing parties emphasise that the document is a response to the beginning  of  the  debate  on  the  future  of  Europe. They underline “that the use of political structures and the law to create a European superstate and new social structures is a manifestation of the dangerous  and  invasive  social  engineering  known  from  the  past,  which  must provoke legitimate resistance”.

“The moralistic overactivity that we have seen in recent years in the EU institutions has resulted in a dangerous tendency to impose an ideological monopoly,” reads the statement.

The signatories of the document appear to take aim at the EU institutions such as the Commission or the European Court of Justice, which have put pressure on Poland and Hungary on issues ranging from subjugating the judiciary to stigmatising the LGBT community.

“In order to stop  and  reverse  this  trend,  it  is  necessary  to create, in addition to the existing principle of conferral, a set of inviolable competences of the European Union’s member  states,  and  an  appropriate mechanism  for  their  protection  with  the  participation of national constitutional courts or equivalent bodies,” the joint text reads.

“All   attempts   to   transform European  institutions  into  bodies  that  take   precedence  over  national constitutional   institutions   create   chaos,   undermine   the   sense   of   the treaties,  question  the  fundamental  role of  member  states’  constitutions, and  the  resulting  disputes  over  competences  are  in  effect  settled  by  the brutal imposition of the will of politically stronger entities on weaker ones,” it says.

“This destroys the basis for the functioning of the European community as a community of free nations,” reads the statement.

Instead, the signatories plead for “family values” as a solution to curbing negative demographic trends.

The European Parliament S&D group didn’t take long to react, reminding that nationalism led to World War II. The group leader Iratxe García Pérez stated that “the extreme right has got a twisted vision of patriotism”.

“It excludes anyone who doesn’t think like them, and that is a clear threat to Europe. Nationalism led to WWII. The European Union not only brought peace, but it allows us to face problems together: the recovery plan to overcome the crisis, a strategy to vaccinate all Europeans, free movement and having a voice in the world”, García Pérez stated.

In her words, this extreme right, populistic and nationalistic alliance would not last very long.

“Those who are unable to cooperate end up fighting each other, as we already saw in previous such experiments in the European Parliament”, she stated.

Asked to comment on the developments, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša hinted that his party too might leave the centre-right political family. Janša is an admirer of Viktor Orban, who last March left the centre-right European Peoples’ Party (EPP) to avoid being kicked out.

Orbán's Fidesz leaves EPP Group before being kicked out

Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party is leaving the European People Party’s (EPP) faction in the European Parliament, the Hungarian prime minister announced on Wednesday (3 March), after years of disagreements with the conservative group, which was preparing to vote on their expulsion.

“We entered the European People’s Party when this party started to enlarge. And this was the golden era of the EPP. We are still fighting for this project and I think there will be some changes in the future, toward the original idea of the EPP. It is called the “people’s party,” so it has to be strong and in the centre of the political spectrum. If this is not the case, there are other options,” said Janša, whose country is in charge of the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

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