Ukip leader Nigel Farage announced on Tuesday a name change for his eurosceptic European Parliament group. Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy will be the new name.
UK’s Farage and Italy’s Giuseppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, formed a euro-sceptic alliance in the Parliament earlier this month, after both parties won substantial votes in the last EU elections in May.
“EFD group becomes EFDD so the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, reflecting a share wish among all members for the citizens of Europe to have more of a say and that any further moves towards the centralisation of powers should only be legitimised by free and fair referenda.” UKIP leader Nigel Farage said.
Forming a political group in the Chamber gives its members more power to support or block legislation, greater access to funding and the right to sit on committees.
In the new legislature, UKIP will have 24 seats and 5-Star will have 17 seats.
“Getting this group together has not been the easiest thing, there was huge amount of competition going on between a variety of groups who are euro sceptic; but we’ve managed it with the Italians and all the other sub-groups and we are very much united as a pretty clear eurosceptic voice and politically rather more coherent than perhaps other group that calls itself eurosceptic.” Farage said.
However, French and Dutch far-right parties Front National and PVV failed to meet the June 24th deadline to form an official parliament group with members of at least 7 EU member states.