New right-wing group in European Parliament?

extremistIs it going to work this time?

According to media reports, the Front national from France, the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs), the Dutch PVV party, and the Lega Nord from Italy will tomorrow officially announce the formation of a new far-right group in the European Parliament. It will be called  “Europe of Nations and Freedom” (ENF).

Details of the group’s composition are to be unveiled at a press conference tomorrow  morning.

Under EU rules, a group must contain at least 25 MEPs from at least seven different countries. The Front National alone has 23 MEPs – the biggest French delegation in the EP. Thus the minimum of 25 MEPs is not a problem for the new group, but the criterion of including Members from at least seven Member States has been difficult to match, and it is still unclear which political parties, besides those mentioned above, will be part of the group. Besides the Vlaams Belang from Belgium, the likeliest parties to join ENF are Hungary’s Jobbik and Poland’s Congress of the New Right.

The other unattached deputies are: Greek and German neo-Nazis; a unionist from Northern Ireland; a disgraced Spanish socialist; a German satirist; and two Greek communists.

The Le Pen-Wilders breakthrough means that the new group will get an €25 million or so in extra EU funding over the next four years.

Besides this, the creation of ENF creates a new balance of extremism: while at the left wing there have already been several extremist factions such as the Communists and the Greens, there is now also a group with an extremist profile at the right wing.

The new group probably comes too late to get any of the coveted comitee chairmanships or similarly influential positions.