Hungarian Conservative

UPDATED: Le Pen’s RN, Salvini’s Lega Join Patriots for Europe, Making New Alliance Third Largest in the European Parliament

Andrej Babiš, Herbert Kickl and Viktor Orbán (L-R) in Vienna on 30 June 2024
Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu/AFP
On the afternoon of 8 July, Patriots for Europe, the sovereigntist alliance recently founded by Viktor Orbán, Herbert Kickl, and Andrej Babiš, is to officially become a political group in the European Parliament. Over the weekend, several right-wing parties across Europe announced their accession. With the arrival of Marine Le Pen’s RN and, most likely, with Salvini’s League, Patriots for Europe are set to overtake Giorgia Meloni's European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) as third largest group in the EP.

Over the weekend, it became evident that the new right-wing sovereigntist alliance, Patriots for Europe, founded on 30 June by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, President of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) Herbert Kickl, and former Czech Prime Minister and ANO party President Andrej Babiš, could form a legitimate political group in the new European Parliament. The EP’s rules require political groups to have at least 23 MEPs and parties from at least seven member states to be recognised. With the parties that declared their intention to join over the weekend, Patriots for Europe now meets both criteria.

Orbán, Kickl, Babiš Announce New European Alliance in Vienna

Earlier today Hungarian exiting Hungarian MEP Balázs Hidvéghi reported on Facebook that Jordan Bardella, the French party’s chairman, has apparently confirmed that the National Rally (RN) is, as expected, indeed joining PfE. Hidvéghi also suggested in his post that ‘this is not the end of it, more is coming’.

Then came the official announcement that RN has left the ID for PfE:

Soon afterwards, the Lega also entered the ranks of the new sovereigntist formation:

The alliance, which had 24 MEPs when it was founded, was first joined by EP-newcomer Chega (Enough!) from Portugal, bringing two MEPs to the new political group. Then, on Friday last week, Spanish VOX announced that they would leave Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and join Orbán’s formation with 6 MEPs.

VOX’s announcement triggered an avalanche, and over the past weekend,

several parties signed up to join the new sovereignist formation.

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), winner of last years general elections in the Netherlands, was the first to follow VOX. Geert Wilders’ party added 6 MEPs to the growing sovereignist camp. The Belgian EP election winner Vlaams Belang will also join Patriots for Europe, contributing 3 MEPs, while the Danish People’s Party (DF) has also indicated its intention to join, with 1 MEP.

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Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) is set to formally join Patriots for Europe during its constitutive meeting on 8 June, today. The French right-wing party, with its 30 MEPs, would become the largest party within Patriots for Europe. Jordan Bardella, who was the party’s top candidate in the recent EP elections, stated on Sunday: ‘At long last, starting tomorrow our MEPs will fully play their role in a large group which will influence the power balance in Europe, to refuse being flooded by migrants, punitive environmentalism, and the confiscation of our sovereignty,’ clearly referencing Orbán’s Patriots. According to an anonymous source talking to Euractiv, Bardella himself had announced behind closed doors that the RN would join Patriots for Europe.

PM Orbán’s Patriots for Europe Progresses Slowly but Steadily

It is almost certain that the Italian League party, led by Matteo Salvini, will also join the new formation. Salvini stated in an interview on Sunday: ‘We are building the Patriots group, aiming to be the third-largest in the entire Parliament. Conditions will be met this week for an official announcement that will change the balance in Brussels.’

With RN and League joining, Patriots for Europe would have 80 MEPs,

making it the third-largest political group in the new European Parliament.

Meloni’s ECR would be reduced to 78 seats with the exit of VOX, dropping them back to fourth place. Identity and Democracy (ID)—which currently includes RN, League, PVV, DF, and FPÖ as official members—could dissolve with the formation of Patriots for Europe. Consequently, other small parties from ID, such as the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (1 MEP), might join Orbán's new formation.


Read more on PfE:

The EP’s Potentially Strongest Right-Wing Group — Who Could Join PM Orbán’s Patriots for Europe?
On the afternoon of 8 July, Patriots for Europe, the sovereigntist alliance recently founded by Viktor Orbán, Herbert Kickl, and Andrej Babiš, is to officially become a political group in the European Parliament. Over the weekend, several right-wing parties across Europe announced their accession. With the arrival of Marine Le Pen’s RN and, most likely, with Salvini’s League, Patriots for Europe are set to overtake Giorgia Meloni's European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) as third largest group in the EP.

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