Europe’s far-right meets to discuss a ‘grand alliance’

The leaders of far-right and nationalist parties from across Europe gathered in Warsaw yesterday in an attempt to form an alliance that could become the second-biggest party in the European Parliament.

he talks gathered 14 parties and were hosted by Jaroslaw Kaczyski, the leader of Poland’s ruling right-wing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) at the Regent Warsaw Hotel.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Rally, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain’s Vox party, attended.

Ms Le Pen, who is campaigning ahead of France’s presidential election next April, described the meeting as “an important step” but said she did not expect an imminent announcement of a new parliamentary group.

“We can be optimistic about the launch of this political force in the months to come,” she said.

“The future of Europe is being written in Warsaw today. Discussions are moving forward towards better cooperation between all the patriotic forces in the European Parliament.”

Mr Orban wrote on Facebook: “We want to change the politics of Brussels. We’ve been working for months to create a strong party family.

“Hopefully, we can make a step towards this goal today or tomorrow.”

A group of demonstrators gathered outside the building as the meeting began, shouting “No to fascism”.

The meeting follows a declaration last July signed by 16 parties and movements announcing a “grand alliance” in the European Parliament.

Italy’s Matteo Salvini, one of July’s signatories, was notably absent from the talks.

His party, the League, put out a statement saying that “the time needs to be right” for the launch of a group.

The League and Ms Le Pen’s National Rally are in the European Parliament’s Identity and Democracy Group, while the PiS, Vox and the Brothers of Italy party are in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

Earlier this year, Mr Orban’s Fidesz party was forced to leave the centre-right European People’s Party, the biggest group in the European Parliament, and is seeking to gather an alliance around it.

Poland and Hungary accuse the EU of undermining their sovereignty, while the commission has taken legal action against the countries for violation of fundamental rights of LGBT people.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said Europe was at “a turning point” and called for member states to end the “usurpation that is concentrating power in the hands of the European elites”.

Ms Le Pen met with Mr Morawiecki and Mr Orban in Budapest in October to reinforce ideological links and express her support in their stance against mass immigration.

The meeting in Warsaw also came at a time of heightened tensions around the migrant crisis on the Belarus border.

Mr Abascal posted a picture of himself with Mr Morawiecki on Twitter, saying he was “transferring the support of the Spanish patriots to our Polish friends in the face of the migratory invasion and the blackmail of the liberal bureaucrats in Brussels”.

Ms Le Pen said that the alliance would not be created quickly. “Bringing together political movements is a long haul,” she said. “It takes time.” (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd (2021)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

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