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Orban's right-wing group meets EU parliament's conditions

July 7, 2024

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's new alliance of far-right parties passes the threshold to form a political group in the European Parliament. Notable partners include Dutch anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders.

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, and the leader of the Freedom Party of Austria, Herbert Kickl, in Vienna, Austira
Viktor Orban (L) and the leader of the Freedom Party of Austria, Herbert Kickl, announced the formation of a new right-wing alliance on June 30Image: Tobias Steinmaurer/APA/picturedesk/picture alliance

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's new far-right party alliance in the European Parliament has fulfilled the requirements to form a political group called "Patriots for Europe."

To form the group, 23 MEPs from seven countries are needed.

On Saturday, the group secured the membership of the far-right Danish People's Party and the far-right Flemish Vlaams Belang, meeting the required threshold.

Who else is in the alliance?

The Hungarian nationalist leader announced his intention to form a new EU parliamentary group on June 30, promising a "new era" that would "change European politics."

He made the announcement in Strasbourg with Austria's far-right Freedom Party and the centrist ANO of former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Since then, five other parties have said they will join. They include the Party for Freedom (PVV) of Dutch anti-Islam firebrand Geert Wilders, Portugal's far-right Chega party and Spain's Vox party.

Orban strives to become the dominant hard-right force within the EU Parliament.

Will the National Rally join Orban's group?

Orban, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency as of July for six months, said the parties would meet in Brussels on Monday.

By then he will know if the French National Rally has decided to join forces with him after the conclusion of Sunday's second round of French parliamentary elections.

With 30 MEPs, the National Rally would be the largest political force in the group if it decides to join the "Patriots for Europe."

If the National Rally joins, the "Patriots for Europe" would potentially become the third largest parliamentary group, following the conservative European People's Party (EPP) and the Social Democrats (SD).

It would then even overtake the other right-wing group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

French far-right victory could impact EU, NATO

What are the origins of 'Patriots for Europe'?

Several of the groups joining Orban's movement were previously part of the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, which includes members of France's National Rally.

Babis's ANO party defected from Renew Europe, which includes liberals and centrists. Vox is leaving the ECR movement, Orban's main rival as the dominant player in right-wing EU politics.

Meanwhile, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which was excluded from the ID group before the European elections, has said it does not see its place in the ranks of the new alliance around Orban.

dh/rmt (AFP, dpa)