April 05, 2019
Salvini's attempt to unite the European right
Matteo Salvini is to hold a meeting with the AfD to prepare a formal invitation to the PiS, the government party of Poland, and Viktor Orban's Fidesz to join their ranks in the European Parliament. Politico reports that the event will take place at a hotel in Milan on Monday. A meeting between Salvini and Marine Le Pen of the French Rassemblement National is scheduled for the following day. The RN and the Lega are currently the leading members of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European Parliament, along with Austria's FPÖ. PiS is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists - together with the Tories. Fidesz is part of the EPP, but currently suspended.
Politico has calculated that the Lega could win 28 seats, the National Rally 21 and the AfD 13 seats at the May elections. The size of the ENF would double from the current 37 even with no changes to its current composition. It could grow into a much larger group with the projected 27 PiS seats, and 14 seats from Fidesz. The are no signs that the latter two are ready to switch. The article reports that Salvini has held two meetings with senior Fidesz politicians in the last ten days. But the party will not take part in the Milan meeting. Salvini and Jörg Meuthen, the AfD leader in the European Parliament and one of the last remaining economic professors in the party, are to hold a joint press conference on Monday. Salvini will then meet with Marine Le Pen on Tuesday. The goal is to create a unified group of nationalists - which could become one of the largest in the EP. Until now, PiS and other right-wing parties have consistently resisted entering an alliance with Marine Le Pen.