Le Pen and Orban Unite in EU Parliament


Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party, after a defeat in French parliamentary elections, is forming an alliance with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party in the European Parliament.

“We will form a new group with 84 parliamentarians from 12 countries, creating the third largest group in the European Parliament. If everyone agrees, the chairman will be French,” said MEP Jean Paul Garaud from the National Assembly.

Orbán’s spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, announced on social media that “Patriots for Europe continues to grow with the addition of Marine Le Pen to the National Assembly.” This announcement came a day after the National Assembly finished third in France’s parliamentary elections, despite earlier polls suggesting the far right could become the largest party.

In the elections, the left-wing alliance New People’s Front came first but did not secure an absolute majority in parliament.

Le Pen’s National Assembly, now joining Patriots for Europe in the EP, becomes the largest party in this group with 30 MEPs. This party has financial and ideological ties to Russia, with which Orbán maintains friendly relations.

Right wing parties performed well in several countries in the European Parliament elections a month ago. Le Pen’s National Rally defeated French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist camp significantly, prompting the head of state to call early elections.

However, the right remains divided in the EU legislature.

The largest faction has been the European Conservatives and Reformists, dominated by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, which has recently moderated its Euroscepticism. Another major right group, the “Identity and Democracy” group, is controlled by the National Assembly and takes more anti-EU stances.

Fidesz, which left the EPP in 2021, has been seeking allies in the European Parliament to promote nationalist and populist policies. On June 30, Orbán announced the formation of the Patriots for Europe group, with Austria’s far-right Freedom Party and the centrist ANO of former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis joining immediately. Five other parties later joined: Dutch anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV), Portugal’s far-right Chega party, Spain’s Vox, the Danish People’s Party, and the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang.

Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s populist League party, indicated on social media that he too was preparing to join the group, calling it “a landmark for changing the future of Europe.”