Orbán introduces a new faction in the European Parliament: Patriots for Europe

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Austrian Herbert Kickl posed for the press on Sunday, with their hands on each other. In Vienna, leaders proudly presented their new radical right alliance: Patriots for Europe.

These men lead a radical right-wing party in their own country: Orbán leads Fidesz in Hungary, Babis leads Ano in the Czech Republic and Kickl leads the Austrian People’s Party (FPÖ). These three parties scored big victories in the European elections at the end of June. Now the leaders want to anchor these gains in a joint faction.

Until recently, the parties were still fragmented into three groups in the European Parliament. The eurosceptic Ano was a member of the liberal Renew Europe, to which the VVD also belongs, but last week the billionaire and former prime minister Babis announced that he was leaving that faction.

Fidesz was part of the center-right European People’s Party, but left in 2021 and has been factionless since. The Austrian FPÖ was part of Identity and Democracy (ID), to which the PVV is also affiliated.

Alternative to the disastrous left

With Patriots for Europe, the leaders want to put an end to this fragmentation. Thus, Kickl, Babis and Orbán signed a “patriotic manifesto” in which they criticized the “Brussels elite.” The leaders want to engage in peace talks with Russia and stop EU member states’ arms support for Ukraine.

Patriots for Europe is not yet an official European faction. With a total of 26 seats, the parties have parliamentarians together, but for an official group these seats must come from at least seven EU countries. The three leaders must gather four other parties that want to join the alliance by Thursday.

According to the leaders, they are busy working on this behind the scenes. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, whose Lega party is still affiliated with ID, has already applauded the plan, calling it an alternative to the “disastrous left.”

The PVV said it wanted to join a new radical right-wing faction, when Marine Le Pen of France’s Rassemblement National indicated she wanted to create such a group. Party leader Geert Wilders has not yet published anything about participating in Patriots for Europe.

Read also:

The PVV wants to be part of a new European faction with Le Pen and Meloni

The PVV wants to join the newly formed European faction of radical right parties in the European Parliament. Marine Le Pen, leader of the French Rassemblement National (formerly the National Front), wants to establish such a new faction.

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