European Parliament, Conservatives and Patriots mark the end of Identity and Democracy

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This article was originally published in Italian

The Identity and Democracy Group no longer has the numbers to constitute itself in the European Parliament, with its members being sucked in by the European Conservatives and Reformists or the new Patriots for Europe.

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These are crucial days for the radical right in the European Parliament. After the official formation of the Conservatives and Reformists group, of which Italy’s Fratelli d’Italia is a member, other parties in the area are choosing sides.

The Conservatives growth

The Conservatives now count 84 MEPs, making them the third largest group in the Euro Chamber, and aim to heavily influence European policies in the next legislature, as explained by their co-chair Nicola Procaccini, who has just been re-elected together with Polish Joachim Brudziński.

“The political weight has shifted noticeably to the right and this will make the role of the European Conservatives particularly strategic because it is barycentric within the centre-right political reality, so in short, this enlargement will give us the chance to be particularly influential,” Procaccini said.

In the meantime, the ‘Patriots for Europe’ are working behind the scenes: the alliance of nationalist parties founded by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán together with Czech and Austrian sovereigntists needs new members to form a political group. Among the candidates are political forces that are currently part of another group, ‘Identity and Democracy’, including the League and the National Rally.

The end of Identity and Democracy and the strategies of Le Pen and Salvini

A departure of Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen’s MEPs would signal the dissolution of the ID group, which already lacks the minimum numbers required to form a group—23 MEPs from at least seven member states.

Following the exit of six MEPs from the Austrian Freedom Party, who left to establish the Patriots for Europe group, and the sole Estonian MEP’s migration to the European Conservatives and Reformists, ID’s numbers have dwindled further.

Chega’s two Portuguese MEPs, who are set to join the new Patriots group, will also depart soon. They might be followed by other smaller delegations from both the ID group and the Non-attached group.

“Some of these parties have a very pragmatic approach. They need a group to have roles in parliament, lead committees and receive money”, Francesco Nicoli, an analyst at the think tank Bruegel, tells Euronews. “So they might compromise in the end. I think they are more likely to join Orban’s new party rather than ECR,” he added.

According to Nicoli, the League has to mark the difference from Fratelli d’Italia for internal political reasons, and therefore cannot end up in its own group in the European Parliament. Therefore, the natural (and perhaps the only) landing place for Salvini’s party are Orbán’s patriots.

Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, could follow a particular political trajectory, which would bring her closer to the European Conservatives and Reformists group, in order to appear more moderate in view of the 2027 presidential elections.

The day of truth, however, will be 8 July, when both Patriots for Europe and Identity and Democracy have scheduled their constitutive meeting.



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