Blog AnalysisEU Institutions

The new nationalist deal in the European Parliament. The vision of the I&D group

(B2) The creation of the new 'nationalist' group located on the far right of the European chessboard constitutes, even if some minimize it, an event in the cozy circle of the European Parliament

Marine Le Pen (RN), Marco Zannni (Lega Nord) and Jörg Meuthen (AFD) during the press conference (credit: European Parliament – ​​selection B2)

With its 73 deputies, the group called 'Identity and Democracy' (I&D) (see box) is the fifth in the hemicycle (1), just behind the Greens. Failing to obtain key positions in the management of Parliament - vice-president or chairman of a parliamentary committee in particular - he could influence the debates.

During their first eventful press conference (read: Faced with certain excesses, our duty: to recall the democratic rule), on June 13, the leaders of the new nationalist group gave some indications on their policy, the coherence of the group, Brexit, the meaning of the European Union, their involvement in the management bodies of Parliament, etc.

Government maturity

It's a "  slightly different group because the participation of several of us in governments gives us a different maturity insists Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally (RN). " There is a sovereignist bloc of around 200 votes. This will grow and will recompose the political offer within this Parliament. It’s an exciting prospect.. “And to add:” All these forces will converge to make proposals, give a new political color » to the discussions of the European assembly.

The distribution of posts

« Will the European Parliament respect democracy, the weight we represent? Or will they offer the responsibilities to which we are entitled? » asks the Frenchwoman. And to add: “ Things must change, because citizens demand it.”

A coherent vision

“Our group is perhaps the most coherent of all the groups that will emerge in the European Parliament reacted Marine Le Pen, faced with questions from journalists about the group's consistency. " We are not children, we are politicians. We have worked a lot upstream. We know full well that we are different nations, we have differences, but we have a common vision. »

The desire to change the European Union not to destroy it

« Nobody wants the destruction of the European Union. What we want is radical change” said Italian Northern League MEP Marco Zanni, president of the group. A point which seems interesting in the speech and thus opposes a nihilistic vision of Nigel Farage's Brexiteers.

The central axis: respect for national identities, including British

“We respect national identities and national choices…” added the Italian when asked about the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU: it’s “ the choice of the British. We must respect it. »

Aborted negotiations with Brexit and Vox

He also gave some explanations on the aborted negotiations with certain other groups (such as Brexit or Vox). " The door remains open to anyone who wants to cooperate with us. Those who share our political line can discuss with us. But everyone who wants to join this group must adhere to our declaration Commented Marco Zanni referring to Nigel Farage (Brexit) who does not seem to have wanted to sign this declaration. With Voice" there were discussions, it was said that they were always ready to cooperate, it could be that they joined the ECR [the conservative group]. »

Remove sanctions on Russia

« Clearly, we are not for an extension of the sanctions on Russia says Jörg Meuthen (AfD). " They haven't changed anything. We must find a pragmatic path with Russia »

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

The I & D group: a snub to Nigel Farage

The name of the new nationalist group 'Identity and Democracy' will mean something to those familiar with European circles. I searched my archives. His initials (I&D) have already been used in the past to refer to the eurosceptic group, led by the Dane Jens-Peter Bonde and the Briton Nigel Farage in the 6th legislature, from 2004 to 2009: “Independence and Democracy”!

Formed in July 2004, on the rubble of the former Europe of Democracies and Diversities (EDD) group, 'Independence and Democracy24 deputies from 9 countries were formed. But it was the British MPs from UKIP who formed the main backbone (with 10 MPs). Their motive: opposition to the European Constitution and resistance against “ centralization and bureaucratization of Europe ».

(1) And not the fourth as indicated by Marco Zanni. Read also: Elections 2019. The political groups in the European Parliament are gradually forming

NB: this paper had been prepared in the wake of the group's press conference, but I delayed its publication, until the behavior that was difficult to describe, to say the least, of certain RN MEPs and administrators of the group faded away. have all the serenity necessary for an article that is as objective as possible.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).