Sovereignists of Europe, unite! The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, is working non-stop to form all the anti-EU alliances possible. He needs partners in the next European Parliament to form a political group after the May elections. Recently “the captain”, as Salvini is nicknamed, was able to establish a special partnership with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, on migration.
Migrants stay home!
What Salvini and Orban can do together is completely unpredictable. They both want to pursue their respective personal interests, and Orban’s concerns are not the same like Salvini’s. Orban doesn’t want to hear about any quota of migrants. He never wanted to help Italy in reducing migratory pressure and to take in migrants arriving at this country’s coasts. He clarified since the beginning of the migration crisis that he prefers to pay rather than host asylum seekers.
Nevertheless Salvini flew to Hungary to confer with Orban. The two political leaders discussed how to forge a common European pact to combat migration on the continent and succeed in the European elections. The idea is clear: migrants must not arrive. They visited the fence along the Hungarian-Serbian border. The event’s message was clear: migrants are not welcome.
Non solo controllo dei confini e lotta all’immigrazione clandestina, ma anche un impegno comune sulla riduzione delle tasse e l’aumento degli stipendi.— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) May 2, 2019
In Ungheria le tasse su imprese e società sono scese al 9%, quelle sulle persone fisiche al 15%. pic.twitter.com/sOwh4MYaQD
Salvini and Orban are united by anti-immigrant sentiment. They don’t want foreigners, and they want to work together on this after the next European elections. As Salvini pointed out during the joint press conference: “The positions of the Italian and Hungarian governments are identical on the issue of border controls. We expect the new Europe to protect its external borders”.
European Alliance of People and Nation
At the beginning of April Salvini summoned in Milan all the anti-European forces with the aim of creating a “sovereignist army” to deploy in Brussels against the European Union. This force will have a name: European Alliance of People and Nation (EAPN), and it will replace the existing Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF).
The new group will be formed by the League, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, currently sitting within the EFDD group), the Finns party and the Dansk Folkeparti (both coming from the ECR, which they have left). The Belgians of Vlaams Belgang, the Slovenian from the Slovenian National Party (SNS), the Slovaks of We Are Family (Sme Rodina) are also onboard. SNS and Sme Rodina have currently no seats, but they count to bring MEPs to Brussels after the European elections.
It is expected that the group will be joined by Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN), despite the fact that the French political leader didn’t attend the meeting organized by Salvini.
Salvini to work with Orban (and the EPP)?
“The captain” proposes to Orban the possibility of joining the sovereignist forces. He asked the Hungarian leader to become a partner of the newly created EAPN. Orban’s party, Fidesz, was suspended from the European People’s Party (EPP) in March because of the deterioration of the respect of the rule of law. It is not clear what can happen after the European elections, and even before. There are two options: Fidesz will be kicked out (and then other eastern EPP members could leave, as well), or it will stay (with the risk of EPP anti-Orban members to leave).
Salvini asked Fidesz to work together with the right-wing parties. This invitation is valid both for Fidesz alone and for EPP as a whole. Within the EPP there are those who think that time has come to abandon the traditional grand coalitions with the social-democrats, and Silvio Berlusconi, a great friend of Orban, is one of them.
Salvini is thus pushing to put the anti-European forces all together, and he is doing very well so far. This should sound as an alarm bell for Europe, whose near future appears in bigger trouble than ever.