THE EU has been delivered a blow after the third-largest group in the European Parliament joined forces with a French eurosceptic party to help cement its influence after the Brussels elections.
Ahead of May’s European Parliament vote, which decides the MEPs for the next five years, new alliances are being formed among Eurosceptics in Brussels.The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), announced an alliance with the French Eurosceptic Debout la France (DF) party ahead of next year’s EU election. They will fill the gap left by Brexiteer MEPs.
The eurosceptic alliance is likely to send shockwaves across the continent.
DF President Nicolas Dupont-Aignan had previously joined with the leader of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, before cutting ties with the far-right leader.
He said its aims are to “first of all create a political programme”, before “trying to sway” electors.
It is a crucial time for the ECR who are hoping to attract new party support ahead of when about a quarter of its MEPs hail from the UK Conservative Party leave after Brexit on March 29, 2019.
ECR co-chair Ryszard Legutko confirmed on Friday he had spoken to parties in Austria, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden to ramp up support for his party.
The ECR group in the European Parliament was founded by the UK Conservative Party after Prime Minister David Cameron left the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) in 2009.
With 74 MEPs, it is currently the third largest political group in the European Parliament.