Open main menu

Europe of Nations and Freedom

Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF; French: Europe des nations et des libertés, ENL) was a political group in the European Parliament launched on 15 June 2015. The group was the smallest within the European Parliament during the eighth European Parliament term at just 37 members. The largest faction in the group was the French National Rally with 17 MEPs. Twenty-eight members were part of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF), with the remaining nine MEPs being their ideological allies. The ENF was the parliamentary group of the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom although some MEPs were without any European affiliations.

Europe of Nations and Freedom
European Parliament group
Europe of Nations and Freedom logo.png
ENF logo
English abbr.ENF
French abbr.ENL
IdeologyAnti-immigration[1]
Euroscepticism[1][unreliable source?]
Nationalism[2]
Right-wing populism[3][4][5]
Political positionRight-wing[6][7] to
far-right[3][8][9][10][11]
European partiesMovement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom
From15 June 2015
To13 June 2019
Succeeded byIdentity and Democracy
Chaired byNicolas Bay
Marcel de Graaff
Websitewww.enf.eu

The group was replaced for the ninth European Parliament on 13 June 2019 by the Identity and Democracy group.[12]

HistoryEdit

Following the 2014 European elections on 22–25 May 2014, the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF), comprising right-wing and far-right parties from across Europe, aimed to form a stable parliamentary group in the European Parliament prior to the start of the 8th term. A previous attempt to form a far-right group in the European parliament during the 6th term was the short-lived Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty (ITS) group in 2007.[13]

On 28 May 2014, it was announced at a press conference in Brussels that the alliance led by Marine Le Pen of the French National Front (FN) and Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), including Northern League (LN) leader Matteo Salvini, were in negotiations to form a parliamentary group.[14] On 24 June 2014, it was announced that the Le Pen/Wilders alliance had failed to gather the requisite 25 MEPs from seven EU member nations, thus starting the parliamentary term as Non-Inscrits members.[15][16] Later in 2014, the EAF was succeeded by the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENL), without the participation of the PVV.[17]

On 15 June 2015, Marine Le Pen announced that a new group in the European Parliament would be launched the following day, set to comprise MEPs from the FN, PVV, LN, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Flemish Interest (VB),[10][18][19] the Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP) and former UK Independence Party member Janice Atkinson.[20] Together with the availability of the excluded UKIP MEP, the creation of the group with representation from seven different member states was made possible by the recent side-lining of two historical but controversial figures of the far-right: Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended by his own National Front, while Janusz Korwin-Mikke's departure from the KNP allowed Marine Le Pen and Wilders to accept the two remaining members of the party in their group, something they had rejected during the discussions held in June 2014.[21][22] Among the FN delegation, Bruno Gollnisch chose not to join in solidarity with former president Jean-Marie Le Pen, while Aymeric Chauprade, on a trip to Fiji,[21] joined a few days later.[23] One of the four seats won by the PVV was vacant at the time of the group's creation until 8 September 2015, when Auke Zijlstra replaced Hans Jansen, who had died on 5 May 2015.[24]

In July 2015, the European Parliament decided the group would earn €3 million per year from EU funds.[25] By adding up all the grants for the group as well as for the linked political party and think tank, the funds will amount to €17.5 million for the next four years of their mandate.[26]

On 15 July 2015, Romanian MEP Laurențiu Rebega left both the Conservative Party and the S&D group to join the ENF.[27] On 9 November 2015 Aymeric Chauprade left the group.[28]

Reviewing votes in the EU Parliament on resolutions critical of Russia or measures not in the Kremlin's interests (e.g., the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement), Hungary's Political Capital Institute found that future members of the ENF voted "no" in 93% of cases.[29][relevant? ]

The first convention of the ENL took place on 28 & 29 January 2016 in Milan with all the leaders of ENL's member parties along with Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura, whose party is not a member of the ENL as it has no MEPs. During this convention, each leader made a speech followed by a press conference the next day.[30]

During the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party convention on 30 April 2016, it was announced that Marcus Pretzell MEP would join the ENL group.[31] The AfD's other MEP Beatrix von Storch joined the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in March 2016, both MEPs having been expelled from the ECR group.[32]

On 2 October 2017, 3 MEPs left the Front National and joined the EFDD group two days later.

On 2 March 2018, Romanian MEP Laurențiu Rebega left the group.

In May 2018, another MEP, Bernard Monot, left the Front National to join the EFDD group.[33]

In January 2019, three UK Independence Party MEPs joined the group.[34] In April 2019, one of those MEPs, Jane Collins, returned to the EFDD group.[35]

On 12 June 2019, following the 2019 European Parliament elections, the successor group to ENF was announced as Identity and Democracy group, to be launched the following day.[36][37]

Member parties before being dissolvedEdit

The ENF group had members from eight different countries.[38][39]

Country # National Party MEP EU party
  Austria
2 / 18
Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ)
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs
Franz Obermayr MENL[40]
Georg Mayer
2 / 18
Harald Vilimsky
Barbara Kappel
  Belgium
1 / 21
Flemish Interest (VB)
Vlaams Belang
Gerolf Annemans
  France
15 / 74
National Rally (RN)
Rassemblement National
Marie-Christine Arnautu
Nicolas Bay
Dominique Bilde
Marie-Christine Boutonnet
Steeve Briois
Jacques Colombier
(Had replaced Édouard Ferrand, who died on 1 February 2018)
Jean-François Jalkh
France Jamet
(Had replaced Louis Aliot, who was elected MP in France on 18 June 2017)
Gilles Lebreton
Christelle Lechevalier
(Joined the group on 19 June 2017, replacing Marine Le Pen, who was elected MP in France on 18 June 2017)
Philippe Loiseau
(Had replaced Jeanne Pothain, who resigned before sitting)[41][42]
Dominique Martin
Joëlle Mélin
Jean-Luc Schaffhauser
Mylène Troszczynski
  Germany
1 / 96
The Blue Party (BP)
Die blaue Partei (elected as AfD)
Marcus Pretzell
(Joined the group on 1 May 2016)
MENL
  Italy
6 / 73
Northern League (LN)
Lega Nord
Mara Bizzotto MENL[40]
Mario Borghezio
Angelo Ciocca
(Had replaced on 7 July 2016 Gianluca Buonanno, who died on 5 June 2016)
Giancarlo Scottà
(Had replaced on 17 April 2018 Lorenzo Fontana who had become Minister for Family and Disability in Conte government, previously he had replaced on 11 July 2014 Flavio Tosi, who resigned to remain mayor of Verona)[43]
Marco Zanni
(Elected as M5S, joined the group on 11 January 2017)[44]
Danilo Oscar Lancini
(Had replaced Matteo Salvini, who was elected Senator in Italy on 4 March 2018)
  Netherlands
4 / 26
Party for Freedom (PVV)
Partij voor de Vrijheid
Marcel de Graaff None
André Elissen
(Joined the group on 13 June 2017, replacing Vicky Maeijer, who was elected MP in the Netherlands on 15 March 2017)[45]
Olaf Stuger
Auke Zijlstra
(Joined the group on 8 September 2015, replacing Hans Jansen, who died on 5 May 2015)[46]
  Poland
2 / 51
Congress of the New Right (KNP)
Kongres Nowej Prawicy
Michał Marusik EAF[47]
Stanisław Żółtek None
  United Kingdom
2 / 73
UK Independence Party (UKIP) Gerard Batten None
Stuart Agnew None

Former membersEdit

Member state Party MEPs From To Moved to
  France Former National Front
Now The Free French[48]
Aymeric Chauprade 24 June 2015[23] 9 November 2015[28] Non-Inscrits
Former National Front
Now The Patriots
Mireille d'Ornano 15 June 2015 2 October 2017 EFDD
Sophie Montel
Florian Philippot
Former National Front
Now Debout la France
Bernard Monot 24 June 2015[23] 31 May 2018[28] EFDD
Former National Front
Now Debout la France
Sylvie Goddyn 15 June 2015 19 October 2018 EFDD
  Romania Independent (elected as Conservative)[49] Laurențiu Rebega 15 July 2015 2 March 2018 Non-Inscrits
  United Kingdom Brexit Party (elected as UKIP)[35] Jane Collins 16 January 2019 15 April 2019 EFDD

LeadershipEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Expelled UKIP MEP 'agrees to join' eurosceptic group". Daily Mail. London. 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Le Pen finds common cause with Europe's nationalists". BBC News. 16 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Alan Siaroff (2019). Comparative European Party Systems: An Analysis of Parliamentary Elections Since 1945. Taylor & Francis. p. 469. ISBN 978-1-317-49876-6.
  4. ^ Tobias Gerhard Schminke. "Instabile Rechtsfraktion im EU-Parlament – Treffpunkt Europa | europäisch, politisch, kritisch". Treffpunkteuropa.de. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  5. ^ Europe’s right-wing populist leaders to confer in Germany. The Washington Post. Published 19 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  6. ^ EU's right-wing ENF faction unites to fight for 'patriotism, sovereignty and identity'. Deutsche Welle. Published 21 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  7. ^ Europe’s top rightwing politicians gather in Koblenz. Financial Times. Published 21 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  8. ^ "France's Le Pen announces far-right bloc of anti-EU MEPs". BBC News. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  9. ^ Samuel, Henry; Holehouse, Matthew (16 June 2015). "Marine Le Pen forms far-Right group in European Parliament". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b Rettman, Andrew (15 June 2015). "Far-right parties form group in EU parliament". EU Observer. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Far right MEPs form EU parliamentary group | The Parliament Magazine". Theparliamentmagazine.eu. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  12. ^ https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-jobs-lepen/frances-le-pen-unveils-new-far-right-european-parliament-group-idUKKCN1TE1IO
  13. ^ Laible, Janet (2008). Separatism and Sovereignty in the New Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-230-61700-1.
  14. ^ "Le Pen party steals Farage's Italian allies". The Times. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Marine Le Pen fails to form far-right bloc in European parliament | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Le Pen's Far-Right EU Parliament Alliance Fails at Start". Ibtimes.co.uk. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  17. ^ Cas Mudde. "The EAF is dead! Long live the MENL!". openDemocracy. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  18. ^ "France's National Front says forms group in European Parliament – Yahoo News UK". Uk.news.yahoo.com. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  19. ^ Payne, Sebastian. "France's far right forms bloc in European Parliament – POLITICO". Politico.eu. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  20. ^ Mason, Rowena. "Ex-Ukip Janice Atkinson joins Le Pen-led EU group | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  21. ^ a b Olivier Faye; Jean-Baptiste Chastand (16 June 2015). "Marine Le Pen annonce la création d'un groupe au Parlement européen". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Parlement européen : le FN forme un groupe sans Jean-Marie Le Pen et Bruno Gollnisch". France Info (in French). 16 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  23. ^ a b c "Aymeric Chauprade rejoint le groupe de Marine Le Pen". L'Opinion. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  24. ^ "PVV'er Hans Jansen wist dat hij voor niets in het Europees Parlement zat". tpo.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  25. ^ Payne, Sebastian (16 June 2015). "Le Pen's €3 million pot – POLITICO". Politico.eu. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  26. ^ Crisp, James (16 June 2015). "Le Pen's new EU Parliament group to scoop €17.5 million of public money". EurActiv. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Eurodeputatul Laurenţiu Rebega pleacă de la socialişti la grupul extremiştilor Marine Le Pen şi Gianluca Buonnano. Partidul lui Tăriceanu nu se alege cu niciun reprezentant la Bruxelles". europeanul.org (in Tongan). Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  28. ^ a b c "MEP quits Front National accusing Marine Le Pen of treason". RFI. 10 November 2015.
  29. ^ Krekó, Péter; Macaulay, Marie; Molnár, Csaba; Győri, Lóránt (3 August 2015). "Europe's New Pro-Putin Coalition: the Parties of 'No'". Political Capital Institute (Hungary). Institute of Modern Russia.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ "AfD: EU-Abgeordneter Pretzell wechselt zur Front-National-Fraktion | ZEIT ONLINE". Zeit.de. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Europe Online". En.europeonline-magazine.eu. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  33. ^ "L'eurodéputé et économiste du FN Bernard Monot rejoint Debout la France". Challenges. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  34. ^ "UKIP leader joins Marine Le Pen's far-right EU group". www.thelocal.fr. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Register of MEPs: European Freedom and Democracy Group". europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  36. ^ https://www.politico.eu/article/matteo-salvini-european-parliament-alliance-to-be-named-identity-and-democracy/
  37. ^ https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/13/marine-le-pen-to-unveil-new-far-right-alliance-in-european-parliament
  38. ^ "Nieuw rechts blok EU: 'Wij zijn de stem van het verzet'". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 16 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  39. ^ "Le Pen informs about the new member". Twitter (in French). 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  40. ^ a b "National delegations". MENL. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  41. ^ "Minutes of the sitting of Thursday 3 July 2014". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  42. ^ "L'Orléanaise Jeanne Pothain (FN) démissionne de son mandat de députée européenne" [Orleans' Jeanne Pothain (FN) resigns her MEP seat]. La République du Centre (in French). 26 June 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  43. ^ "La grande vittoria (politica) di Tosi".
  44. ^ "M5S, l'europarlamentare Marco Zanni: "Con Lega e l'Enf condivido battaglia contro euro e per nuova Europa"". Ilfattoquotidiano.it. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  45. ^ ANP. "Wilders bedankt opnieuw voor plek in Europees Parlement". limburger.nl. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  46. ^ "Benoeming A.J. Zijlstra tot lid van het Europees Parlement".
  47. ^ "Aftermath of the elections, a future for the EU or a future for Europe?". European Alliance for Freedom. Archived from the original on 12 August 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  48. ^ "Naissance du mouvement "Les Français libres"". YouTube (in French). 13 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  49. ^ "Diaconu denies link between PRU and European nationalists by criminal charges of Rebega". Replica (in Romanian). 17 July 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  50. ^ "Charter". www.enfgroup-ep.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2017.

External linksEdit