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Identity and Democracy Party

The Identity and Democracy Party (French: Parti Identité et Démocratie, Italian: Partito Identità e Democrazia, German: Identität und Demokratie Partei), abbreviated to ID Party and formerly known as the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENF), is an alliance of nationalist,[1] right-wing populist[1] and eurosceptic[2] European political parties founded in 2014. The party has been described as both right-wing and far-right. Its political group in the European Parliament was Europe of Nations and Freedom, which was succeeded in 2019 by Identity and Democracy.

Identity and Democracy Party
PresidentGerolf Annemans
European Parliament group leaderMarco Zanni
Founded2014 (2014)
Think tankFoundation of Identity and Democracy
IdeologyNationalism[1]
Right-wing populism[1]
Euroscepticism[2]
Political positionRight-wing[3][4][5][6] to far-right[7][8]
European Parliament groupEurope of Nations and Freedom (2015–2019)
Identity and Democracy (2019–present)
European Parliament
57 / 751
European Lower Houses
260 / 2,377
European Upper Houses
119 / 1,180
Website
www.id-party.eu

HistoryEdit

In the aftermath of the 2014 European Parliament election, parties affiliated with the European Alliance for Freedom unsuccessfully attempted to form a political group in the European Parliament.[9][10][11] After unsuccessfully forming a group, National Rally, Lega Nord, Freedom Party of Austria, Vlaams Belang and the Civic Conservative Party formed MENF.[12]

Later in 2014, they decided to create a new European-level structure, which became the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom. The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) chose not to participate in this pan-European party, as it declined to be funded by the European Union.[13] The Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP), initially claimed that it would be part of the new alliance, but was accused in a press release by the French National Rally of spreading false claims in the Polish and Austrian media.[14] Ultimately the KNP took part in the creation of the party's new parliamentary group as its former controversial leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke was evicted from the party to be replaced by Michal Marusik.

It was recognised by the European Parliament (EP) in 2015. Its maximum grant by the EP for this year is €1,170,746[15] plus €621,677 for its affiliated political foundation, the Fondation pour une Europe des Nations et des Libertés.[16]

On 16 June 2015, the Europe of Nations and Freedom parliamentary group was created in the European Parliament with members of the MENF (RN, FPÖ, LN, VB) as well as the PVV, Poland's KNP and a former member of UKIP, Janice Atkinson.

The 1st congress of the movement was held on 28 June 2015 in Perpignan, France gathering some MEPs from the National Rally as well as a few of its local & national representatives members; the objective of this meeting was mainly about making the 1st year of action of the National Rally's MEPs in review.[17]

On 15 September 2015, the Flemish Vlaams Belang (VB) and the movement organised a colloquium dealing with sovereignty which took place in the Flemish Parliament with VB's leader Tom Van Grieken, MEP Gerolf Annemans, VB's member Barbara Pas and National Rally's leader Marine Le Pen.[18] All of the Flemish parties approved Marine Le Pen's visit at the Flemish Parliament although the speaker of the Flemish Parliament Jan Peumans (N-VA) decided not to be part of this colloquium.[19]

On 21 November 2015, MENF's think thank "Foundation for a Europe of Nations and Freedom" organised a colloquium ("L'euro, un échec inéluctable?") dealing with Euro and how it might be an inescapable failure. Jacques Sapir took part in this colloquium among others. The FENF, chaired by Gerolf Annemans, organised another colloquium on 2 April 2016 in Paris dealing with union representation and the development of professional organisations in France.[20]

The third colloquium of the movement took place on 4 March 2016 in the Flemish Parliament with VB's leader Tom Van Grieken and PVV's leader Geert Wilders. This colloquium entitled "Freedom" ("Vrijheid") dealt with liberties in Europe and how they would be threatened by immigration from "countries with cultures which are fundamentally different [from the European one]".[21]

The movement's member parties and allies met in July 2016 in Vienna, an event hosted by Austria's FPÖ. The French National Rally, Matteo Salvini's Northern League, the AfD, Belgium's Vlaams Belang, the Dutch Party for Freedom were present among other independent politicians and smaller European parties.[22]

According to Politico, the movement owed in 2016 the European Parliament €535,818. The reasons given by Politico were the forbidden use of European grants by the MENF party to finance national political parties and referendum campaigns.[23] The party strongly denied these allegations by saying that they just had to give the unused EU funds back to the European Parliament.[24]

In 2019 the party expanded by including the Estonian Conservative People's Party in February, We Are Family in March and League for Salvini Premier in September. After the 2019 European Parliament election the party re-branded to the Identity and Democracy Party as the European political party for the Identity and Democracy Group in the Ninth European Parliament.

PlatformEdit

The ID Party's platform is based around building a Europe that is united, rejecting the complete dismantling of the European Union, however is critical of the current activities of the European Union which it accuses of being "ultra-liberal" and too bureaucratic. The party platform wishes to build a Europe that is composed of nations that maintain their "sovereignty" and "identity".[25]

Member partiesEdit

The following national delegations are part of the ID Party:[26][12][27]

Country Party Leader Political group European Parliament National lower houses
Member parties
  Austria Freedom Party of Austria
Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ)
Norbert Hofer ID
3 / 18
30 / 183
  Belgium Flemish Interest
Vlaams Belang (VB)
Tom Van Grieken ID
3 / 21
18 / 87
  Bulgaria Volya
Воля
Veselin Mareshki None
0 / 17
12 / 240
  Czech Republic Freedom and Direct Democracy
Svoboda a přímá demokracie (SPD)
Tomio Okamura ID
2 / 21
19 / 200
  Estonia Conservative People's Party of Estonia
Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond (EKRE)
Mart Helme ID
1 / 7
19 / 101
  France National Rally
Rassemblement national (RN)
Marine Le Pen ID
20 / 74
7 / 577
  Greece New Right
Νέα Δεξιά (ΝΔ)
Failos Kranidiotis None
0 / 21
0 / 300
  Italy League
Lega
Matteo Salvini ID
28 / 73
123 / 630
League for Salvini Premier
Lega per Salvini Premier (LpSP)
  Poland Congress of the New Right
Kongres Nowej Prawicy (KNP)
Stanisław Żółtek None
0 / 51
0 / 460
  Slovakia We Are Family
Sme Rodina
Boris Kollár None
0 / 14
9 / 150
  United Kingdom For Britain Anne Marie Waters None
0 / 73
0 / 650
Former members
  Czech Republic Civic Conservative Party[a]
Občanská konzervativní strana (OKS)
Jiří Janeček None
0 / 21
0 / 200
Associated parties
  Denmark Danish People's Party[b]
Dansk Folkeparti (DF)
Kristian Thulesen Dahl ID
1 / 14
16 / 179
  Finland Finns Party[b]
Perussuomalaiset (PS)
Jussi Halla-aho ID
2 / 13
39 / 200
  Germany Alternative for Germany[b]
Alternative für Deutschland (AfD)
Jörg Meuthen
Alexander Gauland
ID
11 / 96
91 / 709
The Blue Party[c]
Die blaue Partei
Frauke Petry None
0 / 96
2 / 709
  Netherlands Party for Freedom[d]
Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV)
Geert Wilders None
0 / 26
20 / 150
  United Kingdom UK Independence Party[c]
(UKIP)
Vacant None
0 / 73
0 / 650
  1. ^ OKS was a founding member however left in 2016.
  2. ^ a b c As member of the European Parliament group Identity and Democracy.
  3. ^ a b As member of the former European Parliament group Europe of Nations and Freedom.
  4. ^ The PVV has rejected full membership of the ID party, even though it regularly collaborates with it. PVV was also a member of the former European Parliament group corresponding to MENF, Europe of Nations and Freedom.

Other related partiesEdit

In February 2016, FPÖ's leader Heinz-Christian Strache was invited by the anti-Euro & anti-immigration party AfD and its leader Frauke Petry to their congress in Düsseldorf and the AfD also announced a cooperation pact with the FPÖ.[28][29] In April 2016, AfD's vice-president Alexander Gauland also proposed an alliance with Marine Le Pen's National Rally.[30] Therefore, AfD's MEP Marcus Pretzell joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom group on 30 April 2016. The AfD are member of the ID Party's European Parliament political group, Identity and Democracy.[31] The Danish People's Party (DPP) and the Finns Party are also members of the Identity and Democracy political group, and the DPP has participated in ID Party events such as their 2019 Antwerp Conference.[8][32]

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), despite not being a member of MENF, participated in its previous political group in the European Parliament, ENF.[33] Party leader, Geert Wilders has also attended ID Party events and appears in its promotional material.[26]The Blue Party led by former AfD leader, Frauke Petry and the UK Independence Party, formerly led by Nigel Farage, were both members of the ENF. Both the Blue Party and UKIP never became official members of MENF however were ideologically aligned.

ID Party leaders leaders also have public political relations of some kind with Brothers of Italy (FdI, Italy).[34] On 24 October 2015, MENF's leader and vice-president of the National Rally Louis Aliot met the current president of Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni in Trieste for a conference on immigration.[35] Also in 2015 Marine Le Pen praised SVP's victory during the 2015 Swiss election although the Swiss party does not have official links with the movement.[36] The movement launched an anti-immigration campaign in 2015 just like the SVP's campaign during Swiss referendum on immigration in 2014. In February 2017, French MEP Edouard Ferrand met with Vox's leaders during a meeting of the Spanish right-wing party.[37] Back in 2016, Vox's president Santiago Abascal had already met with one of the National Rally's leaders, Louis Aliot, also one of MENF's MEP in the European Parliament.[38]

ID Party have supported the Visegrád Group of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia for their opposition to the European Union's migrant policies in response to the European migrant crisis. ID Party have launched a petition to support the ruling parties of these nations.[39] The ruling parties of Law and Justice, Fidesz, ANO 2011 and Direction – Social Democracy have expressed populist and anti-immigrant rhetoric similar to members of ID Party resulting in mutual supportx especially from Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party.[40][41][42] Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen hoped to forge strong relations with Law and Justice and Fidesz prior to the 2019 European Parliament election.[43]

StructureEdit

 
Current president, Gerolf Annemans

PresidentEdit

Members of the BureauEdit

TreasurerEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "European Union". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b https://orca.cf.ac.uk/77359/7/euroscepticism.pdf
  3. ^ "Identity and Democracy Group: United on the Outside, Divided on the Inside? - Le portail de référence pour l'espace de liberté, sécurité et justice". 28 June 2019.
  4. ^ Fortuna, Gerardo (27 June 2019). "New European Parliament starts solving its power-sharing puzzle".
  5. ^ "The Year of Populism: Europe's Right Wing Takes Aim at the EU". 4 January 2019 – via Spiegel Online.
  6. ^ "Le Pen Wows Europe's Rightist Hopefuls in Sofia". 16 November 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "New European far-right coalition named Identity and Democracy". Euronews. 13 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Le Pen party steals Farage's Italian allies". The Times. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Marine Le Pen fails to form far-right bloc in European parliament | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Le Pen's Far-Right EU Parliament Alliance Fails at Start". Ibtimes.co.uk. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  12. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20150703203248/http://www.menleuropa.eu/national-delegation/
  13. ^ Cas Mudde. "The EAF is dead! Long live the MENL!". openDemocracy. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Communiqué d'Aymeric Chauprade, chef de Délégation du Front National au Parlement européen". Front National. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Grants from the European Parliament to political parties at European level 2004-2015", March 2015, Europarl.europa.eu, retrieved 27 April 2015
  16. ^ "Grants from the European Parliament to political foundations at European level 2008-2015", March 2015, Europarl.europa.eu/, retrieved 27 April 2015
  17. ^ "À Perpignan, le Front national accuse l'Europe et le pouvoir (notre interview video de Marine Le Pen)". 27 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Colloquium Soevereiniteit: Grenzen Stellen". Grenzenstellen.eu. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  19. ^ Frédéric Chardon (15 September 2015). "Tous les partis flamands ont approuvé la venue de Marine Le Pen". La Libre.be. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  20. ^ "Foundation for a Europe of Nations and Freedom - Contact". Fenl.eu. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Colloquium Vrijheid". Colloquiumvrijheid.eu. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Europe's right-wing parties meet near Vienna, urge Brexit". DW.COM. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  23. ^ Posaner, Joshua (3 September 2016). "Far-right groups ordered to pay European Parliament €800,000". Politico.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Response to the shameless lies of the website Politico". Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  25. ^ https://www.id-party.eu/d_claration_du_pr_sident
  26. ^ a b "Identity and Democracy Party". Identity and Democracy Party. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  27. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20180419053134/https://www.fetedesnations.eu/
  28. ^ "Deutsche AfD und FPÖ beschließen Zusammenarbeit - FPÖ - derStandard.at › Inland". Derstandard.at. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  29. ^ "AfD und FPÖ probten in Düsseldorf den Schulterschluss | WAZ.de". Derwesten.de (in German). 14 February 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  30. ^ "AfD-Vize Alexander Gauland erwägt offenbar Fraktion mit Front National - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel.de. 10 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  31. ^ Huet, Natalie (13 June 2019). "Nationalism in the EU has a new name: 'Identity and Democracy'". euronews.
  32. ^ "ID Party Conference - Antwerp - Identity and Democracy Party". www.id-party.eu. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  33. ^ "European Parliament : MEPs". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  34. ^ "Destra, Marine Le Pen incontra Giorgia Meloni e Gianni Alemanno (video) | Europa Quotidiano". Europaquotidiano.it. 28 July 2003. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  35. ^ "Fratelli d'Italia – Alleanza Nazionale | Immigrazione, sabato 24 ottobre confronto a Trieste tra Giorgia Meloni e il vicepresidente del Front National, Louis Aliot". Fratelli-italia.it. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  36. ^ "Victoire de l'UDC: beaucoup de Français enthousiastes - Le Temps". Letemps.ch (in French). Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  37. ^ "Edouard Ferrand, del Frente Nacional francés: "Amigos de VOX, no estáis solos. Somos capaces hoy por hoy de proponer un proyecto europeo alternativo al actual"". VOX Partido Político Castellón. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  38. ^ "Vox busca la fórmula del éxito de Le Pen con el Frente Nacional. Noticias de España". Elconfidencial.com. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  39. ^ "Migrant Quota - Identity and Democracy Party". www.id-party.eu.
  40. ^ "Orbán: Salvini 'Brother in Arms'". 29 August 2019.
  41. ^ Broniatowski, Michał (9 January 2019). "Matteo Salvini pledges 'Italo-Polish axis' after Warsaw talks". POLITICO.
  42. ^ "Salvini is my hero says Orban - English". ANSA.it. 28 August 2018.
  43. ^ "Marine Le Pen, Salvini strive to forge far-right alliance to 'overhaul EU from within'". France 24. 10 May 2019.