Germany's ruling left-wing parties have demanded the establishment of a cordon sanitaire against the newly founded Patriots for Europe group. (Photo by Maryam Majd/Getty Images)

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German Left demands cordon sanitaire against Patriots for Europe


Germany’s ruling left-wing parties demanded a cordon sanitaire against the newly founded Patriots for Europe group in the European Parliament.

Senior figures within the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens called for a “firewall” be installed within the EP aimed at preventing the now third-largest group from accessing key positions of power.

“The Orbán faction must be isolated in the European Parliament,” lead SPD MEP Katarina Barley said, referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party in a new far-right alliance.

Barley added that the group must be prevented from “sabotaging constructive politics” in Europe and refused any senior position within the hemicycle.

Terry Reintke, senior German Greens member and co-president of the Greens/EFA group, repeated the demands over fears the Patriots could dismantle his bloc’s “green” agenda.

“This adventurous right-wing extremist movement must not be given committee chairs because its only goal is to block Europe, polarise societies, abolish the Green Deal, democracy, the rule of law and freedom of the press,” she told German media.

Both politicians saw their share of seats in the EP fall after the June vote, with Germans instead opting to vote for the centre-right Christian Democrats and right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Speaking to Brussels Signal, members of the Patriots expressed outrage at left-wing suggestions to isolate them, describing it as an insult to their voters.

Enikö Györi, a member of Fidesz, said she was not aware of any European Union legislation that could justify such treatment of any faction in the EP.

“For this parliament to act against any political group is deeply anti-democratic and against the will firmly expressed by millions of voters at the June elections,” she said.

Tom Vandendriessche, the lead candidate for Belgium’s Vlaams Belang party in the June EP elections, warned that any cordon sanitaire would only serve to “delegitimise” the EP.

“The parliament belongs to the people that elected its representatives, it does not belong to the majority,” the MEP said.

“If the majority excludes the third-largest group from its legitimate positions, the European Parliament would only delegitimise itself. It would lose all sense of credibility when lecturing others about European values and respect for democracy and the rule of law.”