French MEP Jean-Paul Garraud (C) presides over a press conference of far-right Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) joining the Patriots for Europe group in the European Parliament. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER MATTHYS


Patriots for Europe launches as third largest EU Parliament group

RN representative Jean-Paul Garraudt said he believed they were now “more representative and more dynamic” than similar patriotic forces before.


The Patriots for Europe group has launched as the third largest group in the European Parliament with 13 delegations from 12 nations and 84 MEPs.

At the Brussels launch on July 8, officials confirmed that the bloc comprises National Rally (France, 30 seats); Fidesz-KDNP (Hungary, 11 seats); Lega (Italy, 8 seats); ANO (Czech Republic, 7 seats); FPÖ (Austria, six seats); Vox (Spain, six seats); PVV (Netherlands, six seats); Vlaams Belang (Belgium, three seats); Oath and Motorists (Czech Republic, two seats); Chega (Portugal, two seats); Danish People’s Party (Denmark, one seat); Latvia First (Latvia, one seat) and Voice of Reason (Greece, one seat).

The group leaders said they hoped new members would join in the near future.

Present at the launch event were First Vice-President Kinga Gál of the Hungarian Fidesz party, and Vice-Presidents Klára Dostálová (ANO, Czech Republic); Sebastiaan Stöteler (PVV, the Netherlands); Antonio Tanger Correia (Chega, Portugal); Jorge Buxadé (VOX, Spain) and Harald Vilimsky (FPÖ, Austria).

RN representative Jean-Paul Garraudt said he believed they were now “more representative and more dynamic” than similar patriotic forces before. The Patriots have effectively swallowed the Identity and Democracy (ID) group.

Garraudt said “there was no consensus for the inclusion” of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is effectively excluded following the refusal by National Rally’s (RN) Marine Le Pen to sit in the same group as the party.

The French politician derided any suggestion that the Patriots could be the subject of a cordon sanitaire, meaning they would be excluded from key roles within the Strasbourg-based assembly.

“On the one hand, we are in a temple of democracy, and those who give us moral lessons impose a cordon sanitaire, which is completely undemocratic.

“I find this unacceptable,” he said.

Buxadé lashed out at the journalists present, asking whether they would report fairly on any cordon sanitaire.

“What are you going to do if we are censored, how are you going to report [that]?” he asked.

Overshadowing the event was the EU’s relationship with Ukraine. The Patriots’ group allows each of its members to define their own position, though the joint manifesto does prioritise “peace”.

Stöteler said: “All wars end with peace in some way. We have to work for peace. We in the Dutch delegation will continue to support Ukraine as long as the war continues, and then each delegation will do what it sees fit. We want a strong Europe that wants to defend itself.”

Tanger Correia closed the press conference with a direct message aimed at Brussels: “The system is not right and we are going to change the system, in my country and in Europe.”