Marine Le Pen (R) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) are set to join the same group. EPA-EFE/MARCIN OBARA


Patriots for Europe set to absorb Identity and Democracy group in European Parliament

Hungarian MEP Kinga Gál, called the new outfit "a true milestone", when speaking to Brussels Signal on July 3, adding she hoped the Right "will be able to create a new group in the European Parliament with the patriotic forces”.


Viktor Orbán’s Patriots for Europe project appears set to absorb the Identity and Democracy (ID) group within the European Parliament.

It appears that the merger is the latest step in a carefully calculated strategy, with the party carrying the most weight in ID, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN), having been waiting for the right moment to unite.

According to internal sources, it now looks almost certain that the entire ID group will join the Patriots for Europe project on Monday, July 8.

When Orbán announced the launch of the group on June 30, starting with just his Fidesz party, Austria’s hard-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) and ANO, Czechia’s main opposition party, he said it would soon grow to be the strongest right-wing bloc in the EP.

During the past few days, the Portuguese Chega party announced they would also join the new group.

On July 1, Italian League leader Matteo Salvini said there was a good chance his party would sign up for the Patriots.

Italian sources claimed that the launch of the Patriots in June was co-ordinated with Le Pen.

The group’s biggest addition will likely be RN. While the French outfit has yet to confirm its membership, it appears likely that it will work to spearhead the merger after the conclusion of the country’s snap elections.

A definitive outcome in France, particularly regarding the strength of RN in the French Parliament, could provide the new Patriotic Alliance with a clear understanding of its overall position and influence in Europe.

Hungarian MEP Kinga Gál, called the new outfit “a true milestone”, when speaking to Brussels Signal on July 3, adding she hoped the Right “will be able to create a new group in the European Parliament with the patriotic forces”.

The aim was to become “the strongest right-wing grouping in European politics that will bring real changes”, Gál said.

“People voted for change in Europe in June. But despite the promises, what they are actually given, are unchanged political agreements of the Left-Liberal-Greens side along with EPP. The same old pattern.

“This is not what the people wished for,” she said. “The Brussels elite resists the will of the people expressed at the last elections. Us, the Patriots for Europe are aiming to restore confidence by respecting the will of the vast majority of European citizens.”

Hungarian officials have been talking up expectations of “big surprises” during a press trip for correspondents to Budapest over the past few days as well.

When combined, the current members of the Patriots for Europe and ID groups would number enough seats to eye the Liberal Renew Group while still behind the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

They could pick up some independent candidates and non-aligned parties. The Spanish Se Acabó La Fiesta (SALF) with three seats may join.

The acquisitions look set to leave the ID group structurally unviable. Considering the already announced exits from the group, it risks no longer being recognised in the European Parliament, as all official factions require at least 23 MEPs and representatives from at least seven Member States.

The remaining parties in ID represent only six countries.

There had also been fears that the founding of the Patriots could undermine the ECR.

For some time, it had seemed the ECR was set to split, with parties, in particular the Polish Law and Justice party, tempted to join the Patriots for Europe.

But after a tumultuous day on July 4 and several meetings, the group decided to stick together.

Another competitor on the Right, the Europe of Sovereign Nations group, is about to have its own launch, insiders told Brussels Signal.

The group, already labelled with two nicknames: “the sovereignists” and “the hooligans”,  is centred around the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which was kicked out of the ID, and said it met the required criteria to form a group. That would be smaller than its right-winged rivals.