Discover the far-right parties in the new European Parliament

Rassemblement National @RNational_off
A poster of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella - the President of Rassemblement National - celebrating their electoral victory.

During the last months, the rise of the far-right and the eventual risks for the European institutions monopolised the debates about the 2024 European elections. However, Sunday’s results revealed that the far-right parties did not perform successfully in all the EU member states. Their lawmakers counted together they cannot threaten the election of the new European Commission’s President; he or she will need support from the EPP, the Socialdemocrats and the Liberals.

For example, in Italy, the Brothers of Italy of Giorgia Meloni won 14 seats more than in 2019, a considerable success for the Prime Minister. However, the League of Matteo Salvini lost 14 seats. Thus, for the Italian far-right, nothing changed. Also, Geert Wilders‘ Party for Freedom (PVV) was projected to win nine seats with 22% and arrive first among the Dutch parties. Nevertheless, PVV received 17.7% and only six seats.

The far-right parties are deeply divided between two groups in Parliament: the openly anti-EU and pro-Russia Identity and Democracy (ID) group, whose real leader is Marine Le Pen, and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) of Meloni. However, this can change as the newly elected parties may choose to enter one of the groups, increasing its number of seats. In addition, the future of the ID is still under question as Le Pen’s decisions concerning the continuity of the group are unclear. Questions remain also about the partnerships of Viktor Orbán‘s Fidesz and Robert Fico‘s SMER-SD, two parties that share the entire ideological arsenal of the far-right. Moreover, the decisions of the German AfD are not yet known, as its expulsion from the ID left the party isolated on the European level. The election of right-extremist parties in this Parliament may facilitate the creation of a new group.

Nevertheless, the impact of the entire far-right environment on Parliament has its limits. What is essential is the far-right performance and the associated risks for the democratic institutions and the security at the national level.

The upcoming general elections in France may affect EU security as Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, the President of the party, support Russia. Also, the general elections in Austria may lead to the country’s first far-right Chancellor, a danger for both institutions and security, as the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) directly connects with Vladimir Putin‘s All-Russian Political Party “United Russia” party.

Winners and losers

In France, the Rassemblement National (RN) wins 30 seats (31.5%), increasing its seats by 12. Similarly, the concurrent Proud France (La France Fière) of Eric Zemmour and Marion Marechal, an ECR member, elects five MEPs (5.3%), four seats more than in 2019.

In neighbouring Belgium, in the Flandres region, the two far-right parties won three seats each. The Vlaams Belang (ID) received 14.4%, and the ECR member New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) 13.9%.

In Luxembourg, the ECR member Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) won one seat (11.8%) and entered the Parliament for the first time.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ party (ID) arrived second after the Greens and re-entered the Parliament after a five-year absence with six seats. Also, ECR’s member Reformed Political Party (SGP) kept its one seat at 3.4%. However, SGP is not a far-right party; it is a conservative Calvinist one. The same for the newcomer in the Parliament, Farmer–Citizen Movement (BBB), a coalition partner in the newly formed Dutch government that won one seat (5.3%); it is a  Eurosceptic party but not a far-right one.

In Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) won 15 seats with 15.9%, increasing its seats by 6. The party is under federal investigation for extremist behaviour, and two of its MEPs are involved in pro-China and pro-Russia spying scandals. Moreover, the party still needs a European level affiliation after its expulsion from the ID.  

In Italy, as we saw, Fratelli d’Italia won 24 seats with 28,6, and the League collapsed with 8.8% and only eight seats. The results may create friction between the two parties, partners in the Meloni cabinet.

In the Iberic peninsula, the two far-right parties increased their seats but didn’t achieve their electoral goals. VOX (ECR) elected six deputies in Spain with 9.6%, 2 more than in 2019. CHEGA (ID) dropped from 18.1% in the March 10 general elections to 9.8% in Portugal! It entered the Parliament for the first time with two seats.

In Scandinavia, the Danish People’s Party (DF), an ID member, kept its one seat with 6.4%. In addition, a new party, a 2022 split from the Venstre, the Denmark Democrats (DD), won one seat (7.4%). The party, founded by former minister Inger Støjberg, who was impeached for misconduct in office after separating families in migrant centres, is an ECR member. In Sweden, the ECR member Sweden Democrats (SD), a white supremacist party, won three seats, one more than in 2019, with 13.2%. However, it arrived 4th. Finally, in Finland, the Finns (Perus), an ECR member, won one seat with 7.6%, lost one seat and came 6th.

In the Baltic states, the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE), an ID member, kept its only seat with 12.4%. The National Alliance “All for Latvia!” –LNNK, an ECR member, performed better, electing two seats (one more than in 2019) with 22.1%. In Lithuania, the ECR-affiliated Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance, a pro-Russia coalition, elects one seat with 5.8%.

In the Visegrad 4 countries, the far-right performed well only in 3. In Poland, the Confederation Liberty and Independence (Konfederacja), an anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian party, won 6 seats with 12.6% and entered Parliament for the first time. Konfederacja is a coalition between ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists and has no affiliation at the EU level.

It isn’t easy to categorise the Law and Justice (PiS) as a typical far-right party. PiS evolved to ultra-nationalist positions, used anti-EU rhetoric and adopted several views from the far-right ideological arsenal. It is also an ECR member. The party won 20 seats (5 less than in 2019) with 36,2%.

In the Czech Republic, the neo-fascist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), an ID member, partnered with the ultra-conservative Trikolora and re-elected its only one seat with 5.7%.

ECR also has a Czech member, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Petr Fiala. However, ODS, despite being a partner of Meloni, is not a far-right party. Head of the Spolu (Together) alliance with KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, the party governs in a coalition with the Pirates and Mayors alliance. It received 22.3% and won 6 seats.

In neighbouring Slovakia, Robert Ficos’ SMER won 5 seats (3 more than in 2019) with 24.8% but arrived second behind the liberal Progressive Slovakia. Fico’s government plans to introduce strict laws—similar to those of Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin—concerning the freedom of the press, NGOs, and LGBTI people. SMER denies being a far-right party and remains without affiliation in the Parliament.

Slovakia also has a real extremist party, Republika, a 2021 split from the neofascist People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) of Marian Kotleba. Republika enters the Parliament for the first time with two seats and 12,5%. However, it had an MEP after its leader, Milan Uhrík, defected from the (ĽSNS) in 2021. It has no affiliation with other parties in the European Parliament.

Hungary also represents a particular case. Orbán’s FIDESZ, which leads the authoritarian government in Budapest, won 11 seats with 44.3% but lost two seats. The party, a supporter of Putin, is in search of a European affiliation. Last March, it tried to enter ECR, but several members rejected it. Moreover, the Our Homeland Movement (MH) party, a 2018 split from Jobbik, wins one seat with 6,7%, entering the Parliament for the first time. MH is an extremist party that has a paramilitary wing. The party does not have any European-level affiliation. In these elections, the emergence of a new conservative party, TISZA, that won 30% (7 seats) of the votes, caused a profound reshaping in the opposition.

In the Southeastern part of the EU, the far-right had a considerable gain. In Greece, the ECR member Greek Solution (EL) increased its seats to 2 with 9.3%. Additionally, two new parties emerged, the Orthodox fundamentalist Democratic Patriotic Movement “Niki”  with 4.4%, and the ID-inspired Foni Logikis (3%) winning one seat each.

In Cyprus, the National Popular Front (ELAM) won one seat with 11.2% and entered the Parliament for the first time. ELAM is an ECR member, despite the fact it was founded by the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which is now disbanded by Greek law as a criminal organisation.

In the Austro-Hungarian cultural part of the EU, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) increased its seats from 3 to 6 with 25.7%. FPÖ is an ID member with close links with the AfD. The country will hold general elections in autumn.

In Croatia, the Homeland Movement (DP), a government coalition partner, wins one seat with 8.8%.

Finally, far-right parties performed well in Sunday’s election in the eastern part of the Balkans. In Romania, two irredentist parties entered the Parliament for the first time. The ECR member Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) wins 6 seats with 14.9%. AUR promotes the union of Romania with Moldova and allows internal neo-fascist and extremist wings. The ID party SOS Romania elects two lawmakers with 5%.

Finally, in Bulgaria, the Vazrazhdane won three seats with 15.40% and entered the European Parliament for the first time. The party has no affiliation at an EU level, but its President proposed to form a new group with the AfD. The ECR-affiliated There Is Such a People (ITN), a right-wing populist party, also won one seat with (6.2%).

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