Giacomo Fracassi

Finns party applies for group change in European Parliament


The right-wing Basic Finns party decided to re-join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament, leaving the nationalist Identity and Democracy (ID) group, partially due to ID’s pro-Russia stance and its ties with Vladimir Putin.

The Finnish party had a successful result at last week’s national elections, becoming the second most voted party in Finland with 20% of votes. The leadership of the party voted unanimously in favour of the move. The ECR received the formal application and will now examine it.

The Finns Party elected two MEPs in the European Parliament in the last elections in 2019, Laura Huhtasaari and Teuvo Hakkarainen. The party has been with the ECR in the previous parliamentary term between 2014 and 2019, before it decided to join the nationalist ID.

In a statement, the Finns Party pointed at the “radical change in Finland’s security policy” and the need to “re-examine international cooperation networks” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as driving factors for the change in group. The party wants to be in a group with a clear view on Western defence and on European security.

The right-wing ECR currently has 64 MEPs. It includes Poland’s ruling party PiS and Italy’s ruling party Fratelli d’Italia, as well as the Sweden Democrats. As a sign of the renowned ties with the group, Sweden Democrats’ leader Jimmie Åkesson was a guest of the Finns Party during a campaign event before the general elections, according to Finnish tabloid Iltaleht.

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