French and German far-right leaders meet in Paris. Is ID Group’s future still at risk?

AfD @AfD
An AfD poster promoting "Remigration".

The co-chair of the AfD, Alice Weidel, exchanged views with the parliamentary group leader of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN), Marine Le Pen and RN party leader Jordan Bardella in a meeting in Paris on February 20 afternoon.

Today, both parties represent the most significant members of the Identity and Democracy Group (ID) at the European Parliament. This group brings together the parties of Europe’s most hard expression of the far-right. The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders, among others.

A meeting between AfD senior members alongside Neo-Nazi groups last January in Potsdam threatened the unity of the ID Group. 

Alice Weidel seemed to be satisfied with the meeting with the French allies.

“Today, I spoke personally with Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella. We discussed many political issues and found that we pursue the same approaches to solving the major problems of today. I would like to thank you very much for the warm welcome in Paris. Good bye!”, she posted on X.

But why this meeting was important for AfD?

Le Pen’s disagreement with “remigration” plan

Le Pen recently distanced herself from the AfD.

The reason was that the secret far-right meeting of Potsdam discussed a plan envisaging the transfer to North Africa of numerous Germans of foreign origin, “unassimilated German citizens,” as AfD called them.  

The news caused outrage in Germany, reminding the pogroms the Nazi regime implemented against Jews and other populations, and massive demonstrations broke out across Germany, bringing together nearly 1.4 million anti-fascists.

Le Pen has threatened to end the joint group in the EU Parliament. She has stated that the two parties must talk about these enormous differences of opinion regarding this matter. 

In 2027, Le Pen plans to run as a candidate in the French presidential election for the fourth time and is trying to reshape her political profile. The alliance with AfD could represent a burden for the ambitions of the leader of the Rassemblement National.

Is ID cohesion still at risk?

However, it needs to be clarified whether the dispute between the two major parties of the ID Group belongs to the past.

The contents of the conversation are not yet known. It is worth noting that the “re-emigration” slogan appears in AfD posters as part of its official policy.   

According to ZDFheute information, the meeting between Le Pen, Bardella and Weidel occurred in a restaurant. Why not at the headquarters of the RN? Was it a private meeting? 

AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla, a hardliner, didn’t participate in the meeting. According to the media, Chrupalla called it “not a problem” that he had not taken part. 

While Weidel enthusiastically announced her meeting with AfD’s French allies, emphasising the friendly atmosphere, no news came from the RN side. Why? 

Some ID parties will see their MEPs increase after the June European elections. However, it will be interesting to see if the ID will still host the French and the German parties.

On February 7, the ECR Group, which includes the far-right Brothers of Italy – the party of the Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, welcomed the other French far-right party, ‘Reconquete’, as a full member. The niece of Le Pen, Marion Maréchal, executive vice president of the party, announced it in a press conference in Strasbourg.

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