EU’s ‘mask has slipped’ says Patrick Christys
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Leaders of European nationalist parties on Saturday put the European Union on notice, as they vowed to “give people back their sovereignty”. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, were among those at a joint conference in Warsaw. Ms Le Pen said that the nationalist alliance, which would be the second-biggest force in the European Parliament if united, aims to take on the new German coalition government.
This comes after the coalition agreement in Germany included proposals for the “evolution of the EU towards a European federal state”.
The new German Government is a so-called ‘traffic-light’ coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the liberal FDP.
The surprise backing for more EU integration and power for Brussels comes just weeks before France is taking over the rotating EU Council presidency in January.
Speaking to reporters, the French presidential candidate said the alliance was “all the more necessary now that we are faced with a German coalition which has made federalism a priority and will definitely also increase migration pressure”.
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Other attendees at the Warsaw conference included Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain’s Vox party, but Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s League, was a notable absence.
After posting a photo with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Ms Le Pen tweeted that they share a wish for “a Europe of nations to give back to the peoples of Europe their freedom and their sovereignty”.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said: “We want to change the politics of Brussels.”
Both Poland and Hungary are locked in ongoing disputes with the EU, which is threatening to withhold funds from both member-states amid rule-of-law concerns.
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In a joint statement after the conference finished on Saturday, the alliance rejected the notion of “a Europe governed by a self-appointed elite”.
They added that “only the sovereign institutions of the states have full democratic legitimacy”.
The conference was protested by groups holding up placards that labelled the alliance fascists and Russian stooges.
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Ms Le Pen faces a fight for a place in the run-off in France’s 2022 presidential election against Emmanuel Macron after another far-right figure Éric Zemmour joined the race.
Meanwhile, the EU has struggled in recent weeks with the ongoing migrant crisis on the Poland-Belarus border.
Human rights groups have claimed the European Commission has ripped up its own rule book to resolve the crisis.
The Commission recently proposed that Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia would be allowed to hold people in special asylum processing centres for up to 16 weeks, rather than the current maximum of four.
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