Despite her victory in the French EP elections and long-term deal with Geert Wilders´s PVV party, the leader of the National Front Marine Le Pen failed to form a political group in the EP. Ms. Le Pen failed to attract at least two more parties from different Member States to meet the required criterion of 7. As the time window for political groups formation closed, Ms. Le Pen only had a deal with the Dutch PVV, the Italian Lega Nord, the Austrian FPO and Belgian Vlaams Belang. Following the failure, the parties announced they will work as non-aligned in the EP. This means, however, that they are not entitled to the same financial support, speaking time, committees posts and legislation raporteurships.
On the other hand, Nigel Farage managed to preserve his EFD group, although the odds were against him following the success of Ms. Le Pen. His group changed name to Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy and will be the smallest political group in the next EP. Also, EFD will be the only openly anti-EU political group, although the EU-critical and anti-federalist ECR group exists and is currently the third largest. Overall though, the eurosceptics seem to have failed at acquiring more attention and power based on their election successes since they were unable to forge a unified political force in the EP.
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20th February 2019
25th January 2019