The new name for a formal national populist alliance in the European Parliament has been revealed.
In an announcement made on social media last Wednesday, National Rally MEP Thierry Mariani declared, “Identity and Democracy (ID) will be the name of our group in the European Parliament for these five years.”
The newly formed alliance – the successor of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group which had 36 seats in the previous parliament – now comprises 73 members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
The group draws from nine of the European Union’s 28 member countries, and includes Italy’s Lega, France’s National Rally, Alternative for Germany, Austria’s Freedom Party, the True Finns Party, the Czech Republic’s Freedom and Direct Democracy, the Danish People’s Party, Estonia’s Conservative People’s Party, and Belgium’s Flemish Interest.
Although Identity and Democracy (ID) itself comprises 10 percent of MEPs in the new European Parliament, it’s actually part of a wider and more informal ‘sovereignist bloc of more-or-less 200’ MEPs who are populists, conservatives, and eurosceptics, according to France’s Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen has noted that those 200 votes will be drawn from parties in other groups like Hungary’s Fidesz party, Spain’s right-wing populist Vox party, and Poland’s Law and Justice party who all maintain similar positions on mass migration.
ID will be led by Marco Zanni, an MEP from Italy’s League party, and largest single party in the alliance with 28 lawmakers.
As things currently stand, Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party have refrained from joining the group. Farage – who’s had difficulty finding allies – seems to be banking on the resurrection of another populist, eurosceptic group, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), which would allow him to keep his coveted speaking position in EU parliamentary debates.
During ID’s press launch on Thursday in Brussels, Marco Zanni, who met with Farage earlier in the month, mentioned that his group’s door would remain open to the Brexit party and other similar populist-nationalist, eurosceptic parties.
In the same press launch, the co-leader of Alternative for Germany Jörg Meuthen stated that group’s goals were to stop globalists from inside the EU from seizing more power from member states, and to block what he described as “the undermining of the nation-state.”
France’s Marine Le Pen, who was also one of the nine speakers at the group’s press launch, declared, “Things must change, because voters demand it… The time of hidden maneuvers behind the backs of the people is over.”