According to a Politico list, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage were ranked as the two most important Members of European Parliament (MEP) during the 2014-2019 parliamentary term.
This list of “40 MEPs who mattered” ranks MEPs who “set the agenda and stood out from their peers, driving trends both within the legislative arena and in the wider EU political debate.”
Politico pointed to Salvini’s “talent for plain speaking and using social media (not to mention the Euroscepticism) that propelled him to his current position as Italy’s de facto leader, where he has been driving the European debate from the right ever since.”
Salvini has taken his political rise to another level by rolling out a political supergroup of populist parties across the EU, notably made up of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), and the French National Rally.
The young populist leader aims to form the biggest coalition in the European Parliament by outing the centrist European People’s Party and “change the rules of Europe.” Salvini and his populist coalition wants to roadblock the progressive, centralized project of the EU and revert to a union of European nations.
Controversial policies like mass migration and the negative social effects they have brought about have spurred the rise of populism throughout Europe.
BLP reported how Salvini’s La Lega (League) party is set to make big gains in the European Parliament.
Politico also placed former UKIP leader current Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in the second spot in this ranking. Farage was described as “the star speechmaker of the 2014-2019 Parliament.”
After the British government announced that it would be participating in the European Parliament elections, Farage declared that his Brexit Party would be participating as well to defeat the establishment and “fight back against the betrayal of democracy.”
An Open Europe poll found that the Brexit Party was in third place behind Labour and Conservatives.
Over the past few weeks BLP has found that populism is a growing movement across the West and is here to stay.
A recent poll shows that immigration is still the #1 issue for Republican voters in the 2020 elections.
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