Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Populist Interior Minister, is expected to be the face of a newly emerging pro-sovereignty/populist supergroup in Europe.
Omni reports that Member of the European Parliament and member of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) Harald Vilimnsky said that three major populist groups in the European Parliament would be rolling out an agreement to increase cooperation among them.
The three groups that are slated to be included in this agreement are the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFDD), and the eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
Historically, there has been some cross-over within the ENF — which Salvini, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, and the FPÖ are members of — and the EFDD. However, there have been few formal connections between the two groups.
Vilimsky’s comments caught the eurosceptic ECR by surprise claiming that this announcement was “news to us.”
Peter Lundgren, an MEP for the populist Sweden Democrats (SD), has expressed reluctance in joining a populist supergroup in the European Parliament. Lundgren commented in March, “It will not be possible to form a large EU-critical group.”
Over the past few months, Salivni has met with other populist leaders throughout Europe in order forge cooperation between European populist groups.
In August 2018, Salvini got together with Hungarian Minister Viktor Orbán, who declared Salvini “my hero” for his efforts to reduce mass migration, which BLP has reported on in the past.
Then in October, Breitbart reported that Salvini met with French populist Marine Le Pen and vowed to form a “freedom front” for the upcoming EU elections in May.
To top it off, the Italian minister met with members of the incumbent Law and Justice party (PiS) in Poland where he emphasized the importance of forging alliances with nationalist parties saying, “I would like there to be a common alliance of those who want to save Europe.”
Salvini has recently become a force in European politics as his policies begin to take root in Italy.
Seeing the dangerous effects of no-go zones and what they’ve done to countries like Germany, Salvini has the led the charge in the putting the clamps on mass migration. Additionally, Italy is becoming a leader in gun rights policy by passing its latest legitimate defense law a few days ago.
Now, populist parties like Vox in Spain are even considering gun rights reforms of their own.
As time goes by, Matteo Salvini appears to be the de facto leader of European populism.
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