FN fails to form European alliance
Far-right party misses out on funding after deadline to form seven-nation European Parliament voting bloc passes
FRANCE’S far-right Front National has failed to form a voting bloc in the European Parliament, spoiling its chances of leading an anti-EU alliance.
Marine Le Pen’s party had hoped to form an alliance with Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) and similar anti-EU parties from other nations, but the deadline passed last night.
Missing the deadline also denied the FN access to an additional €20 million in funding, as well as more staff and speaking time in the debating chamber.
The PVV pulled out of a proposed bloc after the FN opened negotiations with Poland's KNP. Mr Wilders described an alliance with the KNP “a bridge too far”.
KNP leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke has said that women are less intelligent than men and should not vote, and that there was no proof Nazi leader Adolf Hitler knew of the extermination of the Jews.
Under European parliament rules, a bloc has to consist of at least 25 MEPs from a minimum of seven EU countries. The FN has 24 MEPs after picking up 24.95% of the vote in last month’s European elections.
Forming a voting bloc had been one of Ms Le Pen’s stated ambitions in the immediate aftermath of the elections, but when the deadline passed she had only the support of MEPs from four other nations.
She had planned to join forces with the PVV, Austria’s Freedom party, Italy’s Lega Nord, and Belgium’s Vlaams Belang.
Unlike the Front National, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has formed a voting bloc with Italy’s Five Star Movement, Lithuania's Order and Justice Party, Sweden Democrats and anti-EU MEPs from Latvia, the Czech Republic and France.