Posted on July 5, 2023

Unite the Right? Cordon Sanitaire Holds Back EU-Wide Right-Wing Alliance, for Now

Gregorio Sorgi, Politico, July 3, 2023

Italian and French right-wing leaders Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen hoped to lay the groundwork for a right-to-far-right majority for the European Union in a meeting Monday.

But mainstream conservatives in Brussels had other ideas.

With less than a year to go until the European elections, speculation is mounting that the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) could build new alliances with fledgling right-wing groups in the newly formed European Parliament. This could potentially end its decades-old coalition with the center-left Socialists and Democrats.

Salvini, who leads Italy’s populist League party, offered to act as a middleman between the EPP and the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) grouping, to which his party belongs. “Salvini reiterated his determination to build a common home for the center-right alternative to socialists, without vetoes,” wrote the League in a readout of the meeting with Le Pen.


But the EPP unceremoniously turned down the offer, with Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, a conservative bigwig in Italy and strong voice for the EPP in Brussels, setting a red line.

“For us, it is impossible to make any agreement with [German far-right party] AfD and Ms. Le Pen’s party,” Tajani told an Italian news show on Monday.

Tajani indicated he would be open to making a deal with the less-extreme European Reformists and Conservatives (ECR), which includes parties from the right to far right across Europe, along with the liberal Renew group.

A coalition between the three groups would command a majority in the European Parliament {snip}