Le Pen, Orban and the ‘Patriots for Europe’: Is the EU being undermined from within?

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party this week joined forces with the camp of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to form a powerful new far-right bloc in the EU parliament. The group, Patriots for Europe, will be led by Jordan Bardella, Le Pen’s 28-year-old protégé. With 84 EU lawmakers it will be the parliament’s third-largest political group.

France's far right National Rally (RN) this week joined the Patriots for Europe bloc, an EU parliamentary group launched by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in June.

The new group, comprising 84 members from 12 countries with the RN contributing the largest share of 30 MEPs, has overtaken Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's far-right European Conservatives and Reformists bloc to become the third-largest group in the EU parliament.

At a news conference, senior officials from the new group on Monday laid out a vision of a party that opposes power being centralised in Brussels – home to the EU’s main institutions – or having “to suffer the diktats of the European Commission", the EU’s powerful executive branch.

Far-right leadership battle in Brussels

“This means limiting the influence that the European Union can have on national policies."

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