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Meloni seeks to unite Europe’s right parties, edges closer to Le Pen

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reiterated her mission to unite Europe’s right-wing parties in an interview on Monday

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Twenty days before the vote that could change the balance in the EU, Meloni outlined a “model” to be implemented in the next European legislature: uniting the right-wing parties in Europe.
Twenty days before the vote that could change the balance in the EU, Meloni outlined a “model” to be implemented in the next European legislature: uniting the right-wing parties in Europe.

by Alessia Peretti

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reiterated her mission to unite Europe’s right-wing parties in an interview on Monday, which, after more conciliatory words from French Rassemblement National leader Marine Le Pen the day before, may mark a growing rapprochement between parties that have not always seen eye-to-eye.

“We are focusing on the name of the President of the European Commission, but the real challenge is to build a different majority than the one we have seen in the last five years, which is an unnatural majority between the European People’s Party and the Socialists,” Meloni said on “Mattino Cinque News” on Canale 5, the TV channel founded by late prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Twenty days before the vote that could change the balance in the EU, Meloni outlined a “model” to be implemented in the next European legislature: uniting the right-wing parties in Europe.

“I want to attempt, a challenging but fascinating task, to replicate in Europe what has been done in Italy, uniting parties compatible in their vision despite having completely different nuances… and sending the left into opposition,” she explained.

Analysts believe these statements could hint at a potential alliance with Marine Le Pen’s Identity and Democracy group.

On Sunday, Rassemblement National’s figurehead expressed more conciliatory words towards Meloni during a conference hosted by VOX in Madrid, marking a sharp shift from past comments.

“There are common points with Meloni,” said Le Pen on Sunday.

“It’s not about individuals but of freedom. Meloni and Salvini care about freedom. There is no doubt that there are convergences for the freedom of the people living in Europe,” she added.

These comments mark a sharp U-turn compared to just two months ago, when Le Pen criticised Meloni at an event organised by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini in Rome, saying: “Tell us clearly if you support Ursula von der Leyen for the presidency of the Commission because we will never do so.”

After initially showing openness to von der Leyen’s candidacy, Meloni has recently avoided giving a direct answer.

In the interview, Meloni argued that in recent years, the EU has been “too busy with trivial matters to notice that our nations no longer controlled anything regarding essential supplies.

But the challenge for Europe today is to “take back control of its destiny, focus on fewer things and do them better”, Meloni added.

”In recent years, the EU has dictated what we could and could not eat, what cars we could and could not drive. This, I believe, represents a limitation of the freedom of individuals and national states that needs to be reversed. The EU can and must set goals, but then national states decide how to achieve them,” she added.

*first published in: Euractiv.com

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