The leaders of two right-wing Italian parties would welcome Fidesz in their respective European Union parliamentary groups, Italian media reported on Sunday. According to the outlets, both the League, led by Matteo Salvini, and the Brothers of Italy (FdI), led by Giorgia Meloni, would welcome the creation of a joint European Parliament formation with the Fidesz group.
According to La Stampa’s analysis, Salvini wants to set up a joint European Parliament group with the Hungarian and Polish parties. The League is currently a member of the Identity and Democracy (ID) party family formed in 2019, which includes, among others, the National Assembly (RN) led by Marine Le Pen.
Meloni’s FdI, part of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, born in 2009, is also ready to cooperate. Meloni was elected President of the ECR last September, and the Polish Law and Justice (PiS) is also a member of the party group.
“He who believes in sovereign nations, secure borders, the family that is the center of society and Christian values will find his home in the ECR,” La Stampa quoted Meloni as saying. According to the newspaper, the president of the FdI wanted to point out that there is no need for another European Parliament group in connection with the above.
According to analysts, Meloni’s words were mainly intended for her Italian domestic political ally, Salvini, telling him that “the League just needs to knock on the ECR’s door.”
In the Italian press, the speculation was triggered by Viktor Orbán’s statement on Friday. The Hungarian prime minister said he was thinking of building a new European right after Fidesz representatives left the European People’s Party (EPP). Orbán highlighted relations with the League led by Salvini and the Law and Justice (PiS) party led by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
According to the analysis of the political daily Il Foglio, Salvini and Meloni are also “courting” Orbán — and Fidesz — who are currently not affiliated with any party family. Still, the newspaper believed that Orbán was thinking of setting up his own faction, as neither Identity and Democracy, represented by Salvini, nor the ECR led by Meloni, proved to be “comfortable and inclusive”, Il Foglio wrote.
According to press comments, Fidesz’s search for a position has invalidated an earlier plan that the League could move closer to the European People’s Party, a move supported by Salvini’s right-hand man Giancarlo Giorgetti, the current Draghi government’s economic minister.
Salvini has avoided journalists’ questions about the joint European faction of the League and Fidesz in recent days, stressing that he now considers a solution to vaccination to be the most urgent issue.
Analysts see Salvini and Meloni as competing within the Italian center-right coalition as a problem: the League has joined Mario Draghi’s government and has 23 percent support, while the Brothers of Italy remained the only party in opposition and its support jumped to 17 percent.
The two parties have not yet been able to agree on the candidates for the municipal elections due in the autumn, including the right’s candidate for mayor of Rome.
Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and League leader Matteo Salvini.