Central European leaders discuss creating new faction in the European Parliament

A new Visegrád-dominated political grouping could be coming to Brussels

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Slovak PM Robert Fico.
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Several Central European leaders are reportedly in talks over forming a new political group in the European Parliament.

Several independent EU sources have confirmed to Népszava that Hungary’s governing Fidesz, former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ ANO movement, and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s SMER party could all join forces in the new grouping.

The parties would create a prominent Visegrád-dominated faction that would sit separately from other socially conservative groups including the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID).

Fidesz, which does not belong to any political group, the Czech ANO, which has left the liberals, and the Slovak Smer, which has been sidelined by the socialists, want to create a bloc of mainly Central and Eastern European MPs, opposed to the political mainstream, on the basis of the Visegrád countries. One source claims that the idea for the group came from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS), led by Jarosław Kaczynski, which currently is part of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is also expected to join the group. Originally, Fidesz was expected to join the ECR but was reportedly blocked by Italy’s governing Brothers of Italy (FdI) led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The 20 Polish PiS MEPs are reportedly divided over the group’s line, with some worried that Meloni has made a deal with the Christian Democrats and is straying from the ECR’s political path. On Wednesday, the group’s inaugural meeting was postponed twice and could take place sometime next week.

The hopeful founders are also understood to be inviting Janez Jansa’s Slovenian Democratic Party, whose MEPs currently sit in the EP’s largest party group, the center-right European People’s Party, to join the group. After one of them was elected vice-chairman of the group last week, there is little chance of them actually defecting, however.

Sources say there could be enough reserves among the European Parliament independents to join the new formation. To form a party group, 23 MEPs from seven member states are needed.

According to a source, the right-wing Identity and Democracy (ID) group and Poland’s PiS want to change the unofficial deadline for forming the groups from July 4 to July 8, the day after the French general election. While the result will not affect the European Parliament’s size, it could change the momentum of the political battles in the Chamber.

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