Orbán and Le Pen rendezvous in Budapest as conservative alliances flourish ahead of next summer’s European elections

By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Marine Le Pen, the former French presidential candidate and leader of the Rassemblement National (RN) parliamentary party, in Budapest on Wednesday where the pair discussed the need for a united Right ahead of next year’s European parliamentary elections.

The two conservative politicians assessed the potential for a strengthening of the pan-European conservative alliance and agreed that nationalist parties across the European Union “need to give a joint and strong response to Brussels’ imperial ambitions, its misguided economic policies, and its pro-migrant initiatives,” according to Hungary’s Secretary of State for International Communication Zoltán Kovács.

The pair have long been advocates for greater political representation in favor of promoting family, national, and Christian values, and are understood to have discussed how to better bring such topics to the forefront of the European political debate.

“Always a pleasure to meet true patriots. Had a great meeting today with Marine Le Pen in Budapest. We need a change in Brussels: this is the only way to stop illegal migration, protect our families, and kickstart the European economy,” Orbán wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday.

Similarly, the French nationalist expressed her honor in meeting the Hungarian prime minister yet again, and stated that “the migration pact, the Green Deal, and the invasive European bureaucracy remain more than ever subjects of major concern for the people and nations of Europe.”

Conservative politicians across the European Union are growing increasingly more confident about their prospects in the European parliamentary elections scheduled for June next year. Following domestic electoral successes in Sweden, Finland, Italy and Greece in the past year, conservatives are sensing an opportunity to reshape the European Union from within after a tumultuous few years of economic instability, high inflation, and conflict on Europe’s doorstep has seen European voters turn inward.

A surge to the right could see current fringe parliamentary groups such as Identity and Democracy (ID), with which MEPs from Le Pen’s RN currently affiliate, garner more influence in Brussels. Meanwhile, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, which left the center-right European People’s Party in acrimonious circumstances back in 2021 and is currently unattached to a European political party, could help to provide extra gravitas to the group.

Regardless of the formal party affiliations, conservatives across Europe are sounding out the need for greater unity, and Le Pen has been conducting a charm offensive in recent weeks after appearing at a League rally in northern Italy earlier this month with another long-time political ally, Matteo Salvini.

The nurturing of such political friendships over the next nine months could result in seismic disruption and a shift in the balance of power from the mainstream liberal elite in Brussels come next summer.

Share This Article