The new name for the formal group led by populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini in the European Parliament, which now consists of 73 members, has been revealed.
Rassemblement National MEP Thierry Mariani made the announcement of the new group on social media on Wednesday saying, “Identity and Democracy (ID) will be the name of our group in the European Parliament for these five years.”
Identity and Democracy (ID) consists of parties from the former Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group along with new members from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and others who joined forces with Salvini on the campaign trail before the European elections last month, Politico reports.
The Identity and Democracy group comes after months of Salvini building alliances across the continent and while he and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vowed to cooperate on common issues, Orban’s Fidesz party ruled out joining with Salvini late last month.
The previous grouping Salvini and his Lega party had been a member of, the ENF, was led by the then-Front National (renamed Rassemblement National earlier this year) but due to the massive historic victory for Lega in this year’s elections, the ID group will be led by Lega MEP Marco Zanni, with Rassemblement National (RN) MEP Nicholas Bay elected as deputy.
Salvini Leads Lega to Historic First National Election Victory https://t.co/h35QrrGWbg
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 27, 2019
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News last year, Mr Bay expressed his admiration for Salvini saying, “I think Matteo Salvini is without any doubt the first acting interior minister in Western Europe to finally address the immigration issue and to clearly say that it is over — that from now on Italy will not accept uncontrolled immigration anymore.”
Since claiming victory in the European Parliament elections in Italy, Salvini has largely focused on pushing Lega’s domestic agenda which includes many policies, such as the implementation of a flat tax and other tax cuts, that were previously rejected by their coalition partners, the Five Star Movement.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com