‘Rebirth of the Right’ — Orbán Urges Meloni to Forge Populist Coalition with Le Pen in EU Parliament

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 23: (L-R) Giorgia Meloni Prime Minister of Italy and Viktor Orba
Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has called for Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni turn away from her globalist bosom buddies in Brussels and forge a right-wing coalition with French National Rally leader Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament following the elections this week.

Sensing that a potentially historic opportunity has presented itself to take on the globalist hegemony that has dominated discourse and decision making in Brussels, Prime Minister Orbán urged his longtime friend and ally to come home to her populist roots and form a grand right-wing alliance in the European Parliament and end her budding ties with EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Speaking to the Italian Il Giornale newspaper at the Carmelite monastery in Budapest, the Hungarian Prime Minister said: “This European Commission has failed on agriculture, on war, on immigration, on the economy, now they must leave. Strengthening democracy means electing a different Commission from the current one which has been the worst since government.”

“At the same time we need a rebirth of the right in Europe, we have a historic opportunity to change the majority. The right-wing parties must collaborate, we are in the hands of two women who must find an agreement,” he added in reference to Italian PM Giorgia Meloni and French populist Marine Le Pen.

The Hungarian premiere, who is pushing for his Fidesz party join the Italian leader’s group in the parliament, continued: “Giorgia Meloni and I have known each other for many years, I already supported her when she was leader of a 4 per cent party. The first time I met her I thought: she will make her way because she has the two most important qualities for those involved in politics: character and personality.”

“She is also a Christian woman who loves her country… Of course, now that you are in government you have more responsibilities, but in the year and a half of government you have done very well and are respected in Europe, I see it because I am also on the European Council. Now you also have an important role in Europe and a lot will depend on your decisions,” Orbán concluded.

To the disappointment of many on the populist right and in defiance of the hyperbolic warnings of a “fascist” leader returning to power in Italy, since coming to power in October of 2022, Giorgia Meloni has not only governed her country from a largely centrist position but has also sought out alliances with neo-liberal globalists in Brussels, specifically European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The stance of the Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader is expected to be put to the test following this week’s European Parliament elections, in which conservatives and right-wing populist parties are expected to make a significant number of seat gains within the EU legislative body.

According to an analysis of polls from EuropeElects, the Meloni-led European European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group is projected to have 74 seats and the populist Identity and Democracy (ID) group led my Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party is on pace to win 66 seats, making them the fourth and fifth largest international voting groupings within the 720 seat body.

However, were the two ECR and ID groups to join together, they would be the second-largest in the parliament, beating out the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and only trailing behind the neo-liberal European People’s Party Group (EPP) of Von der Leyen, who is seeking a second term as Commission chief and who has been actively lobbying Meloni for her backing to bolster her standing.

On the other side, former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been urging Meloni to reject Von der Leyen and join forces with her in a right-wing alliance of the ECR and ID.

Speaking to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper last month, Le Pen said: “This is the moment to unite, it would be truly useful. If we manage, we will become the second group of the European Parliament. I think that we should not let an opportunity like this pass us by.”

Yet the Italian PM may be swayed by potential benefits to her country that would come with cosying up to the Brussels establishment, such as an increased portfolio for an Italian Commissioner, not to mention the continued elevation of her own political status within the bloc, having already appeared at the side of Von der Leyen during international immigration negotiations with Egypt and Tunisia. The EU Commission chief has also reportedly expressed willingness to walk back some of the Green Agenda in order to secure Meloni’s support.

So far, Meloni has yet to show her hand as speculation grows about Rome’s potential to play kingmaker after the dust has settled. Laying out her priorities ahead of the election, the Prime Minister said this week that she believed it will be a “referendum on what model of Europe is imagined”.

She said that it will be a struggle “between those who think that the green transition will be done with Chinese electric and those who are in favor of technological neutrality, between those who think of encouraging synthetic meat and those who promote European excellence, between a European Union that sanctions us because we try to support families in having children and a European Union that finally understands that without the incentive to bring children into the world we are passed off as a civilisation.”

“For the first time we find ourselves faced with the possibility of changing something in Europe with a different majority. It is a challenge that until some time was unthinkable, we would like to play it to the end we need the consent of the Italians.”

Whether that “different majority” envisaged by Meloni will be alongside Orbán and Le Pen or Von der Leyen remains to be seen.

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