The Big Four emerge as the “cornerstones” of the New Right.
Matteo Salvini, Viktor Orban, PiS and FPO.
1. According to calculations, if a group comprised of Kaczyński, Le Pen, Salvini, Fidesz and the Freedom Party from Austria were established, this fraction could become the third biggest in the Parliament. They would come to be known as the ’anti-federalist’ stronghold within the European Union, supporting De Gaulle’s famous ‘nations of Europe’ conception.
* We like the “nations of Europe” concept, but would not be overly concerned about whether this new united alliance would immediately be the second or third largest in the Parliament. We would be more focused on building the foundation in order to grow the coalition into the largest or one of the two dominant groups in the Parliament 3-5 years down the road.
These alliances will require time to build and strengthen. It may even require longer negotiations for the mentioned players to organize. Time is of the essence, but focusing on short term results only may diminish the long-term quality of the group.
The base must be constructed carefully with a long-term vision of attracting authentic conservatives dissatisfied with the EPP’s lurch to the left or strengthening emerging or developing parties, such as VOX in Spain or the New Flemish Alliance in Belgium. There are obviously more parties that fit the above category than we mention here, but in order to grow, they will need support from a core group of leaders who already carry much clout, respect and influence in Europe.
2. This leads to our second point that may leave some in our audience in disagreement, which is OK and should only lead to a healthy and vigorous debate.
Who should be the cornerstones and main faces of this new alliance? The V4 Report has made the case for the ‘Big Four’ of Matteo Salvini, Viktor Orban, the PiS of Poland and Freedom Party of Austria (FPO).
All four carry much influence and are either leading or part of ruling coalitions, with Italy and Poland two of the bigger countries in the EU. Salvini and Orban are the most dynamic individual leaders while Poland is an emerging economic and political force in Europe, which obviously has caused much angst in Berlin.
The FPO must not be overlooked. In our opinion, Strache’s FPO is solid and of high quality with many talented leaders (the Interior Minister, Herbert Kickl, is particularly impressive). In addition – considering they share power with Sebastian Kurz (EPP) – the FPO would provide a nice check on the Chancellor’s ambitions.
Unless Kurz is blowing wind, he will need both the FPO and this new alliance to achieve his goals on migration. Kurz cannot achieve this with Brussels and Berlin without compromising his positions.
That being said, Kurz will not leave the EPP and cannot be counted on regularly, but he can be of use in certain areas and at times has even bucked Berlin regarding migration. Kurz, unlike the leaders of Spain or Greece, declined Horst Seehofer’s (CSU) request to take back migrants from Germany and refused to follow Berlin and Brussels regarding the UN Migration Compact.
And Le Pen of France? While she is impressive, vital and a positive force for her base in France, we just are not ready to elevate her to the top-tier level of the Big Four. We feel she must focus her energies on combating Macron in France instead of leading the battle against Macron in Europe – which is best left to Salvini, Orban and the PiS.
* Bottom line: We believe the battle of Europe will involve many foot soldiers on both sides, but we believe the main event must be centered around those promoting the superstate in Brussels (Macron, Berlin, Verhofstadt, Sweden, EU Commission, etc.)…versus the forces defending the European nation states (Salvini, Orban, PiS, FPO).
As in sport, one must engage in battle from a position of strength.