Nationalist parties in Europe growing yet fractured amid upcoming parliamentary elections

Nationalist and ‘far-right’ parties are predicted to secure nearly a quarter of the seats in the upcoming European Parliament elections in June. However, they is are not a unified bloc and they are split between between two different political groups

  • Identity and Democracy (ID) which contains Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Germany’s Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) dominate ID
  • The European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR) which contains Italian PM Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS)

The ECR has emerged as a “strong voice for conservatism in Europe” distinct from traditional christian conservative and ‘far right’ parties according to political scientists Martin Steven and Aleks Szczerbiak.

  • Adopts a more “Eurorealist” vision for a reformed EU as a community of co-operating nations as opposed to a hardline Eurosceptic stance.
  • Supports “free and fair trade” and is skeptical toward market regulations
  • Claims to support ‘the traditional family’ and calls for controlled immigration and an end to abuse of asylum procedures

The largest divide between the two parliamentary blocks is on foreign policy.

  • The ECR has become staunchly more pro-NATO and Russiaphobic after Russia’s invasions of Ukraine in 2022.
  • Meanwhile several of the parties in ID are more skeptical towards NATO and of continued support for the war in Ukraine.