Bratislava, Slovakia – Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-right National Front party, has embarked on a Central and Eastern European tour to forge new alliances ahead of this month’s EU elections.
Marine Le Pen unites with Slovakia’s Sme Rodina party
Before heading to Estonia, on Tuesday, Marine Le Pen visited Slovakia on Monday. In Bratislava, the head of the National Rally met with Boris Kollár, founder and head of the Sme Rodina (We Are Family) party, in a meeting also attended by several other representatives of EU far-right movements.
Pro-EU protesters demonstrated in front of the building to voice their opposition to her visit and their support to Slovakia’s pro-European orientation.
Founded in 2015, Sme Rodina is a right-wing, conservative and nationalist party known for its strong anti-immigration and Eurosceptic stance. It currently has 11 MP’s in Slovakia’s 150-seat Parliament after winning 6.6% of the votes in the last national elections. Earlier this year, Sme Rodina head Boris Kollár confirmed it would unite with Europe’s far-right parties and join the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group in the European Parliament, which includes Le Pen’s National Rally and Italian strongman Matteo Salvini’s Lega, among others.
“On the eve of a major turning point in Europe”
On Twitter, Marine Le Pen thanked “our Slovak friends for their welcome” and wished “good luck to Sme Rodina in the European elections. Together, we’ll form a great group in the European Parliament”, she added.
During the press conference that followed their meeting, she claimed “we’re living a historic moment and are […] on the eve of a major political turning point in Europe”.
Uniting Europe’s far-right and anti-immigration parties
Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini have both been touring EU capitals to forge alliances and unite Europe’s far-right forces, with the aim of becoming the third biggest political group in the European Parliament after these elections.
A few weeks ago, Matteo Salvini met with Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban, whose ruling Fidesz party has been suspended from the center-right European People’s Party, and who’s currently exploring whether to stay, or not, within the group, or to join Salvini’s endeavor.
In recent statements, Marine Le Pen also attempted to court both Viktor Orban and Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, pointing out they were both welcome to join their far-right alliance. “We hope to rally the Hungarians and Poles”, National Rally deputy-chairman Nicolas Bay recently confirmed, according to French media.
Last month, Marine Le Pen also visited the Czech Republic, taking the stage during an anti-EU rally in Prague alongside Tomio Okamura, head of the Czech far-right SPD party.