Vlaams Belang aims to join new radical right alliance in European Parliament

Vlaams Belang wants to join Patriots for Europe in the European Parliament, the new political group co-founded by Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, the party announced on Saturday evening.

In late June, Orbán, the Austrian far-right FPÖ and the Czech party ANO ​ launched the new faction. Since then, the Portuguese party Chega, the Spanish Vox and the Dutch PVV have announced they would join.

“It is with pride that we want to be part of this political family,” said Vlaams Belang leader Tom Van Grieken. “The love for our people and the diversity of European nations binds us. Together, we can ensure that in Europe, too, our people come first again.”

Until now, Vlaams Belang was part of the far-right Identity & Democracy group. “As right-wing, patriotic and nationalist parties, we are strong together in Europe,” said Van Grieken. “We have more in common than what divides us.”

Meeting member state requirements

To be recognised as a political party, the new group must have at least 23 members from at least seven EU member states. The arrival of Vlaams Belang means eight member states would be represented.

The National Rally (RN) may also join after the second round of the French parliamentary elections, which will be held on Sunday.

"We want to move towards a Europe where the nation state is respected again"

According to Tom Vandendriessche, member of the European Parliament for Vlaams Belang, the new group can become the third largest group, "bigger than the electorally punished green and liberal groups". "This way we can influence policy," he said. "We want to move towards a Europe where the nation state is respected again instead of being engulfed in a globalist and identityless project."

Vlaams Belang leader Tom Van Grieken © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

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