On the eve of the European Parliamentary elections scheduled for May 23-26, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini will go to Budapest for the first time.
In partenza per l’Ungheria per costruire la nuova Europa e tanto felice perché oggi il Parlamento approva l’educazione civica obbligatoria nelle scuole. Promessa mantenuta!
Buona giornata Amici☀️ pic.twitter.com/vCkwRfopRy
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) May 2, 2019
Salvini was invited by his counterpart, the Hungarian Minister of the Interior Sandor Pinter, and will include a personal meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Local media confirmed that Orban’s Fidesz party and Salvini’s Lega Nord will cooperate at some level during the European Parliament in elections.
Salvinivel sorsközösségben vagyunk // We share Salvini’s fatehttp://www.miniszterelnok.hu/orban-viktor-interjuja-a-la-stampa-cimu-olasz-lapnak/
Orban has been planning to conclude an agreement with Salvini on working toward a “new Europe,” a plan the Italian minister has been pushing to bring together right-wing political movements from across the continent.
In an interview, the Fidesz leader continued: “We still do not know which group Salvini will create, and we hope that it will be strong. The European People’s Party (EPP) must work with this European right. ”
Orban, Salvini Attack Globalist Macron as ‘Leader of Pro-Migration Parties’ https://t.co/lMtS8fBlxh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2018
Although Orban’s Fidesz party was suspended from the European People’s party, they have no plans to quit the bloc outright… at least for now. On top of that, doubts have been cast on the possibility of an alliance between Orban and Salvini in the past. In particular, last April, Orban did not come to Milan to discuss the European elections. While their relationship remains warm, Orban made it clear that he was not going to immediately enter into a formal alliance with Salvini.
Tanta stima per Orbán! https://t.co/gdjiCkFkmm
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) April 20, 2018
According to experts, even if the two politicians do remain in different groups, they will still have opportunities to collaborate. So far, Orban prefers to keep Fidesz in the EPP and attempt to push the group closer to his ideas, rather than abandon it altogether. He feels his political influence in the European Union will be much greater in the massive parliamentary bloc than pushed to the side with other prominent right-wing parties.
In the event that Fidesz chooses to remain in the European People’s Party, Orban’s task will be to attempt to shift the political course “to the right.” Whether or not he will be successful will be decided after the elections.
Strong ideological differences remain between all of the major Populist players across Europe, and particularly among Le Pen, Salvini and Orban. Nonetheless, unless a radical shift in their politics follows the elections, they can likely count on ideological and practical support from one another.
Will Salvini’s plan for a “New Europe” be advanced in the coming elections? Conceptually – perhaps… but while Europe remains controlled by giant transnational corporations, there remain larger issues to tackle. The right will be successful only if it combines its emphasis on traditional values with progressive social measures, and pushes for a geopolitical system rooted in multipolarity.