The Rise of The Habsburgs: Patriots for Europe and the political change in the EU

By Nikita Triandafillidis* . Modern Diplomacy

On June 30th, 2024, Viktor Orbán, Herbert Kickl and Andrej Babiš met together in Vienna Austria to announce the creation of a new political group called Patriots for Europe, in an effort to challenge the current bureaucratic elite of Brussels and potentially develop the strongest right wing political alliance in European history. With Hungary’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, Austria’s rising and potentially winning political party in the upcoming Austrian parliamentary elections FPÖ and Czechia’s strongest political party ANO, led by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Patriots for Europe has the potential to attract more right-wing conservative parties across Europe and change the political landscape in the continent. The question is, will the alliance actually get momentum?

In the European Parliament elections last month, millions of Europeans expressed their voting change by supporting right-wing conservative parties across Europe, which can be seen as a clear message against the failed liberal policies that were promoted over the last decade in the EU. The people of Europe raised their voices against economic stagnation, war promotion and import of illegal immigrants and instead performed their voting duty by calling for peace, order and a renaissance of economic, cultural and political development in Europe. In this new situation that we find ourselves, three leading political figures in Europe decided to join forces and enforce the will of the people. Thus, Patriots for Europe was created. Even though the alliance is still on its fresh start, just days after the announcement of its creation, Patriots for Europe has attracted a plethora of political parties across the EU, that resonate with the promoted message of making Europe great again.

In Portugal, André Ventura’s Chega party has joined Patriots for Europe, calling this a historical moment to unite Europe’s right-wing parties and expressing his hopes that more parties will join the alliance. Chega’s political slogan “God, Country, Family and Work” represents the values that are needed to be promoted in the EU. I believe that we need to resurrect European values that the bureaucratic elite in Brussels has hijacked, who seem unwilling and unable to cope with the demands of the European citizens. “God, Europe, Family and Work” can reflect this necessity.

In addition, in Spain, the Vox party led by Santiago Abascal has announced that it will also join Patriots for Europe after quitting Giorgia Meloni’s European Conservatives and Reformists Group. Vox is the third largest political party in Spain and although their vote popularity has risen over the years, they are still struggling to surpass their own expectations for more seats in the Spanish parliament. Nevertheless, I believe that the fact that throughout the Spanish and EU elections they have stuck to their agenda of anti-immigration and promotion of Spanish nationalism that their decision to join Patriots for Europe sets a clear vision as to where they see themselves in the changing political landscape of Europe. Their popularity and vote percentage can only increase from this point on.

Going away from the Iberian peninsula in the Netherlands, the winning party of the Dutch and EU elections PVV, led by Geert Wilders, has also announced that it will join the newly formed alliance. After months of planning, Wilders has managed to form a coalition government in the Netherlands, consisting of the conservative VVD party, the Farmer’s Citizen movement and the New Social Contract party. On top of that, former head of the Dutch intelligence service, Dick Schoof will be leading the new government promising to tackle the high cost of living and introducing the toughest asylum system in Europe in an effort to stop the import of illegal immigration. In that sense, it is no shock to me that PVV, the strongest political party in the Netherlands right now, decided to join forces with Viktor Orbán. Their addition will create a positive impact on the resurrection of the conservative power across Europe.

Jordan Bardella of the French National Rally w express their interest in joining the new alliance. However, we can only speculate at this moment because of the undergoing French elections. Their addition will definitely create a shockwave throughout Europe, as the balance of power will change drastically. The National Rally, which is part of the Identity and Democracy alliance, has had a hard time creating a sustainable European alliance. The chance for unity might be thereafter the result of the French elections.

On another note, there would not be a true European alliance without representatives from Germany and Italy. Both countries share tremendous political influence in Europe. The AFD (Alternative for Germany) and Matteo Salvini’s Lega both won a sufficient number of seats in the European parliament (15 and 8 MPEs) and have been instrumental in shaping the political landscape of Europe. However, as things stand now, I am more positive about the addition of the Lega into Patriots for Europe because of Salvini’s similar policy view with Viktor Orbán, not only in the internal problem of the EU but also the external ones, particularly the cold relations with Russia and the effort to try to re-establish a route of communication with Moscow.

As for AFD, after their disagreement with the National Rally and their expulsion from the Identity and Democracy group, things may seem blurry and unlikely for them to join Patriots for Europe. However, at this time, it is only possible to make speculations, and the parties must establish an actual route for dialogue to find a common ground. Their addition will be invaluable, but even if it does not happen, there are plenty more political parties in Europe that will be eager to join forces for the future of the Union.

On some last notes, I see this formation of the alliance as a positive step towards the enhancement of democracy in the EU. The people have done their duty by lending their votes this summer. They expect their voices to be heard and their demands for the future of the Union to be respected. Unfortunately, the current “right-wing conservative” alliance of the EPP (European People’s Party) cannot provide a sustainable solution for the people. We have witnessed over and over their failures in introducing actual solutions to the Union’s problems, such as the uncontrollable illegal immigration and the high cost of living. The people have had enough and, in the sense of true democracy, accurate representation of their voices is necessary. I don’t believe that Patriots for Europe will become the strongest political alliance in Europe overnight. However, the steps that have already been taken and the future proposals for additional members might elevate it to the position of the third most powerful alliance in the EU. The current members have extraordinary influence in their countries and, by positioning themselves closer together, we might see actual change happening in the future. For now, we must be patient and see the results of the national elections in various EU states and the undergoing talks with potential members. Just like Rome, the formation of a new European Union will take time and follow the same steps.

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*Nikita Triandafillidis . Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations & Political Science. Columnist focusing on Global Affairs

Update-fix:

 Patriots for Europe becomes EU parliament’s 3rd-largest group, picks Jordan Bardella as president

Jordan Bardella of the French National Rally will be the president of the European Parliament’s new far-right group,  Patriots for Europe. National Rally on Monday officially joined the Patriots group, instantly becoming the largest national delegation with its 30 EU lawmakers. And Bardella was chosen as the Patriots’ president at a meeting in Brussels that lasted less than 20 minutes.

Patriots for Europe was formed in late June and also includes MEPs from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party, Fidesz. Kinga Gál of Fidesz was named first vice-president. POLITICO