As the new European Parliament prepared to start work again, those who oppose european federalism – or even the existence of the parliament itself – have been forming alliances.
The European Conservatives and Reformists – including Britain’s tories and the Polish Law and Justice Party – aim to fight further EU integration. The even stronger eursceptics of the UK Independence Party have joined the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group – a block of 30 MEPs from eight countries, which some commentators feel are more to the right than the old group they replace. And although UKIP are the only party in the group calling for withdrawal from the EU, they claim their partners are all sympathetic to their position. Among the far-right groups who made gains in the European elections are the British National Party. Their two MEPs join 26 others who are not attached to any of the main political groups, among them the extreme right-wing French National Front, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang and the Dutch Freedom Party of Geert Wilders.