A dozen far-right and conservative sovereigntist parties, including the Vlaams Belang, the French National Rally (RN) and the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS), adopted on Thursday an “Antwerp declaration” emphasizing sovereignty”. This annual meeting of the parties united within the Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament was held in Antwerp, one of the strongholds of the Flemish far right. It ended Thursday evening with a meeting with a distinguished guest, the Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga, belonging to Fidesz, the right-wing nationalist party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
ID has around ten members, including Vlaams Belang, and is chaired by the party’s former chairman, Gerolf Annemans. But also the National Rally of Marine Le Pen, unsuccessful presidential candidate in France but now president of the RN group in the National Assembly, the Italian League of Matteo Salvini, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the nationalist PiS and Polish Eurosceptic, in power in Poland.
In his speech, Mr Annemans said he opposed attempts to create a single European state, within which the European Council would disappear and where the right of veto would be abolished. He also criticized the conclusions of the Conference on the future of Europe, a vast citizen reflection launched a year ago, which resulted in more than 300 proposals at the end of April to reform the EU.
“It is important that we are competent again about immigration and our own money,” said the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islam positions. .
“Tonight we are showing that we want to reclaim what has been taken from us by our governments,” he added.
Vlaams Belang President Tom Van Grieken warned that “the European Union poses the greatest danger to Europe. Every crisis gives more power to the EU”, he said.
The “Antwerp declaration” rejects in particular the results of the Conference on the future of Europe, the principle of transnational lists for the election of the European Parliament, the European army… It insists on the need for voluntary cooperation between sovereign states within Europe while preserving their rights and Europe’s borders.
The statement finally calls on all patriotic and conservative forces to work closely together in the run-up to the 2024 European elections.