Le Pen and Wilders are leading by example. They aspire to form a European political group in the European Parliament, and are openly campaigning for that goal. Many other parties are more silent on their brothers-in-arms. But voters should realise: a vote on a national candidate will strengthen the European alliance to which he or she belongs.
By Kathalijne Buitenweg
With just four months to the next European elections, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, French, Swedish and Italian anti-immigrant and anti-European parties seem ready to join hands and organize the most European of all European campaigns ever. The nationalists are pioneering to address an electorate that stretches beyond their nation’s borders. Ms Le Pen, leader of the French Front National and candidate for the European Parliament, has announced that she wants to reach a European electorate. She hopes to profit from the fact that the far-Right alliance has united itself on a common anti-Brussels manifesto. European alliances of other political families, already existing for a longer period of time, have drafted common manifestos as well. Just as they did for previous elections. These manifestos are generally very patient and vaguely formulated pieces of paper. In all previous elections, and despite formal pretenses, the European parties have not succeeded in getting substantial European campaigns off the ground. Ironically, if Le Pen succeeds to convince voters across borders to vote for national parties that belong to her alliance, she can be regarded as the avant-garde of European campaigning. A remarkable achievement given the fact that she is ready to “to do all in her power to facilitate the collapse of the EU” (The Telegraph, 9/1/2014).