Salvini wants Conservative coalition to choose Juncker’s successor

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (R) with Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban (L), attend a press conference after their meeting at the Prefecture of Milan, Italy, 28 August 2018. EPA-EFE/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO

Salvini wants Conservative coalition to choose Juncker’s successor


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Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini was the new European Commission to be chosen by both the European People’s Party and more conservative forces.

 “The aim is to cancel the duopoly between the socialists and Christian Democrats,” Salvini told reporters on Tuesday. The goal, in his words, would be a coalition of the European Popular Party and his own group, Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF).

The statement was made after a talk show in Rome, Reuters reports.

Salvini is also championing a plan to consolidate the Eurocritical right in the European Parliament, namely the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) and the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) ahead of the April 2019 elections. Currently, these three groups control 151 seats in the 751-seat European Parliament but are looking to increase their influence as Euro-critical parties surge in polls across the 27 EU member states.

On Tuesday, Salvini said that the League would support the Victor Orban government in the Article 7 procedure in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Article 7 is a mechanism of the Lisbon Treaty triggered when a member state violates European values and the rule of law.  It could cost Hungary voting rights.

Prime Minister Victor Orban also expects the support of the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. However, members of the 5 Star Movement (MS5) will vote in favour of Orban being censured.

“We’ll vote in defence of Orban,” Salvini told the Italian public news agency ANSA. Orban’s Fidesz party is a member of the European People’s Party.

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