The Movement (populist group)

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The Movement
Formation2017 (registration), 2019 (relaunch)
FounderSteve Bannon
TypeNonprofit organization
Location
Region
Europe
LeaderSteve Bannon
Key people
Staff
10 (to be hired)

The Movement is a nonprofit organization founded by Steve Bannon to promote economic nationalism and right-wing populism in Europe. The organization is expected to hire 10 full-time staff in Brussels before the European Parliament election in 2019.[2][3] In January 2017, Mischaël Modrikamen, leader of the Belgian People's Party, officially registered the group.[4][5]

Background[edit]

Bannon initially discussed his plans for the organization with The Daily Beast, saying he wanted to create a populist "supergroup" bloc that could win up to a third of all 700+ MEP seats. He said he thought of the idea when he was invited to speak at an event hosted by Marine Le Pen.[6] Bannon also believes that Sweden's 2018 elections created the perfect timing to launch The Movement.[7]

The Movement stands as a counterpoint to George Soros' Open Society. Bannon has referred to Soros as "evil but brilliant", and expressed a desire to promote nationalism instead of globalism.[6]

Interest and support[edit]

In July 2018, Bannon and other former and current staff of Donald Trump met with the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, in Washington, D.C., attempting to expand influence in the Balkans.[8][9]

The Movement has attracted the attention of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who spoke positively of the group.[10] It was reported in September 2018 that Italy's Matteo Salvini had joined Bannon's new eurosceptic network.[11] UKIP stated they will work with the group.[12] Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Brothers of Italy, has said she expects to officially join The Movement later in September 2018.[1]

Since then, The Movement has also attracted the attention of Geert Wilders, leader of the biggest opposition party in the Netherlands, the eurosceptic Party for Freedom, and Thierry Baudet, leader of another eurosceptic opposition party in the Netherlands Forum for Democracy.[13] Wilders said he has arranged to meet Bannon in the Netherlands to discuss the group.[7]

It is reported France's National Rally party, led by Marine Le Pen, will be joining The Movement.[14]

Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Italian Eurosceptic party M5S, recently met with Bannon and spoke positively of The Movement, although he remains ambivalent on whether or not he will join.[15]

Criticism[edit]

Despite gains made by the group, the co-leader of the Alternative for Germany, Alexander Gauland rejected The Movement as an American conception and criticized its projections. He stated: "Mr Bannon will not succeed in forging an alliance of the like-minded for the European elections" citing what he believes to be their diverging viewpoints.[16] The next day, the Freedom Party of Austria's secretary general Harald Vilimsky stated his party, like Gauland's, is also unwilling to cooperate with Bannon, reiterating the party's independence and rejecting American influence in the populist movements of Europe.[17]

UKIP leader Gerard Batten stated in September 2018 that his party has no intentions of joining The Movement, saying UKIP "doesn't fit" into what Bannon proposes across Europe, and the party will instead pursue aims "for the British people".[18]

In October 2018, Marine Le Pen downplayed Bannon's plans for The Movement, saying that only Europeans would be "the political force behind the EU elections (...) to save Europe".[19]

Collaborators[edit]

Name Country Ideology Position Leader MEPs EP Group
PP People's Party Belgium Belgium National conservatism Right-wing Mischaël Modrikamen
0 / 21
None
LN League Italy Italy Right-wing populism Right-wing Matteo Salvini
6 / 73
ENF
FdI Brothers of Italy Italy Italy National conservatism Right-wing Giorgia Meloni
0 / 73
None

Incoming[edit]

Name Country Ideology Position Leader MEPs EP Group
NR National Rally France France French nationalism Right-wing Marine Le Pen
16 / 74
ENF

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Horowitz, Jason (7 September 2018). "Steve Bannon's 'Movement' Enlists Italy's Most Powerful Politician". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ Stubley, Peter. "Steve Bannon to set up 'The Movement' foundation to boost far-right across Europe". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  3. ^ Goodfellow, Maya (10 August 2018). "How worried should we be about Steve Bannon's 'Movement'?". Aljazeera. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  4. ^ Macdonald, Alastair (25 July 2018). "Bannon's EU project eyes government allies". Reuters. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  5. ^ Macdonald, Alastair (24 July 2018). "Belgian lawyer launches Trump-inspired anti-EU movement". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Steve Bannon plans Brussels-based foundation 'The Movement' for EU far-right". Deutsche Welle. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b Bendeich, Mark; Balmer, Crispian (11 September 2018). "Steve Bannon hopes to unite Europe's populists under 'The Movement'". The Christian Science Monitor. Reuters. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  8. ^ Varagur, Krithika (7 September 2018). "Why Bannon Is Meddling With Bosnia". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  9. ^ Krauthamer, Ky (7 September 2018). "Ex-Trump Staffers Court Bosnian Serbs". Transitions Online. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Viktor Orbán Welcomes Steve Bannon's Efforts on Behalf of the European Far Right". Hungarian Spectrum. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  11. ^ Tondo, Lorenzo (8 September 2018). "Italy's Matteo Salvini joins Bannon's European populist group". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  12. ^ Stone, Jon. "Ukip to team up in 'unholy alliance' with Steve Bannon's new far right European movement". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  13. ^ Rivet, Luc. "The Movement: What is Steve Bannon Cooking up in Europe?". Sputnik International. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Marine Le Pen's far-right party to join Bannon populist project". Financial Times. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  15. ^ Borelli, Silvia. "Steve Bannon: Italian experiment 'will change global politics'". Politico. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  16. ^ "German far Right rebuffs Steve Bannon's effort to forge Europe-wide populist movement". The Telegraph. Agence France-Presse. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Austria's far-right unwilling to collaborate with Bannon". The Times of Israel. Agence France-Presse. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  18. ^ James, William (21 September 2018). "UKIP will not join Steve Bannon's anti-EU movement, says leader". Reuters. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  19. ^ Giuffreda, Angela (8 October 2018). "Marine Le Pen: Steve Bannon has no part to play in 'saving Europe'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018.