The Movement (populist group)
|Formation||2017 (registration), 2019 (relaunch)|
|10 (to be hired)|
The Movement is a Brussels-based right-wing populist organization founded by Steve Bannon of the United States to promote right-wing populist and economic nationalist groups in Europe that are opposed to the EU governments and political structures of Europe. The organization was expected to hire 10 full-time staff in Brussels before the European Parliament election in 2019. In January 2017, Mischaël Modrikamen, leader of the Belgian People's Party, officially registered the group.
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. Bannon also believes that Sweden's 2018 elections created the perfect timing to launch The Movement.
Interest and support
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.
The Movement has attracted the attention of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who spoke positively of the group. It was reported in September 2018 that Italy's then Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini had joined Bannon's new eurosceptic network. UKIP stated they would work with the group.
Since then, The Movement has also attracted the attention of Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom, an eurosceptic opposition party in the Netherlands. Wilders said he arranged to meet Bannon in the Netherlands to discuss the group. Another such contact is Thierry Baudet, leader of another eurosceptic opposition party in the Netherlands Forum for Democracy.
Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Italian Eurosceptic party M5S, met in September 2018 with Bannon and spoke positively of The Movement, although he remained ambivalent on whether he would join. On September 6, 2019, the Five Star Movement formed a pro-European center-left government with the Democratic Party, significantly reducing the chances of its joining The Movement.
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. 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.
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".
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".
Speaking to the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Law and Justice (PiS) MEP Karol Karski said that this was not an offer for his party. Karski states that PiS would never support European parties working with Russia, such as the National Front or Alternative for Germany. According to Karski, Bannon's offer is "for those who want to smash the EU."
|Lega||League||Italy||Right-wing populism||Right-wing||Matteo Salvini||
29 / 73
|FdI||Brothers of Italy||Italy||National conservatism||Right-wing||Giorgia Meloni||
6 / 73
|MfC||Movement for Changes||Montenegro||Right-wing populism||Right-wing||Nebojsa Medojevic||Not an EU member||N/A|
- Hines, Nico (July 20, 2018). "Inside Bannon's Plan to Hijack Europe for the Far-Right". Daily Beast. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
Bannon plans to spend 50 percent of his time in Europe—mostly in the field rather than the Brussels office—once the midterm elections in the U.S. are over in November.
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