Babiš, bye! Czech populists pull out of liberal Renew group in EU Parliament over disastrous Green Deal and migration

Euro MPs from Czechia’s populist ANO movement have renounced their affiliation with French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renew Europe political grouping in the European Parliament, citing irreconcilable differences over the Green Deal and mass immigration.

ANO leader and former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced the decision to withdraw his lawmakers from the liberal political group during a press conference on Thursday.

“We went to the polls to fight against illegal migration, to change the Green Deal, which is destroying European industry and agriculture and has a negative impact on our citizens,” Babiš told journalists.

“Based on the negotiations, we came to the opinion that Renew simply has a different position than the ANO movement,” he added.

“Above all, we want the Czech Republic to remain a sovereign country,” the former Czech leader told followers on his X account, hinting at the European liberals’ desire for an “ever-closer union” and a road towards a federal Europe.

It means the Renew Europe group will be seven MEPs fewer after the withdrawal of its Czech faction and makes it even more likely the group will be overtaken by the center-right European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group as the third-largest in the European Parliament.

The move has possible ramifications for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who is seeking reelection among the newly-elected parliamentarians and the arithmetic is becoming problematic.

The old guard of the European People’s Party, Socialists & Democrats (S&D), and Renew is losing control of the narrative in the European Parliament and von der Leyen needs almost all of the votes from these respective parties to guarantee her reelection.

Should 13 percent of the voting bloc refuse to endorse her candidacy, a figure previously seen during her first term and for the election of former president, Jean-Claude Juncker, von der Leyen would fall short of the support she needs to remain in post.

On the future of the ANO and its European affiliation, Babiš remained coy about what was next for his party, but did rule out joining the ECR, which includes lawmakers from Czechi’s governing ODS party.

“ECR is certainly not a solution for us. Representatives of other Czech political parties have a big say in the factions, and the ECR is certainly not our choice. We’ll see, maybe a new faction will emerge,” he said.

“We will now look for partners in the European Parliament with whom we can promote our program,” he added.

Source:  Remix News

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