In the approach to May’s European elections, the leader of Italy’s League party defiantly kicked off his election campaign with a pledge to forge a new future of Europe and fight back against the Brussels bureaucrats and bankers who have threatened the European dream. Speaking from Milan along with the leaders of the Danish People’s Party, The Finns Party and Alternative for Germany, Mr Salvini said: “We are working for a new European dream to many citizens. To many citizens and people today, the EU is a nightmare and not a dream.
“We are working to take labour, family and safety back into the centre. We are talking about environmental protections, the future of younger generations.
“We try to do it with alternative movements after those of which have been in the power over the last decades, the Socialist and Democrats with their alliance have led us to uncertainty, frictions and a lack of safety.
“This is an alliance looking for the future. We start today. This family is going to get larger, including movements we have never been operating in the past.”
Mr Salvini said the parties have clear differences in their languages, history and culture but all want to improve on employment, economic wealth and respect of identities across the continent.
He added: “These are all targets which have been betrayed over the last few years by European democracies.
“Europe makes sense if it acknowledges different cultures and identities. The EU cannot be a single thought based on finance and business.
“That’s not a dream. That’s a nightmare we are living in.”
The Italian deputy said the ultimate goal of the alliance is to be a “changing force” in Europe, adding: “To bring new life, new blood, new hope, new dreams. Some topics are common like the cultural boundaries, fighting against terrorist, extremism.
“We want to forge a new future and start the journey together which will rescue Europe because the European dream is being threatened by bureaucrats, bankers governing Europe. They have been governing Europe for too long.”
AfD chairman Jörg Meuthen revealed the new alliance would be called the European Alliance for People and Nations and would involve at least 10 parties.
Mr Meuthen told reporters: “We want to reform the European Union and the European Parliament, without destroying them. We want to bring radical change.”
Olli Kotro, of the Finns Party, also warned Emmanuel Macron’s dreams of further integration in Europe could ultimately leave members states having no voice.
He said: “It’s very important that the sovereignty of member states is respected.
“The EU is developing more and more and is becoming a United States of Europe.
“It’s a central body managed by Brussels which entails the fact if Macron and Merkel’s plans are then implemented there will be a superstate where the member countries will not have any voice.”
Experts say anti-EU parties have a chance to impact the future of the European Union if they join forces to work together.
Far-right leaders share the broad ideological goals of curbing the EU’s perceived liberal course and returning power to the member states’ capitals. But they differ in other areas.
Investors expect heightened political uncertainty after the May 26 election, in which 705 members of the European Parliament MEPs will be elected, or 751 if Britain fails to leave the EU as planned.
Susi Dennison, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said: “There is growing confidence of voters to go against the norm.
“The ‘anti- forces’ are much more motivated right now than the pro-Europeans.”