Luigi De Maio and his Five Star Movement (M5S) have announced that they will not be part of a group within the 9th European Parliament from 2019-2024, Politicalite’s Senior Europe Correspondent, Byron Sanford reports.
The failed attempt to form a group was due to the poor election results from their respective allies.
Beppe Grillo and Gianroberto Casaleggio founded the Five Star Movement (M5S) in 2009 to change politics using E-Democracy, introducing term limits, and presenting a non-ideological platform.
M5S first contested an EU election in 2014 when they entered the European Parliament with seventeen MEPs. Negotiations resulted in the party linking up with Nigel Farage’s Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy.
Grillo wanted his MEPs to abandon the EFDD in 2017 after UKIP support began fading as a result of the referendum in Britain to leave the European Union.
M5S yearned to be part of a political grouping that had not only a viable future, though also a more green and liberal outlook.
Farage attacked M5S in the press, and on the EFDD website over this, and Grillo’s attempt to leave the EFDD nearly resulted in the pan-European group collapsing from within.
Unfortunately for Grillo, both the Greens and the Liberals rejected M5S’ application to join, citing the verbal attacks Five Star has made in the past regarding the European institutions and the fact that Five Star was allied with Farage.
As a result of this, M5S remained within the EFDD yet lost the co-presidency of the group. The reason for staying within the EFDD instead of going independent (non-inscrit) is due to the lack of funding and speaking time non-inscrits have in the European Parliament. They also have sit in the back of the chamber, are relegated to second class status, and are largely overlooked.
Since the 2019 EU election in May, M5S has attempted to join three different groups. The Europe Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), the Liberals, and the Greens. Once again, the Liberals and the Greens have rejected Five Star. The ECR has no reason to accept the Five Star Movement given that Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy are a member party of the ECR.
This leaves M5S in the same predicament as The Brexit Party. The inability to join a group is considered a monumental failure for a party that is not on the most extreme fringes. As M5S continues to see its support plummet, their coalition partner, Lega, continues to soar in the polls.
Luigi De Maio withstood a leadership vote at the end of May, though this was largely symbolic, and regarded as a farce by internal opponents. For now, the coalition with Lega lives on, though this will almost certainly collapse before the end of the year.
Such a collapse is the natural consequence of incompetent leadership at home and the inability to form proper alliances abroad. Political parties that assume online direct democracy trumps organisation and foreign alliances are bound to implode from within.