Steeve Bannon and Marine Le Pen, anti-migrant reinforcements in the Flemish Parliament

PURPORT The former adviser to Donald Trump, who intends to federate nationalists in Europe, is the Saturday guest (December 8) of the far-right Belgian party Vlaams Belang alongside the president of the RN Marine Le Pen.

Steeve Bannon created his foundation, The Movement, to influence the European elections. But experts on the extreme right do not give him much credit.

► What do foreign national populists do in the Flemish Parliament?

Steeve Bannon and Marine Le Pen make this visit to Brussels to the Flemish Parliament on Saturday 8 December, in a context of political crisis in Belgium. Liberal Prime Minister Charles Michel must pressure the Flemish nationalists of the N-VA with whom he shares power in a coalition. The N-VA categorically rejects the signature, on Monday 10 December, of a Global Compact for Migration "Safe, regular and tidy". Finally, the prime minister should ratify the text in his name, without committing the government.

Read: This "Marrakech pact on migration" that triggers the passions

But it is not behind the N-VA that Steeve Bannon and Marine Le Pen come in reinforcement. They are really pushing a competing line-up, the far-right Flemish party, Vlaams Belang, the FN's historic ally. "This is an opportunity to show that Vlaams Belang is the only party that really defends the Flemish identity, the hunt for voting is launched, while at the end of May the Belgians will vote on the same day for the European elections and parliamentary elections "says Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist at the extreme right.

Marine Le Pen will participate on Saturday at a meeting alongside the head of Vlaams Belang, Tom Van Grieken. The motto: "Stop Marrakech", with reference to the Moroccan city where the pact on migration must be signed.

► What do we know about the activity and support for the Steeve Bannon movement?

Through its foundation, Steeve Bannon would like to provide studies, surveys, analyzes to promote their victory. Methods already tested by pro-Brexit, in the British referendum of June 23, 2016, as well as in the US presidential elections, through the company Cambridge Analytica.

For now, Steeve Bannon has more supporters than real members of his organization. It collects only among its members the Belgian People's Party (which has no MEP), the Italian League of the Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini (5 MEPs) and the Brothers of Italy (no MEP) European). However, many nationalist leaders have had contact with Steeve Bannon, from Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Marine Le Pen through the Dutch Geert Wilders.

Re-reading: Steve Bannon continues his European campaign, via Italy

► What weight can this European populist organization have in the European elections?

"European far-right parties do not need Bannon to be powerful", answers Jean-Yves Camus. "He is an excellent director looking for customers who sell his technical solutions and his talent as a spin doctor (Ed. Political communication consultant", Keep it going.

Steeve Bannon's action is not limited to research. For example, the influential man contributes to the creation of the "Academy for the defense of the Judeo-Christian West" at the Dignitatis Humanae institute, installed in the walls of the monastery of Trisulti, near Rome. Objective: to form the future populist élite.

Read also: are we going to a European populist national organization?

Here too, experts on the extreme right are skeptical. "Nationalists, in fact, do not need help, they already have everything they need, as they have access to European funds", considers Anaïs Voy-Gillis, member of the European Observatory of extremes. "And the renewal of conservative thinking in Europe did not wait for Steeve Bannon", adds Jean-Yves Camus.

Jean-Baptiste François

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