Leader of Italy’s populist Five Star Movement and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Luigi Di Maio, announced on Friday the Movement would join up with four parties across Europe with similar ideologies, including Croatia’s Zivi Zid party, to put forward a joint programme ahead of the European Parliament election in May.
Di Maio presented in Rome on Friday the programme of a new group of anti-establishment populist parties, which will campaign together for the election in May. The other parties in the bloc include Zivi Zid, Poland’s Kukiz ‘15, Finland’s Liike Nyt, and Greece’s Akkel, none of which currently have any representatives in the European Parliament.
Some of the main points in the joint programme include fight against corruption, a joint migration strategy, the need for direct democracy, and social equality.
The Five Star Movement is part of the ruling coalition in Italy, along with the right-wing Lega whose leader, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, is a strong opponent of illegal immigration.
Di Maio said there were five parties that have taken up the challenge to create a new group, Italian Ansa news agency reported.
In order for a parliamentary group to be formed in the European Parliament, it is necessary to have a quorum of 25 MEPs from seven EU countries.
"I am positive, as we have contacts with new political forces in Europe," Di Maio added.
The Five Star Movement, along with Britain's UKIP, is currently part of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the European Parliament, which holds 41 out of the Parliament's 751 seats. UKIP will leave the European Parliament after Brexit.