STRASBOURG, June 24 (Xinhua) - - France's Marine Le Pen and the Netherlands' Geert Wilders failed to form a political group in the European Parliament (EP) as the deadline expired midnight Monday.
The two most prominent figures in the potential alliance of far-right parties could not assemble like-minded parties from seven different countries, a requirement for official party status in the EP along with a minimum of 25 members (MEPs).
A party can draw on official funding over the parliament's five year term and gets longer speaking time in the parliament.
The proposed group, called the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF), would have had a stated policy of obstructing policy making in an effort to repatriate national sovereignty.
In addition to Le Pen's Front National (FN) and Wilders' Party for Freedom (PVV), the potential alliance also grouped together the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), Italy's Northern League and the Flemish nationalists Vlaams Belang, leaving the group short of parties from two other countries.
The failure of Le Pen and Wilders to form a party contrasts with that of British eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage who managed to form his Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group late last week. Farage even managed to attract a defecting MEP from Le Pen's FN.