Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and Britain’s Nigel Farage have been named as the first and second most important MEPs to have sat in the 2014 – 2019 European Parliament. The Eurosceptics are rising.
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Politico have announced their ranking of the 40 MEPs who mattered most between 2014 – 2019, with Salvini in at number one.
He served as an MEP between 2009 and 2018 and as Politico explain: “Brussels is where the Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister incubated the talent for plain speaking and using social media (not to mention the Euroskepticism) that propelled him to his current position as Italy’s de facto leader, where he has been driving the European debate from the right ever since.”
Meanwhile Farage, ranked as the second most important MEP, is there because: “Love him or loathe him, it was difficult to ignore the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Farage was the star speechmaker of the 2014-2019 Parliament.”
They describe his decisive involvement in Brexit as a “crowning achievement”.
There may well be more to come: Salvini’s Lega are on course to surge from 6 to 29 MEPs in the next EU Parliament whilst Farage’s Brexit Party will be looking to deliver a political earthquake of their own in the UK. A sign of the times that the likes of Salvini and Farage are now driving debate across Europe.