Politics

Bannon-linked group is planning a summit to rally global nationalists. But it's not quite going to plan

Key Points
  • There are only three parties that are official members of this club: Italy Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's Lega; Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia); and the Movement for Changes in Montenegro.
  • However, Modrikamen told CNBC that there are many other right-wing parties that support this club.
BRUSSEL, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 08: Former White House Chief Stratgist and Senior Counselor to President Donald Trump and CEO of the Trump Presidential Campaign, Steve Bannon speaks with journalists and delivers a speech during a conference of the Marrakesh-pact organised by Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang at the Flemish Parliament on December 08, 2018 in Brussel, Belgium.
Sylvain Lefevre | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Movement is a group for nationalist parties in Europe which is supported by the U.S. political strategist Steve Bannon. But, the platform is reportedly struggling to mobilize right-wing parties on the continent.

"It's a club for the populists, for the populist leaders facing the globalist movement. We want to organize ourselves on an international scale to be the voice of the voiceless," Mischael Modrikamen, managing director of The Movement, told CNBC in an exclusive interview, earlier this month.

There are only three parties that are official members of this club: Italy Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's Lega; Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia); and the Movement for Changes in Montenegro. However, Modrikamen told CNBC that there are many other right-wing parties that support this club.

"We've announced the support of a few parties, but we have the support of much more parties and you'll see when we launch the summit fully in a month, a few weeks before the (EU Parliament) election, you'll see who is there and who is not there. Then you will judge the success or not of our movement," Modrikamen, a Belgian anti-establishment politician said.

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The Movement wants to be the platform for anti-establishment parties, in a similar way that certain European summits tend to be for mainstream politicians. Having its own summit will allow the different politicians to come together and discuss their strategies. But some have questioned the reach it has been able to achieve.

"In terms of catalysing the formation of a common populist front ahead of the European Parliament election, I would say its success has been so far rather limited," Antonio Barroso, managing director at Teneo Intelligence told CNBC over email.

"Radical right parties across the EU remain far from creating a joint platform," Barroso said, adding that they all have different views regarding key issues, including relations with Russia.

The summit was due to have taken place in January, then in March, and it is now expected to happen just before the EU elections. Modrikamen told CNBC that the meeting had to be postponed because of the busy schedules of certain leaders and ministers that were set to attend it. The gathering is now expected to happen in Brussels, just before the elections taking place from May 23 to May 26.

Furthermore, some right-wing populists have somehow distanced themselves from this group, including France's Marine Le Pen and her National Rally party. She said last year she wanted to clarify "lots of conjecture" regarding the Movement.

"But we, and we alone, are the ones who will shape the political force that is born from the European elections," she said, according to AP.

Populists parties in Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic have also distanced themselves from the club, the Guardian has previously reported.

Relationship with Bannon

Modrikamen was introduced to Steve Bannon by the former head of the U.K. Independence Party and prominent Brexit proponent, Nigel Farage, last July.

"We (with Bannon) are two partners in this club to have established It … he is the chairman of this, I am managing director. We basically take decisions together, but it's a club, I mean we are not the leaders of The Movement, I mean there are no leaders," Modrikamen told CNBC, confirming that Bannon will attend the summit in a couple of weeks' time.

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The Movement's hope is to have politicians from the U.S., South America and across Europe attend.

According to Modrikamen, the summit will be privately funded. "There will be private funding, Steve (Bannon) funding or just other donors."