Vlaams Belang also successful at European level

Summary

The extreme right party has gained two seats in the European parliament, putting it on par with N-VA

‘People want borders to be protected’

Extreme right party Vlaams Belang, which surprised everyone yesterday with its elections victory at the regional and federal levels, has also won two more seats in the European parliament, bringing its total to three.

The votes came from N-VA and Open VLD, which each lost a seat, leaving the former with three and the latter with two. Groen and SP.A have both hung on to their one seat each, and CD&V keeps its two seats.

On the French-speaking side, Ecolo and PTB both won an extra seat, giving the former two and the latter one. MR and PS, meanwhile, both lost a seat, leaving them with two each.

N-VA and Vlaams Belang, then, have the most seats in the European parliament, with three each. Geert Bourgeois of N-VA, who has served as Flanders’ minister-president for the last five years, will move on to the federal parliament.

“Europe has gotten bigger,” Bourgeois told VRT, “and we need to see this election as a signal that the people want the borders to be protected. We are also in favour of that. This is an extremely important issue, that people want an end to the stream of illegal immigration in the EU. I think the worst thing we can do it to ignore this.”

He will be well placed, he said to deal with the issue in the future. “This is a European theme more than a national one,” he said. “If we are in favour of free movement inside Europe, we must have controlled international borders.”

Photo: Vlaams Belang MEP Gerolf Annemans can expect two colleagues
©Dirk Waem