The possible pacts with the extreme right at the European level after the June 9 elections have tense the last major debate today, Thursday, between the candidates of the major political groups organized by Eurovision and the European Parliament in the Brussels chamber, converted for the occasion into a spectacular television set to try to attract the attention of citizens to this event.

The call has demonstrated once again the ability of the extreme right to take over discussions, even when they are not present. The groups in which their parties have been integrated during the last legislature (European Conservatives and Reformists, CER; and Identity and Democracy, ID) have not elected a common list leader and therefore could not participate in the event, but their shadow planned during the almost two hours of discussions, led to the only moments of tension between the candidates and clearly conditioned the focus of the discussion on issues such as immigration.

“I am prepared to work with all democratic forces but I do not consider CER and ID to be democratic,” the candidate of the European Socialist Party and current Commissioner for Employment, the Luxembourger Nicolas Schmit, launched at the first opportunity. “It is an issue in which we need clarity, not ambiguity,” insisted Schmit, who had been criticized for the kid glove treatment with which her boss, the Christian Democrat Ursula Von der Leyen, treated a month ago during the Maastricht debate.

Von der Leyen Leyen, head of the European People’s Party list and the only one of all those present with a real chance of presiding over the Commission during the next legislature, has evaded the issue for as long as she could but, confronted about it by the moderators, has reiterated that it is open to collaborating with parties that respect certain criteria and has praised the ‘pro-European’ profile of Giorgia Meloni, whom it places within its red lines on who to agree with and who not to (there are, for example, the party Polish Law and Justice, or Hungarian Fidesz).

“Meloni is clearly pro-European and anti-Putin, he has been very clear about that; and she is pro rule of law. If this holds, we can offer to work together,” the German Christian Democrat ended up saying, who until now had avoided making a clear statement about her position regarding the party of the leader of the Brothers of Italy. At the European level, unlike other ultra-conservative governments, Meloni has not broken anything. Another thing is its national policies.

Asked about Meloni’s position in the field of the rights of the LGTBIQ community, which she has restricted through different measures, Von der Leyen limited herself to saying that her position on these issues is “completely different.” And the European Parliament “works differently from national parliaments,” the German has defended. The composition of the future groups “remains to be seen” and to carry out the laws it is necessary to form large majorities. The Green Pact, the current president of the Commission recalled, would not have gone ahead with the votes of the classic grand coalition alone.

Terry Reintke (Greens), Sandro Gozi (liberals) and Walter Bauer (Unitary Left) have also attacked Von der Leyen and the EPP for their flirtations with parties like Vox and leaders like Meloni, Marine Le Pen or Éric Zemmour, in addition to the alliances signed at the national level, which spread like an oil spill across the north and south of Europe. The Government pact reached by the far-right Geert Wilders in the Netherlands in fact includes formations from the Christian Democrat and liberal orbit. “A huge mistake,” conceded Gozi, who, visibly in a hurry, has defended that his in-laws have put off until June 10 what to do with their Dutch partners after they violated the declaration signed against the agreements and alignment with the extreme right.

There are also tensions within the European far-right family. In the middle of the debate, the Identity group