Europe's largest party vows not to cooperate with anti-EU parties
PUBLISHED: 02:10 27 May 2019
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The leader of the largest mainstream party in the EU has ruled out working with "any party that does not believe in the future of the European Union".
Manfred Weber, leader of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), made the statements after the mainstream parties have been challenged by populist parties across Europe, including the UK's Brexit Party.
The Brexit Party has swept to victory in the UK, having campaigned on the single issue of leaving the EU.
The EU's traditional centre has been challenged in this election, with both the far right and progressive pro-environment parties gaining ground.
Weber also called for further cooperation between those who believe in the EU.
"From now on, those who want to have a strong European Union have to join forces," he said.
Along with Frans Timmermans, who leads the second largest party in the European parliament the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (PASD), he said he has ruled out working with far-right nationalists.
Timmermans said he wants to work together with progressive parties "to try and build a programme that addresses the aspirations, the dreams, and also sometimes the fears of our fellow Europeans".
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With results still coming in, at time of writing the EPP and PASD have held onto their majority positions in the elections.