Nationalist Flemish party Vlaams Belang on Sunday joined forces with French nationalist party Rassemblement National (RN), in an attempt to draw votes from Francophone Belgians in the Brussels region.
In attendance at a Vlaams Belang (VB) rally on Sunday, RN leader Marine Le Pen displayed support for the VB, in spite of their avowed “anti-francisation” positions.
“I have come here today to call on Brussels’ francophones to vote for Vlaams Belang,” RN leader Marine Le Pen said, calling out rivalling nationalist party Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) for a perceived lack of action on immigration.
“The N-VA reminds me of [Nicolas] Sarkozy”, she said, referring to the former French president. “Flexing [their] muscles but, when [they] arrive in power… nothing!”
The VB has previously expressed criticism over the “minority status” of the Flemish in the Belgian capital and has called for an accrued presence of Flanders in Brussels political affairs.
Voters heading to the polls on in the upcoming elections on May 26 will for the first time see both Dutch-speaking and French-speaking parties on their voting screens, following a change implemented by N-VA member and former of Internal Affairs, Jan Jambon.
Marine Le Pen’s visit to Brussels was also part of a campaign stop for a cross-European alliance of far-right and nationalist groups in the upcoming European Parliament election.