MEPs from the far-right are preparing to join forces and form their own political group, possibly as early as mid-January. The new group's leader is predicted to be Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the French National Front (FN).
In order to form a new group, 19 MEPs from five countries need to present their signatures. This became possible for the far-right with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania and their 53 new MEPs; Romania has five far-right MEPs and Bulgaria has one.
Other than the FN, other parties likely to join the new group include the Austrian Freedom Party, the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang from Belgium and the Greater Romania Party, which will form the backbone of the new group. The party is known for its anti-Roma and anti-Hungarian views.
As a recognised political group in the parliament, the far-right will get greater funding and have some influence in setting the agenda for plenary sessions.
The far-right is likely to push for a freeze on further EU enlargement - especially the prospect of membership for Turkey - and to resist any attempts to revive the troubled EU constitution.