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Leonid Bershidsky

Steve Bannon’s European Partner Forgot the Pitchforks

The American’s key ally in Brussels isn’t setting up political war rooms to bring down the EU. He just wants a Davos for populists.

It seemed like a big idea at the time.

It seemed like a big idea at the time.

Photographer: Aurore Belot/AFP/Getty Images

To anyone who read the blanket coverage last year of former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon’s plans to unite European populists, Belgian lawyer Mischael Modrikamen will be a familiar figure. As managing director of a Brussels-based legal entity called The Movement, of which Bannon is president, he was reportedly in charge of creating a well-staffed, well-funded, technologically advanced brain trust.

I spoke to Modrikamen last week at his Brussels home, which also serves as headquarters for The Movement and the People’s Party, which he founded and leads. It’s clear that if serious populist unification plans existed last year, the ambitions appear to have been scaled back.