Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists

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This article is about the European political party. For the group in the European Parliament, see European Conservatives and Reformists.
Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
President Jan Zahradil (CZ)
Secretary-General Daniel Hannan (UK)
Founded 1 October 2009 (2009-10-01)
Preceded by Movement for European Reform[1]
Headquarters Rue d'Arlon 40, 1000 Brussels, Belgium[2]
Ideology Conservatism
Economic liberalism[3]
Atlanticism[4]
Eurorealism[5]
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colours Blue and white
Political foundation New Direction
Website
www.aecr.eu
Politics of the European Union
Political parties
Elections

The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) is a centre-right eurosceptic European political party, defending broader conservative and economically liberal principles.[3] It has sixteen member parties, as well as five independent members, spread across sixteen countries. Its member parties have forty-six MEPs — the fourth-most of any Europarty — and one head of government. It has political groups in the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Council of Europe.

The party was founded on 1 October 2009,[6] after the creation of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group in the European Parliament. It was officially recognised by the European Parliament in January 2010. The AECR had eight members at its formation – predominantly in central and eastern Europe. It has accepted ten more member parties since then, representing the eurosceptic centre-right.

The AECR is led by a board of directors from the British Conservative Party, Polish Law and Justice, and Czech Civic Democratic Party, who are elected by the Council, which represents all parties.[7] The AECR's president is Jan Zahradil MEP, and its secretary-general is Daniel Hannan MEP. The party is affiliated with the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, the pan-European think tank New Direction, and the youth organisation the European Young Conservatives. It is also formally associated with the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the Committee of the Regions, the European Conservatives Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the Congress of the Council of Europe.

History[edit]

The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists was founded on 1 October 2009,[8] after the ECR political group was founded in the wake of the 2009 European Parliament election, and was officially recognised by the European Parliament in January 2010.

The AECR was formally constituted under the chairmanship of Belgian MEP Derk Jan Eppink, but this position was later transferred to Czech MEP Jan Zahradil. The AECR's president is MEP, Jan Zahradil and its Secretary-General is MEP Daniel Hannan. The Vice-Presidents are MP Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Icelandic Minister of Industry, MEP Anna Fotyga from Poland, and MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown from the United Kingdom. The AECR has one Prime Minister, David Cameron from the United Kingdom. An Executive Team is in charge of general management and day-to-day operations.

At the AECR's first congress in Warsaw on 8 June 2010, it was joined by Luxembourg's Alternative Democratic Reform Party. The congress was attended by UK Conservative Party Chairman Sayeeda Warsi and former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. On 25 March 2011, the Civic Conservative Party from Slovakia joined the AECR. The Icelandic Independence Party joined the AECR in November 2011, the party's first member from outside the European Union. They were followed by Georgia's Christian-Democratic Movement in August 2012. Italy's Conservatives and Social Reformers joined the AECR in October 2012: giving the AECR its first representation in one of the four largest continental European countries. The Conservative Party of Canada became the AECR's first associate member (later renamed 'regional partners') in November 2012.

In November 2013, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, the Faroe Islands' People's Party, and Romania's New Republic joined. In July 2014, Prosperous Armenia, Armenia's second largest political party, joined.[9] The Conservative Party of Georgia and New Majority joined on 1 November 2014. At the same time, the AECR formally affiliated to the European Conservatives Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[10] The Liberal Party of Australia, Istiqlal Party of Morocco, National Party of New Zealand, and Republican Party of the United States joined as further regional partners in 2014.

Principles[edit]

The AECR adopted the Reykjavík Declaration at its Council Meeting on 21 March 2014. The declaration defines the principles that underpin the AECR. It replaces the Prague Declaration - adopted by the ECR in 2009.

The Reykjavík Declaration

  • The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) brings together parties committed to individual liberty, national sovereignty, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, private property, low taxes, sound money, free trade, open competition, and the devolution of power.
  • AECR believes in a Europe of independent nations, working together for mutual gain while each retaining its identity and integrity.
  • AECR is committed to the equality of all European democracies, whatever their size, and regardless of which international associations they join.
  • AECR favours the exercise of power at the lowest practicable level – by the individual where possible, by local or national authorities in preference to supranational bodies.
  • AECR understands that open societies rest upon the dignity and autonomy of the individual, who should be as free as possible from state coercion. The liberty of the individual includes freedom of religion and worship, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of movement and association, freedom of contract and employment, and freedom from oppressive, arbitrary or punitive taxation.
  • AECR recognises the equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of ethnicity, sex or social class. It rejects all forms of extremism, authoritarianism and racism.
  • AECR cherishes the important role of civil associations, families and other bodies that fill the space between the individual and the government.
  • AECR acknowledges the unique democratic legitimacy of the nation-state.
  • AECR is committed to the spread of free commerce and open competition, in Europe and globally.
  • AECR supports the principles of the Prague Declaration of March 2009 and the work of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament and allied groups on the other European assemblies.

Member parties[edit]

The AECR has sixteen member parties, and a further four independent members, across sixteen European countries.
Country Political party MEPs National MPs Joined
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia Not in the EU
36 / 131
3 July 2014
 Bulgaria Independent MEPs
2 / 17
N/A 2014
 Croatia Ruža Tomašić (independent)
1 / 11
1 / 151
1 July 2013
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
2 / 21
16 / 200
1 October 2009
 Faroe Islands People's Party Not in the EU
9 / 33
8 November 2013
 Georgia Christian-Democratic Movement Not in the EU
0 / 150
16 August 2012
 Georgia Conservative Party Not in the EU
6 / 150
1 November 2014
 Germany Independent MEPs
1 / 99
N/A 2014
 Iceland Independence Party Not in the EU
19 / 63
12 November 2011
 Latvia National Alliance
1 / 8
17 / 100
2014
 Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
1 / 11
8 / 141
22 June 2009
 Luxembourg Alternative Democratic Reform Party
0 / 6
3 / 60
8 June 2010
 Poland Law and Justice
18 / 51
136 / 460
22 June 2009
 Romania New Republic
0 / 32
1 / 588
8 November 2013
 Slovakia Civic Conservative Party
0 / 13
0 / 150
25 March 2011
 Slovakia New Majority
1 / 13
1 / 150
1 November 2014
 Turkey Justice and Development Party Not in the EU
317 / 550
8 November 2013
 United Kingdom Conservative Party
19 / 73
305 / 650
1 October 2009
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party
1 / 73
0 / 650
1 October 2009

Regional partners[edit]

The AECR also has five regional partners, formerly called 'associate members', from outside Europe.

Country Political party National MPs Joined
 Australia Liberal Party
81 / 150
2014
 Canada Conservative Party
160 / 308
1 November 2012
 Morocco Istiqlal Party
60 / 395
2014
 New Zealand National Party
60 / 121
2014
 United States Republican Party
234 / 435
2014

Former members[edit]

Elected representatives of member parties[edit]

European institutions[edit]

Organisation Institution Number of seats
 European Union European Commission
0 / 28
 European Union European Council
(Heads of Government)
1 / 28
 European Union Council of the EU
(Participation in Government)
3 / 28
 European Union European Parliament
52 / 736
 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
22 / 321

AECR groupings[edit]

The AECR is formally affiliated to groupings, under the name 'ECR', in the European Parliament and Committee of the Regions of the European Union, and the Congress of the Council of Europe.

European Parliament[edit]

The ECR group is the third-largest group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2009, before the AECR was launched, the ECR brings together 70 MEPs, 42 of whom represent parties in the AECR. The ECR group is led by Syed Kamall of the British Conservative Party.

Committee of the Regions[edit]

Following the creation of the ECR Group in the European Parliament in 2009, and the creation of the AECR in 2010, the ECR Group in the Committee of the Regions was formed on 10 April 2013 under the leadership of Gordon Keymer CBE and with the support of the AECR. The Group was officially announced during the 11-12 April 100th Committee of the Regions plenary session.

The ECR Group was the first Group to be formed in the Committee of the Regions during the course of a mandate and was the first ECR Group to be formed outside of the European Parliament.

The President of the Group is Cllr. Gordon Keymer CBE (Leader of Tandridge District Council) and the Vice Presidents are Dan Jiránek (Mayor of Kladno) and Daiva Matonienė (Deputy Mayor of Šiauliai City Council). Adam Banaszak (Member of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie regional assembly), Cllr. Kay Twitchen OBE (Member of Essex County Council) and Cllr. Judith Pearce (Deputy Leader of Wychavon District Council and Executive Board Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Housing).

The Group is formed of representatives from seven EU Member States (the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and the UK).

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe[edit]

The European Conservatives Group in the European Parliament, founded in 1970 and existing for most of its history as the 'European Democrat Group' became officially affiliated to the AECR on 29 September 2014.

Congress of the Council of Europe[edit]

The ECR group in the Congress of the Council of Europe brings together representatives in local government from across Europe. It has 29 members, 26 of whom represent parties in the AECR. The ECR group is led by Halldor Halldorsson of the Icelandic Independence Party.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "William Hague gives a reply (if not an answer) to the question: "What does 'We will not let matters rest there' actually mean in practice?"". ConservativeHome. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-24.  (Dead Link)
  2. ^ "Contacts". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Rendall, Alasdair (26 March 2014). "The European political parties". BBC News. 
  4. ^ http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100147707/before-we-change-the-rules-on-party-funding-consider-a-cautionary-tale-from-the-european-parliament/
  5. ^ http://www.ovguide.com/alliance-of-european-conservatives-and-reformists-9202a8c04000641f800000001580877b
  6. ^ "ECR Trans-National Party Set for EU Funding – But is it legal?". New Europe. 18 January 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Organisation". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "News 2009". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Prosperous Armenia joins AECR". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "AECR welcomes two new members from Slovakia and Georgia". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 

See also[edit]

Portal icon Conservatism portal

External links[edit]