Conservative People's Party of Estonia

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Conservative People's Party of Estonia
Leader Mart Helme
Founded 24 March 2012
Preceded by People's Union of Estonia
Estonian Patriotic Movement[1]
Headquarters Tallinn
Youth wing Sinine Äratus
(Blue Awakening)
Membership  (2014) 7,736[2]
Ideology Estonian nationalism
National conservatism
Euroscepticism
Direct democracy
Political position Right-wing
Colours blue
Riigikogu
0 / 101
EU Parliament
0 / 6
Website
http://www.ekre.ee/
Politics of Estonia
Political parties
Elections

The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond, EKRE) is a national conservative political party in Estonia. It was founded in March 2012 when the agrarian centrist party People's Union of Estonia and the pressure group Estonian Patriotic Movement merged.

The current chairman of the party is Mart Helme, former Estonian ambassador to Russia.[3]

As of August 2013, the party polls in public opinion at around 4%.[4] At the same time it had 7769 members, making it the fourth largest Estonian party.[5]

History[edit]

In 2010, the People's Union of Estonia started to look for a possible merging partner. Talks with the Social Democratic Party were concluded and a special congress was convened to approve the merger agreement. However, at the party congress, only 172 delegates out of 412 supported the deal.[6] Following the failed merger attempt, many leading members (MPs) left the party and joined the social democrats.[7] In the 2011 parliamentary elections, the People's Union did not pass the 5% threshold, and became an extra-parliamentary party.

In March 2012, the Estonian Patriotic Movement merged into the People's Union and the latter changed its name to the Conservative People's Party of Estonia.[8] At the assembly in Põltsamaa, where the party was founded, EKRE made its first political statement: "No political party in the Riigikogu represents the Estonian people, our national interest or traditional values. The government acts on right- and left liberal, also socialist ideas that our countrymen are simply statistical units or taxpayers, consumers at best. It is not far right or far left, just ultra-liberalism. The Conservative People's Party gives a solution to the voters who are sick of forced choice between Ansip and Savisaar, East and West, left and right."[9]

On 23 August 2013, EKRE signed the Declaration of Bauska together with political parties National Alliance and Lithuanian Nationalist Union. The declaration calls for a new national awakening of the Baltic states and warns about threats posed by international globalism, multiculturalism and Russian imperial ambitions.[10][11]

During the local elections in October 2013, the party gained representation in several smaller municipalities, including a majority in the town of Saue,[12] parishes of Tudulinna[13] and Häädemeeste.[14]

Ideology and political positions[edit]

Mart Helme with a pre-World War II map of Europe

The party's platform generally reflects Estonian national conservatism in the Estonian political system. The party calls for implementation of direct democracy, balanced state budget[15] and strict control over immigration to Estonia.[16]

Social policies[edit]

Education and health care[edit]

Immigration[edit]

Economic policies[edit]

Environment[edit]

The party's program includes a ban on all genetically modified foods and their import.[17]

Banking[edit]

The party calls for creation of a national public bank.[18] It has also supported cooperative banking in Tartu, including in its program the establishment of an alternative interest-free currency.[19]

Foreign policies[edit]

European Union and Russia[edit]

Green is territory that EKRE claims is illegally occupied by Russia

The Conservative People's Party of Estonia stands for Estonia's independence and sovereignty. They claim that the European Union is moving towards a federal state and Estonia should veto any legislation that centralises more power to the hands of EU.[20] On 30 August 2012, EKRE organised a protest at Toompea against the ratification of European Stability Mechanism treaty.[21]

EKRE strongly opposes a proposed border treaty between Estonia and Russia, which, according to the party, would cede 5.2% of Estonia's territory to the occupier once and for all without any compromise or compensation on its side. The party has called the possible signing of the treaty "treason" and the Estonian politicians who would sign it "traitors to the state".[22]

Defence policies[edit]

National defence[edit]

The EKRE concept of the national defence policy is based on the self-reliant national defence. The security of the republic would be safeguarded by the existence of initial defense, compulsory military service, total defense, international cooperation and the membership of NATO.[23]

Legal issues[edit]

Euthanasia[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]