European Conservatives and Reformists

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For previous related groups, see European Conservatives and European Democrats.
European Conservatives and Reformists
European Parliament group
European Conservatives and Reformists logo.png
Name European Conservatives and Reformists
English abbr. ECR[1]
Formal name European Conservatives and Reformists Group
Ideology Conservatism
Economic liberalism[2]
Soft euroscepticism
Anti-federalism[2]
European parties Affiliated to the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
Further MEPs from MELD, EFA, ECPM, and ALDE Party
Associated organisations Movement for European Reform
New Direction
From 22 June 2009
To present
Chaired by Syed Kamall
MEP(s)
71 / 751
Website www.ecrgroup.eu

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)[1] is a conservative,[3] anti-federalist,[3][4] and moderately Eurosceptic[3][5][6] political group in the European Parliament. The ECR is the parliamentary group of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists Europarty, but also includes members from four other Europarties and thirteen MEPs from no Europarty. Following the 2014 European elections, the ECR is the third-largest group in the European Parliament, with 71 MEPs.

The ECR was founded around the Movement for European Reform after the 2009 European elections at the behest of British Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Initially, the ECR had 55 MEPs, making it the joint-fourth-largest group. After the 2014 elections, the party accepted thirteen new member parties, taking it to 71 MEPs and making it the third-largest group.

The group is centre-right[7][8][9] to right-wing.[10][11][12] It is more eurosceptic[13] than the two largest groups, but less than the hard eurosceptic EFDD. The largest parties in the group are the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, Law and Justice of Poland, and Alternative for Germany.

Founding principles[edit]

The Prague Declaration was first proposed in 2003.

The last mixed group in the European Parliament was forcibly dissolved. Since then, groups have been required to demonstrate ideological coherence. This is usually done by publishing a document (sometimes called a constituent declaration) stating the principles to which each group member is expected to adhere. The constituent declaration of the ECR has become known as the Prague Declaration. That document outlines the following principles:[14]

  1. Free enterprise, free and fair trade and competition, minimal regulation, lower taxation, and small government as the ultimate catalysts for individual freedom and personal and national prosperity.
  2. Freedom of the individual, more personal responsibility and greater democratic accountability.
  3. Sustainable, clean energy supply with an emphasis on energy security.
  4. The importance of the family as the bedrock of society.
  5. The sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to EU federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity.
  6. The overriding value of the transatlantic security relationship in a revitalised NATO, and support for young democracies across Europe.
  7. Effectively controlled immigration and an end to abuse of asylum procedures
  8. Efficient and modern public services and sensitivity to the needs of both rural and urban communities.
  9. An end to waste and excessive bureaucracy and a commitment to greater transparency and probity in the EU institutions and use of EU funds.
  10. Respect and equitable treatment for all EU countries, new and old, large and small.

History[edit]

The genesis of the ECR dates back to 2005, and possibly earlier. A political group in the European Parliament cannot be officially recognised if it contains MEPs from only a single member state. Instead, it must meet the minimum threshold required by the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure.[15][16] Any party seeking to create a group must therefore seek partners.

Origins: 2005–06[edit]

In 2005, the UK Conservative Party held a leadership contest. At the time, Conservative MEPs sat in the European Democrats (ED), a subgroup of the larger EPP-ED group, which is dominated by the European People's Party (EPP). One leadership contender, David Cameron, argued for withdrawal of the Conservatives from EPP-ED and the formation of a new group. His opponent, David Davis, argued in a letter to The Daily Telegraph that the subgroup arrangement allowed the Conservatives to maintain suitable distance from EPP, while still having influence. Martin Callanan MEP responded in that paper the following day:

... David Davis (Letter, November 10) is sadly misinformed about our Conservative MEPs' relationship with the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. He claims that Conservatives are members of the European Democrat group, which forms an alliance with the EPP. In reality, though, the ED does not exist. It has no staff or money and is, in effect, a discussion group within the EPP.... Far from being a symbolic step, as Mr Davis suggests, leaving the EPP is the one hard, bankable commitment to have come out of this leadership campaign....

Cameron won the leadership election. Upon taking office as Conservative leader in December 2005, Cameron indicated that the launch of new group would be undertaken immediately.

In June 2006, Cameron, frustrated with delays, ordered Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague to ensure the new group was created by 13 July 2006.[17] However, when that date arrived, a new policy was announced: the new group would be delayed until after the 2009 elections.[18]

Movement for European Reform[edit]

In the interim, a pan-European alliance, called the Movement for European Reform (MER), would be formed and function outside the European Parliament.[19] The same day, the Polish Law and Justice and Civic Platform parties were identified as potential members of the new group. However, the latter stated that it would not leave the EPP, and the former stated that it planned to stay aligned to UEN.[20] The next day, Sir Reg Empey, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, suggested that the UUP might join the new group after the 2009 election.[21] In the event of the election, the Ulster Unionist Party ran under the banner of the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists, an electoral alliance between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionists.

The Czech ODS was part of MER but its leader, Mirek Topolánek, did not rule out staying in EPP-ED.[22] Topolánek then attended the EPP Summit (a meeting of heads of state and government of the European People's Party) of 21 June 2007, adding speculation about the fragility of the new group.[23] The BBC speculated that the new group could become the third largest group in the Parliament with around 100 MEPs.[24]

In July 2008, the European Parliament raised the 2009 threshold for forming a group to 25 members and (more importantly) representing 7 countries, which raised some doubt about the viability of the new group.[25] Topolánek, after being re-elected President of the ODS on 7 December 2008, attended yet another EPP Summit, on 11 December 2008.[26]

2009 European Parliament elections[edit]

As the 2009 elections approached, Cameron, Topolánek, and Conservative MEP Geoffrey Van Orden (a 'point-man' for the new group)[27] were looking for partners. The list of possible partners was kept secret:[28] as BBC News Europe editor Mark Mardell said,

... the Conservatives are being coy and say they won't tell us who their new chums are until after the election. My longstanding view has been that this was because they could not reach the desired numbers, but I have changed my mind. I think they will find enough new bedfellows, but that there is no need to invite them under the duvet until the votes are in.... There is no point linking up in advance with those who might fail, and no point alienating those who might do well....[29]

This did not stop speculation. People or parties that were rumoured to be possible partners in the new group included Law and Justice;[30][31][32] Lega Nord;[30][33] the Danish People's Party;[30][33] For Fatherland and Freedom,[28][30] Order and Justice,[30] the Pensioners' Party;[29] Order, Law and Justice;[27][34][35] Libertas;[36] Civic Union;[37] Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania,[37] ChristenUnie-SGP;[38] the independent Indrek Tarand;[37] and Lijst Dedecker's Derk Jan Eppink;[30][31] from member states such as the Czech Republic,[39][40] Poland,[39][40] Italy,[39] Sweden,[39] the Baltic and Balkan states,[39] Belgium,[40] and the Netherlands.[40] Speculation also considered the remnants of the Union for Europe of the Nations group, which was thought to be on the verge of collapse after the decision of Fianna Fáil and National Alliance to move to the ALDE and the EPP respectively.[41] Lajos Bokros, elected on the list of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) joined the group as the EPP did not want to accept him on pressure of the rival FIDESZ.

As time progressed, the new group was provisionally named the European Conservatives[32] (echoing the 1970s group of the same name), which was then changed to European Conservatives and Reformists.[42] The original estimates were firmed up to 84 MEPs,[30] then to approximately 60.[40] Frictions surfaced, as the ODS wanted the new group to have as many MEPs as possible, whilst the Conservatives wanted to disbar anti-immigrant parties in the new group, including the Danish People's Party and Lega Nord.[33]

Formation[edit]

On 22 June 2009, the first official list of the new group's members was released.[4] The same day, the Financial Times editorial was critical of the new group:

... Mr Cameron may also claim he is acting on the principle of defending UK sovereignty. But he is, in practice, jeopardising British influence on matters of international importance; the EU is now turning its focus to climate change and financial regulation. If Britain becomes a marginal player in the EU, London will lose influence not just in Brussels, but also in Washington; the “special relationship” relies on Britain being a cog in its own continent. For the UK, irrelevance in Europe means irrelevance everywhere....[43]

The next day, the Daily Telegraph editorial mused that the ECR should help to enfranchise anti-federalists across Europe and demonstrated David Cameron's leadership qualities.

... This development is to be welcomed on several levels. First, as Mr Cameron prepares for what is likely to be a Conservative government, it is important that people can believe he means what he says.... Second, it is a good thing that the millions who vote for non-federalist parties should have a group in the parliament to represent their interests. The existing centre-Right and centre-Left blocs both have integrationist ambitions, with all they entail - an EU army and police force, a common judicial area and a single UN seat for Europe. [The] people... have invariably said no... Power... needs to be repatriated, not surrendered further. The new body... will give the Tories more clout than if they had remained a small part of a much larger group.[44]

On 24 June, the group held its inaugural meeting, in which Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope was named interim leader.[45] Adam Bielan of PiS and Jan Zahradil of the ODS were named interim vice-chairmen.

At the first sitting of the Seventh European Parliament, on 14 July, outgoing Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced that applications from all new and returning groups had been received and approved, including ECR. The group then became eligible for EU funding, office space, and committee places appropriate for a group of its size.

ECR Chairman, Michał Kamiński

The first election for the group leadership was also scheduled for 14 July, pitting interim leader Kirkhope against fellow Briton Geoffrey Van Orden.[46] However, both Conservative leadership candidates were forced to forfeit the leadership in order to prevent it from falling apart, when then-Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott defied his party whip and stood for one of the vice-presidency posts despite pledges the previous week that Polish MEP Michał Kamiński would be backed for it. Kamiński's bid for Vice-President of the European Parliament subsequently failed, and the Poles threatened to abandon the new caucus unless Kamiński was made the group leader in the parliament.[47] Kirkhope went to an emergency meeting with the Poles in Strasbourg and proposed sharing the group leadership with the Pole; however, this was not accepted, and he had to step down as coalition leader, withdrawing in favour of Kamiński. McMillan-Scott, who alleged that the Conservative's new allies in Poland are 'racist and homophobic', had the Conservative whip withdrawn in the European Parliament.[48][49] In March 2010, McMillan-Scott joined the Liberal Democrats and in the European Parliament, the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.[50]

Leadership changes and upheavals in membership[edit]

Group chairman Kamiński left Law and Justice in November 2010, saying that the party had been taken over by the far-right. Kamiński and other Law and Justice MPs and MEPs formed a new Polish party, Poland Comes First, formed as a breakaway from Law and Justice following dissatisfaction with the direction and leadership of Jarosław Kaczyński. Kamiński initially remained of the group, but other Law and Justice MEPs argued he should step down.[51] On 15 December, rumours emerged that the eleven remaining PiS MEPs might leave the ECR and join the right-wing Europe of Freedom and Democracy group instead.[52]

In February 2011, Kamiński announced he would resign his chairmanship, effective 8 March, when a replacement would be elected. Former interim leader Timothy Kirkhope was said to be the front runner,[53] but lost the election to Jan Zahradil of the Czech Republic's ODS.[54] Zahradil has been in talks with other parties about joining the ECR.[55] In late March, David Cameron invited the moderate New Flemish Alliance to join the group.[56]

The May 2011 resignation of Silvana Koch-Mehrin, one of the fourteen Vice Presidents of the European Parliament, led to the ECR considering putting another candidate forward to take the position they were denied through McMillan-Scott's defection.[57] Conservative Party MEP Giles Chichester was nominated on 31 May, and was elected unopposed by the Parliament on 5 July 2011,[58] after the ALDE group to which Koch-Mehrin belongs failed to find a willing and suitable candidate.[59]

On 14 December 2011, a new leadership was elected, with Martin Callanan as Chairman and Jan Zahradil, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ryszard Legutko, and Derk Jan Eppink as Vice-Chairmen. On 26 December 2011, four members of United Poland – who had split from Law and Justice in November – left the ECR to join Europe of Freedom and Democracy. On 17 January 2012, Czech Oldřich Vlasák replaced Chichester as the ECR's Vice-President of the Parliament.

2014 European Parliament elections[edit]

Bernd Lucke, leader of Alternative for Germany

Ahead of the 2014 European Parliamentary elections there was a certain amount of speculation about the stability of the ECR, with the possibility that the Polish Law and Justice might seek another grouping.[60] Most pundits thought the grouping would survive, with several new parties speculated to be looking into joining the group.[60] Parties thought to be mulling applications for the grouping included the Alternative for Germany, Danish People's Party, Finns Party and New Flemish Alliance,[60] Bulgaria Without Censorship and also some Croatian members.[61] Slovakia's Freedom and Solidarity party represented by Richard Sulík was also reported to be considering joining the group, due to close links to the Alternative for Germany.[62] The prospect that Forza Italia or the Hungarian Fidesz might also be tempted to move from the EPP to the ECR was raised, as they have adopted more eurosceptic profiles.[63] Breitbart.com suggested the apparent willingness to accept applications from more nationalistic and anti-immigrant parties than in the 2009-2014 term was to form a bigger group, and thus receive more funds, than the United Kingdom Independence Party, who came first in the European election in Britain.[64] The Financial Times suggested that if the ECR accepted all of the potential members it could receive an additional €6 million a year in funding.[60]

On 4 June 2014, ECR accepted applications from the Danish People's Party (4 MEPs) and the Finns Party (2 MEPs) from the EFD group, as well as the Family Party of Germany, both Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) and New Majority (NOVA) from Slovakia, and the Independent Greeks.[65][66] Alternative for Germany and Bulgaria Without Censorship were admitted on 8 June, followed by the Dutch Reformed Political Party on 16 June[67] and the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) on 18 June.[68]

N-VA's choice to join the ECR was controversial in Belgium. Guy Verhofstadt, the ALDE leader and former Prime Minister of Belgium, who is himself Flemish, had hoped to attract the N-VA to join his group, and entered extensive negotiations with the party to facilitate the move. However, N-VA party members voted by a wide margin to join the ECR, instead; 70 voted to join the ECR, and just three to join ALDE.[69] Fellow Flemish European politician Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, called the vote "a dirty trick, the way this decision was made", and referred to the N-VA's choice as "harmful for Belgium". De Gucht went on to say: "It is an important political fact because, for the first time, a leading Belgian party decides to join a Eurosceptic group. Traditionally, all big Belgian parties [...] have supported further European integration."[70] It has been observed that over the preceding four years, the N-VA had gradually become more Eurosceptic, making the ECR the most natural fit for its previously Europhile outlook.[71] The N-VA's decision was all the more important because it meant the ECR overtook ALDE as the third biggest group,[69] assuming the role of "kingmakers" in the new parliament.[72] On 23 June, Irish Fianna Fáil (FF) MEP Brian Crowley joined from the ALDE grouping, but without the permission of his party, who removed the whip the following day. FF leader Micheál Martin was reportedly "infuriated" at Crowley's joining the ECR,[73] calling it "totally unacceptable."[74] On the same day, IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement joined,[75] taking the group to 70 MEPs.

The ECR’s unanimous decision to admit the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party and Finns Party as members was criticised because one MEP from each party has a criminal conviction.[76][77] Morten Messerschmidt, lead candidate for the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, was convicted in 2002 for publishing material that appeared to suggest that there is a link between a multiethnic society and rape, violence and forced marriages.[78] Jussi Halla-aho, a Finns Party MEP, was convicted in 2012 after writing a 2008 blog entry which claimed that Islam "reveres paedophilia".[78] However, Syed Kamall, the ECR's Chairman, who is a practising Muslim, defended the new members, telling the Financial Times:

The Danish People’s party is on a political journey. It now has a policy of controlled immigration and disagrees with those on the left who would allow uncontrolled immigration and benefit tourism [...] There is a clear distinction that the left-wing media often fails to make between a party that wants to control immigration and one that seeks to demonise immigrants. The DPP is the former.[78]

Kamall also defended Halla-aho, telling the Finnish Broadcaster YLE:

I sat down with him when I saw that issue [blog controversy] reported, I looked him in the eye and I said ’tell me about this’. I was satisfied by his explanation. [...] we don’t look at their past, we want to look at where we’re moving forward. They want to be a mainstream party and we are happy to help with that.[79]

Fellow British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan commented on Messerschmidt: "Would you want to be judged on something you did in your 20s? [...] if the Danish electorate move on and decide he is a mainstream popular politician, it seems a bit unfair that the rest of us shouldn't make that same judgement".[78]

Following the election, British Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim was the group's candidate for President of the European Parliament.[80]

On 2 October 2014, the leader of the Slovak eurosceptic Freedom and Solidarity party, Richard Sulik, left the ALDE to join the ECR,[81] and was formally accepted six days later.

Membership[edit]

The ECR has MEPs from fifteen states, including ten with more than one MEP (in dark blue) and five with one MEP each (light blue).

The ECR has 71 Members of the European Parliament, from twenty-one parties across fifteen countries. The ECR draws the majority of its MEPs from northern and central Europe.

Eighth European Parliament[edit]

Following the 2014 election, members from twelve new parties joined. An additional party, the Slovakian Freedom and Solidarity joined during the course of the Eighth European Parliament.

Party name or Member Abbr. Member state MEPs Date joined Europarty
New Flemish Alliance N-VA  Belgium 4 18 June 2014 EFA
Bulgaria Without Censorship BBT  Bulgaria 1 12 June 2014 None
IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement IMRO-BNM  Bulgaria 1 24 June 2014 None
Croatian Party of Rights dr. Ante Starčević HSP-AS  Croatia 1 1 July 2013 AECR
Civic Democratic Party ODS  Czech Republic 2 22 June 2009 AECR
Danish People's Party DF  Denmark 4 4 June 2014 MELD
Finns Party PS  Finland 2 4 June 2014 MELD
Alternative for Germany AfD  Germany 7 12 June 2014 None
Family Party FAMILIE  Germany 1 4 June 2014 None
Independent Greeks ANEL  Greece 1 4 June 2014 None
Fianna Fáil[a] FF  Ireland 1 23 June 2014 ALDE
National Alliance NA  Latvia 1 22 June 2009 AECR
Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania AWPL  Lithuania 1 23 June 2009 AECR
ChristianUnion CU  Netherlands 1 22 June 2009 ECPM
Reformed Political Party SGP  Netherlands 1 16 June 2014 ECPM
Law and Justice PiS  Poland 18 22 June 2009 AECR
Right Wing of the Republic PR  Poland 1 1 July 2014 None
Freedom and Solidarity SaS  Slovakia 1 8 October 2014 ALDE
New Majority NOVA  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 AECR
Ordinary People OĽaNO  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 ECPM
Conservative Party Conservative  United Kingdom 19 22 June 2009 AECR
Ulster Unionist Party UUP  United Kingdom 1 22 June 2009 AECR
  1. ^ Brian Crowley was the sole member of Fianna Fáil elected in the 2014 election; following his announcement that he was joining the ECR, Fianna Fáil withdrew the party whip. Crowley remains a member of the Fianna Fáil party as a whole, but has been excluded from its cross-Parliamentary caucus.

Seventh European Parliament[edit]

When the ECR was founded, at the start of the 2009–2014 Parliament, it had MEPs in eight states, with just three having more than one MEP each (dark blue).
By the end of the 2009–14 Parliament, the ECR had been joined by MEPs from Croatia, Denmark, and Italy, as well as additional MEPs in the United Kingdom and Poland.

Originally, it had been announced on 22 June 2009 that Hannu Takkula, MEP for the Finnish Centre Party (a European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party member party) would also be a member of ECR (with his two party colleagues remaining in ALDE), but he reversed this decision two days later.[82]

The membership was reduced to 54 when Edward McMillan-Scott was expelled from the group in July 2009. It increased to 55 again when Anna Rosbach joined the group in March 2011.[83] UKIP MEP David Campbell Bannerman rejoined the Conservative Party in May 2011, taking the group's tally to 56:[84] one larger than The Greens–European Free Alliance - an advantage that disappeared in June 2011. Anthea McIntyre was confirmed as the ECR's 57th MEP on 1 December 2011. United Poland, which had been founded by four defectors from Law and Justice – Zbigniew Ziobro, Tadeusz Cymański, Jacek Kurski, and Jacek Włosowicz (pl) – left the ECR for Europe of Freedom and Democracy on 26 December 2011. In March 2012, Conservative Roger Helmer defected to the UK Independence Party and also joined Europe of Freedom and Democracy; Marta Andreasen moved in the opposite direction, joining the Conservatives and the ECR from UKIP, in February 2013. In October 2012, Cristiana Muscardini joined the ECR, when she left Future and Freedom to found the Conservatives and Social Reformers. In April 2013, the ECR was joined by fellow Italian Susy De Martini, an independent who was formerly a member of the The People of Freedom. The newly elected Croatian MEP Ruža Tomašić of the Croatian Party of Rights dr. Ante Starčević joined the group when Croatia joined the EU in July 2013.[85] In November 2013, Poland Comes First dissolved itself, with three of its members joining the new Poland Together, which was also joined by Artur Zasada from the EPP: taking the group's number of MEPs to 57. In 2014, Mirosław Piotrowski rejoined Law and Justice, and sought reelection in 2014 under that party's banner.

Leadership[edit]

Chairman[edit]

The ECR is led by a Chairman, currently Syed Kamall of the British Conservative Party.

There have been five Chairmen of the European Conservatives and Reformists group:

Assumed office Name Party
24 June 2009 Timothy Kirkhope United Kingdom Conservative Party
14 July 2009 Michał Kamiński Poland Law and Justice/Poland Comes First
8 March 2011 Jan Zahradil Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
14 December 2011 Martin Callanan United Kingdom Conservative Party
12 June 2014 Syed Kamall United Kingdom Conservative Party

Group Bureau[edit]

In addition to the Chairman, the ECR is led by three Vice-Chairmen and a wider Bureau, including the leader of each national delegation represented in the ECR.

Position Name Party
Chairman and UK delegation leader Syed Kamall United Kingdom Conservative Party
Vice-Chairman and Polish delegation leader Ryszard Legutko Poland Law and Justice
Vice-Chairman Geoffrey Van Orden United Kingdom Conservative Party
Vice-Chairman Notis Marias Greece Independent Greeks
Bulgarian delegation leader Nikolay Barekov Bulgaria Bulgaria Without Censorship
Irish delegation leader Brian Crowley Republic of Ireland Independent
Chief Whip Ashley Fox United Kingdom Conservative Party
German delegation leader Bernd Lucke Germany Alternative for Germany
Treasurer Emma McClarkin United Kingdom Conservative Party
Danish delegation leader Morten Messerschmidt Denmark Danish People's Party
Member of the bureau Tomasz Piotr Poręba Poland Law and Justice
Finnish delegation leader Sampo Terho Finland Finns Party
Lithuanian delegation leader Valdemar Tomaševski Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
Croatian delegation leader Ruža Tomašić Croatia Croatian Party of Rights dr. Ante Starčević
Dutch delegation leader Peter Van Dalen Netherlands ChristianUnion
Czech delegation leader Jan Zahradil Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
Latvian delegation leader Roberts Zīle Latvia National Alliance

Cohesion[edit]

According to calculations by Vote Watch Europe, the ECR group had a cohesion rate of 86.65% in parliamentary votes during the 7th session (2009–14). This is slightly lower than in the four pro-European groups, but higher than in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left and far higher than in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy groups. Internal cohesion was highest in votes on constitutional and inter-institutional affairs (94.79%), international trade, and industry, research & energy. The greatest divergence within the group was in decisions on regional development (70.53% cohesion), agriculture, and development (cooperation).[86] The parties that were most loyal to the group (meaning that they voted with the majority of ECR members the most often) were the UK Conservatives (97.51%), the Ulster Unionist Party and the Czech Civic Democratic Party. The members who deviated from the ECR majority the most often were the individual MEPs Andreasen from the UK (who had switched over from EFD group only in 2013; 61.20% loyalty), Muscardini from Italy, and Rosbach (who had crossed over from EFD in 2011).[87]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ECR formation: press release", 22 June 2009
  2. ^ a b Watson, Iain (3 June 2014). "New German party causes Cameron EU Parliament dilemma". BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Christophe Gillissen (2010). Ireland: Looking East. Peter Lang. pp. 157–. ISBN 978-90-5201-652-8. 
  4. ^ a b "Conservative MEPs form new group". BBC. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  5. ^ Ingo Peters (September 2011). 20 Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Transitions, State Break-Up and Democratic Politics in Central Europe and Germany. BWV Verlag. pp. 277–. ISBN 978-3-8305-1975-1. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Senem Ayd?n-Düzgit (15 December 2012). Constructions of European Identity: Debates and Discourses on Turkey and the EU. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-1-137-28351-1. 
  7. ^ Mulholland, Hélène (22 June 2009). "Tories unveil group of controversial new allies in European parliament". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Conservative MEPs form new 'anti-federalist' group in the European Parliament". The Telegraph (London). 22 June 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Cuban dissident wins Sakharov Prize". European Voice. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "EU parliament sees birth of new right-wing group", EUobserver, 22 June 2009, retrieved 18 July 2011 
  11. ^ "Tory minders gag right-wing allies in the ECR", The Times (London), 8 Nov 2009, retrieved 18 July 2011 
  12. ^ New-look European Parliament, BBC News, 3 Sep 2009, retrieved 18 July 2011 
  13. ^ Ian Traynor in Strasbourg (2009-07-15). "Conservatives lose leadership of new Eurosceptic grouping in EU | Politics". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  14. ^ "The Prague Declaration : European Conservatives and Reformists Group". Ecrgroup.eu. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  15. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 7th parliamentary term - July 2009, Rule 30: Formation of political groups" 1 July 2009, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
  16. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 16th edition - March 2009, Rule 29: Formation of political groups" 6 April 2009, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
  17. ^ Kite, Melissa (11 June 2006). "Cameron gives Hague month to get MEPs out of Brussels group". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  18. ^ Kubosova, Lucia (13 July 2006). "Plans to form new MEP group kicked into 2009". EUobserver. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  19. ^ "Cameron Euro declaration". BBC News. 2006-07-13. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  20. ^ Mulvey, Steven (13 July 2006). "Q & A: The Tories and the EPP". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  21. ^ "Could the UUP be ready to leave the European Democrats?". The Belfast News Letter. 2006-07-14. 
  22. ^ "Will Mirek really leave the EPP-ED?". EUobserver. 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  23. ^ "16 Heads of State meet at an EPP summit". European People's Party. 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  24. ^ "The Tories and their EU allies". BBC News. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  25. ^ "European Parliament increases threshold to form a political group". European Parliament. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  26. ^ "EPP calls on the EU for a solution for ratification of the Lisbon Treaty". European People's Party. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  27. ^ a b "EU Conservatives Stand Firm behind Bulgaria's Order, Law and Justice Party". Novinite. 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  28. ^ a b "Those exceptional British". The Economist. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  29. ^ a b Mardell, Mark (24 March 2009). "Tories look for new partners". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g Taylor, Simon (12 March 2009). "UK Conservatives to leave the EPP-ED group". European Voice. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  31. ^ a b Moszynski, Piotr (2009). "La rupture conservatrice" (in French). Radio France International. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  32. ^ a b Smyth, Jamie (13 March 2009). "Tories to set up new parliamentary group". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  33. ^ a b c Charter, David (2009-06-17). "Tory party upsets Czech partners with choice of anti-federalist MEPs". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  34. ^ "UK Conservative Party Leader Cameron Welcomes Bulgaria Opposition MP Yanev". Novinite. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
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