Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty

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Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty (ITS, stylized its) was a political group in the European Parliament composed of 23 members from European parties variously described as right-wing and nationalist. A common political charter for the group was signed on 9 January 2007, and the group was formally recognized by Parliamentary president Josep Borrell at the start of the EP plenary session on 15 January.[1][2] Following remarks made by ITS member Alessandra Mussolini that Romanian ITS members found insulting, the Greater Romania Party (PRM) withdrew from the group, thus disqualifying it as an official group. Hence, it formally ceased to exist on 14 November 2007.[3]

History[edit]

To form a political group in the European Parliament, there needed to be 20 MEPs from six different states (subsequently increased to 25 MEPs from seven states, for the 2009 session[4]). The accession of Bulgaria and Romania brought into the European Parliament a number of new far right MEPs providing sufficient numbers to form a far right group.[5] Incentives for forming a group are approximately €1 million in public funds and guaranteed seats on the committees of the European Parliament. There were concerns in other parties about public funds and influence going towards a group with such an ideology.[5] Despite attempts to block the group's formation, it was formed on 15 January 2007.[1] However other MEPs successfully blocked ITS from gaining positions on Parliamentary committees, including two vice-presidencies, despite normally being entitled to them.[6]

The largest component was France's National Front and its chairman in the Parliament, Bruno Gollnisch, was chair of the ITS group. The National Front had previous allied with other far right groups in the 1980s.[5] Following the Bulgarian European Parliament elections, the group gained two more Ataka MEPs, Slavcho Binev and Desislav Chukolov.

The PRM announced on 8 November 2007 that it would withdraw its five members from the group on 12 November 2007 over comments made by Alessandra Mussolini over the expulsion of Romanian criminals from Italy in early November 2007, thus dooming the parliamentary group to falter less than a year after its creation.[7] Andreas Mölzer stated in an interview with Die Presse that the group was searching for other MEPs who might join their group to save it.[8] Other MEPs have already welcomed the prospect of the group's demise[9] with Alyn Smith MEP stating that it "warms the heart" to watch them arguing amongst themselves. During the previous months, the group had failed to act as a coherent political faction.[10]

It was announced that the group had been dissolved on 14 November 2007 after four of the five PRM members left the group,.[11]

Policies[edit]

The group's founding charter has been described as "broadly anti-immigration, anti-EU constitution and anti-Turkish EU membership,"[1] while participants have emphasised that the group will function relatively loosely. Alessandra Mussolini described it as "more a technical than a political group [...] We are mainly getting together out of necessity. Survival is only possible in a political group."[12]

The Romanian PRM leader stated that he favours a strong association and eventual EU membership for Turkey provided it settles the dispute regarding Cyprus and that the common ground for the new group is based exactly on the values the group's name suggests.[13]

Membership[edit]

Bruno Gollnisch, chair of the ITS group

The membership of ITS while it existed between January and November 2007;

Party and State Seats MEP Bureau position
National Front
 France
7 Bruno Gollnisch Chairman
Carl Lang
Jean-Marie Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Fernand Le Rachinel
Jean-Claude Martinez
Lydia Schenardi
Greater Romania Party
 Romania
5 Daniela Buruiană
Eugen Mihăescu Vice-chairman
Viorica Moisuc
Petre Popeangă Treasurer
Cristian Stănescu
Independent
 Romania
Mircea Coşea
Flemish Interest
 Belgium
3 Philip Claeys Vice-chairman
Koenraad Dillen
Frank Vanhecke
National Union Attack
 Bulgaria
3 Dimitar Stoyanov Member at large, representing Ataka
Slavcho Binev
Desislav Chukolov
Social Alternative
 Italy
1 Alessandra Mussolini Member at large, representing AS
Tricolour Flame
 Italy
1 Luca Romagnoli Member at large, representing FT
Freedom Party
 Austria
1 Andreas Mölzer Member at large, representing FPÖ

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mahony, Honor (2007-01-09). "Far-right group formed in European Parliament". EUobserver. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Rechtsaußenbündnis im Europaparlament entsteht". Der Standard. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-10. (German)
  3. ^ MEPs welcome fall of far-right group EU Observer
  4. ^ Times OnLine "No shortage of European bedfellows for BNP," by David Charter (June 8th, 2009 - retrieved on June 10th, 2009).
  5. ^ a b c Brunwasser, Matthew (2007-01-14). "Bulgaria and Romania bolster far right profile in EU Parliament". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Far-Right Wing Group Sidelined in European Parliament". Deutsche Welle. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  7. ^ theparliament.com - Far-right group in EU parliament collapses
  8. ^ "„Rechtsaußen-Fraktion“ nach Mussolini-Ausbruch vor Ende «". Diepresse.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ "EU far-right bloc faces collapse". BBC News. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  10. ^ Mahony, Honor (2007-11-08). "Far-right European parliament group on verge of collapse". EU Observer. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  11. ^ theparliament.com - MEPs cheer collapse of far-right ITS group
  12. ^ Mahony, Honor (2007-01-08). "Plans for European far-right group intensify". EUobserver. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  13. ^ Romanian OTV channel, January 10, 2007

External links[edit]