Independence/Democracy

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Independence/Democracy
European Parliament group
IND-DEM logo.PNG
IND/DEM logo
Name Independence/Democracy
English abbr. IND/DEM[1][2][3][4][5]
French abbr. IND/DEM
Formal name Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament[3][4]
Ideology Euroscepticism
European parties EUDemocrats
From 20 July 2004[1]
To 1 July 2009
(de facto).[6][7]
Preceded by Europe of Democracies and Diversities
Succeeded by Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Chaired by Nigel Farage MEP and
Hanne Dahl MEP
MEP(s) 37[8][9] (20–23 July 2004)
28[1] (January 2007)
22[10] (24 June 2008)
18[11] (11 June 2009, de facto)
Website http://indemgroup.org/

The Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament (IND/DEM) was a Eurosceptic[12][13] political group active during the 2004–2009 term of the European Parliament.

The collapsed following the 2009 European elections after losing many of its MEPs.

History[edit]

The 2004 European Parliament elections were reported as a good result for Eurosceptic parties.[14][15] 37 MEPs (33[16] on 20 July, with four[17] more the next day) from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), June Movement (Denmark), Movement for France (France), Northern League (Italy), ChristianUnion – Reformed Political Party (Netherlands), Popular Orthodox Rally (Greece), June List (Sweden), Independent Democrats (Czech Republic), the League of Polish Families (Poland) and an Independent from Ireland, joined together in the first week of the new Parliament to form the Eurosceptic group called "Independence/Democracy", succeeding the group called "Europe of Democracies and Diversities" that had existed before the elections.

In the first week, IND/DEM assigned a UKIP MEP to the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. The MEP, Godfrey Bloom, promptly made comments including "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age" and "I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home. I am going to promote men's rights." The remarks engendered outrage from a range of fellow politicians.[18]

One UKIP MEP never made it to IND/DEM. MEP Ashley Mote was expelled from UKIP[19] prior to IND/DEM's formation[20] when it became known that he faced charges for housing benefit fraud.[19] Mote went on to join the far-right Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty group before being convicted in 2007.[21]

The Northern League MEPs eventually all left the group after their expulsion from IND/DEM following an incident involving a t-shirt and the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.[22] MEPs from the League of Polish Families also left the group, although not all and not all at once.[22][23] [24]

After having been suspended from UKIP following his arrest on fraud allegations,[25] MEP Tom Wise left IND/DEM in June 2008.

By 24 June 2008, IND/DEM had 22[10] MEPs.

After the 2009 European Parliament elections, 18[11] IND/DEM MEPs from four Member States were elected for the 2009–2014 term (the Seventh European Parliament). The great majority of these seats (thirteen) were from the UK Independence Party, with others being two from the ChristianUnion – Reformed Political Party of the Netherlands, two from the Popular Orthodox Rally of Greece, and one from Libertas France. But that didn't meet the threshold laid down in the European Parliament's Rules of Procedure.[26][27] So when the Seventh European Parliament started on 14 July 2009, IND/DEM would not qualify as a group.

On 30 June 2009, it was reported the remnants of IND/DEM were to unite with the remnants of another collapsing group, Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN), to create a new group whose official name was not yet determined.[28]

On 1 July 2009 a press conference was held launching the new group.[6][7][29] That press conference named the new group Europe of Freedom and Democracy.[6][7] IND/DEM had ceased to exist.

Structure[edit]

Subgroups[edit]

IND/DEM was a coalition of MEPs from two distinct wings of Euroscepticism: a reformist subgroup (sometimes referred to as Eurorealists) made up of those MEPs who believed that the EU was essentially desirable if reformed and who supported greater transparency and control over the EU bureaucracy, and a secessionist subgroup consisting of those MEPs (notably UKIP[30]) who believed that the EU was inherently wrong even if reformed and who advocated withdrawal from the EU.[1][31]

Organisation[edit]

IND/DEM had a joint political leadership. The group's co-chairs were Nigel Farage[32] (UKIP) and Hanne Dahl,[32] the latter succeeding Kathy Sinnott,[32] who in turn succeeded long-time MEP Jens-Peter Bonde (June Movement) on his retirement in May 2008. Farage represented the secessionist subgroup, and Sinnott the reformist subgroup. The leadership was loose, enabling the two subgroups to unite around the broad principles of democracy and transparency[30] which were embodied in its statute and to which IND/DEM MEPs were expected to adhere.[33] The day-to-day running of the group was performed by its secretariat, and its secretaries-general were Claudine Vangrunderbeeck and Herman Verheirstraeten.[34]

Membership[edit]

Elected membership by party at 11 June 2009[edit]

IND/DEM percentage of elected MEPs by member state 11 June 2009 (see description for sources).
  no MEPs
  1% to 5%
  5% to 10%
  10% to 20%
  20% to 30%
  30% to 40%
  40% to 50%
  50% plus

After the 2009 European Parliament elections, 18[11] IND/DEM MEPs (too few for a viable group) were elected as follows:

Member state Party MEPs
United Kingdom UK Independence Party 13[35]
France Libertas France 1[36]
Netherlands ChristenUnie – SGP 2[37]
Greece Popular Orthodox Rally 2[38]

Membership by party at 24 July 2008[edit]

IND/DEM member parties as of 24 July 2008 were as follows:

Member state Party
United Kingdom UK Independence Party
Denmark June Movement
France Movement for France
Netherlands ChristenUnie – SGP
Greece Popular Orthodox Rally
Sweden June List
Czech Republic Independent Democrats
Poland League of Polish Families

Membership by country at December 2007[edit]

IND/DEM percentage of MEPs by member state December 2007 (see description for sources).
  no MEPs
  1% to 5%
  5% to 10%
  10% to 20%
  20% to 30%
  30% to 40%
  40% to 50%
  50% plus

A December 2007 European Parliament document[39] considered the groups. Page 9 of that document had a table. That table gave the number of MEPs for each group and member state at December 2007. That table's data for IND/DEM is depicted as percentages in the diagram on the right.

Such support for IND/DEM as was expressed came from Northern European states, with especial reference to the member states of the North-West. Its strongholds were Sweden and Denmark, who sent "June list" MEPs from June List and June Movement to the Parliament, and the United Kingdom, with 13% of its MEPs at December 2007 coming from UKIP and sitting with IND/DEM. As of December 2007 no member state had more than 13% of its MEPs sitting with IND/DEM and eighteen member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain) had none.

Membership at formation at 20–23 July 2004[edit]

IND/DEM percentage of elected MEPs by member state 20–23 July 2004 (see description for sources).
  no MEPs
  1% to 5%
  5% to 10%
  10% to 20%
  20% to 30%
  30% to 40%
  40% to 50%
  50% plus

The IND/DEM MEPs at 20–23 July 2004 were as follows:


Member state

MEPs

Party

MEPs

Notes
Ireland 1[9] Independent[9] 1[9]
United Kingdom 11[9] UKIP[9] 11[9]
Denmark 1[9] JuniBevægelsen[9] 1[9]
France 3[9] Mouvement pour la France[9] 3[9]
Italy 4[9] Lega Nord[9] 4[9]
Netherlands 2[9] ChristenUnie – SGP[9] 2[9]
Greece 1[9] LAOS[9] 1[9]
  • Georgios Georgiou[62]
Sweden 3[9] Junilistan[9] 3[9]
Czech Republic 1[9] Nezavisli[9] 1[9]
Poland 10[9] League of Polish Families[9] 10[9]

Activities[edit]

In the news[edit]

Activities performed by IND/DEM in the period between 1 June 2004 and 1 June 2008 that resulted in an entry on Google News include:

  • seeking to allow Parliament to be filmed;[77][78]
  • criticising EC President Barroso for taking a cruise on a yacht owned by Spiro Latsis prior to the Commission giving a Latsis shipyard a grant of €10 million;[79][80]
  • trying to get a European Parliament auditor's report on alleged abuses of staff allowances published;[81][82]
  • opposing the appointment of Rocco Buttiglione as Justice Commissioner;[83][84]
  • arguing against the Constitution Treaty,[85][86][87][88]
  • arguing against the Lisbon Treaty,[89][90][91][92]
  • arguing against a deeper Europe;[93]
  • expelling Lega Nord and the League of Polish Families;[94][95][96]
  • arguing against the two-person Presidency,[97][98]
  • arguing against the two-seat Parliament,[99][100]
  • arguing against attempts to fund plans to improve EP turnout;[101]
  • arguing for greater control of the Commission by Parliament,[102]
  • arguing for decentralisation,[103]
  • arguing for mandatory lobbying disclosure,[104]
  • supporting whistleblower Hans-Peter Martin.[105]

Parliamentary activity profile[edit]

Group parliamentary activity profile, 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2008 (see description for sources).
  IND/DEM: 43 motions

The debates and votes in the European Parliament are tracked by its website[106] and categorised by the Groups that participate in them and the rule of procedure that they fall into. The results give a profile for each Group by category and the total indicates the Group's level of participation in Parliamentary debates. The activity profile for each Group for the period 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2008 in the Sixth European Parliament is given on the diagram on the right. IND/DEM is denoted in orange.

The website shows IND/DEM as participating in 43 motions, making it one of the most inactive Groups during the period.

Publications[edit]

IND/DEM publications included the Prague Declaration[107] of October 2005, which restated their disapproval of the Constitution Treaty and belief that the values it embodied should not be resurrected,[3] and the Delphi Declaration[108] of July 2007, which made similar points concerning the Treaty of Lisbon.[4] IND/DEM also published a newsletter called EU Watch,[109] which gave a eurosceptic view on the EU activities of the day.[110]

Academic analysis[edit]

Along with the other political groups, IND/DEM was analysed by academics on its positions regarding various issues. Those positions are summarised in this article. That article characterised IND/DEM as right-wing and/or Eurosceptics who cooperated most closely with the Non-Inscrits, were unanimously opposed to hypothetical EU taxes, over 90% male, and against Turkish accession to the European Union.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Post Europa Master.Indd" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft Word - pamphlet type altered.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: The Prague Declaration on the future of Europe, 18th October 2005
  4. ^ a b c Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: The Declaration of Delphi, 2–5 July 2007
  5. ^ "Fourth Annual Report on Developments in the European Union in 2006, DFA, 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ a b c "New eurosceptic group to campaign against EU treaty in Irish referendum", 1 July 2009, from http://euobserver.com
  7. ^ a b c "UKIP forms new Eurosceptic group", 1 July 2009, from http://news.bbc.co.uk
  8. ^ "The Week, 20 July 2004". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Results of the 2004 European Parliament elections from Europe Politique". Europe-politique.eu. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  10. ^ a b European Parliament directory listing for Independence/Democracy Group[dead link]
  11. ^ a b c "http://www.elections2009-results.eu/en/index_en_txt.html". Elections2009-results.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  12. ^ David Phinnemore; Lee McGowan (26 June 2013). A Dictionary of the European Union. Routledge. pp. 276–. ISBN 978-1-135-08127-0. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Alexander H. Trechsel (13 September 2013). Towards a Federal Europe. Taylor & Francis. pp. 72–. ISBN 978-1-317-99818-1. 
  14. ^ Eurosceptics storm the citadel, BBC News Online report dated Monday, 14 June 2004, 18:01 GMT
  15. ^ Bennhold, Katrin (15 June 2004). "Political divide is said to deepen further: Populist parties make big gains in EU vote, IHT, June 15, 2004". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2010-06-17. [dead link]
  16. ^ 20040720EN on the European Parliament website
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  19. ^ a b UKIP plans alliance to scupper constitution, Times, July 20, 2004[dead link]
  20. ^ UKIP suspends fraud trial Euro MP, BBC News Online report dated Friday, 16 July 2004, 11:47 GMT
  21. ^ British MEP convicted for benefit fraud, Times, August 17, 2007[dead link]
  22. ^ a b Lucia Kubosova (16 March 2006). "Eurosceptics kick out Italian Lega Nord party, EUO, 16 March 2006". Euobserver.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  23. ^ Helena Spongenberg (13 December 2006). "Parliament nations group gets a power boost, EUO, 13 December 2006". Euobserver.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  24. ^ "Polish MEPs splinter, PM, 19 December 2005". Theparliament.com. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  25. ^ MEP arrested on fraud allegation, BBC News Online report dated Saturday, 21 June 2008, 13:21 GMT
  26. ^ "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/
  27. ^ "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/
  28. ^ "Ukip, Lega Nord form hard-right bloc in EU Parliament", 30 June 2009, from http://euobserver.com
  29. ^ "EU-Critical Group in European Parliament launches", 1 July 2009, from http://indemgroup.eu
  30. ^ a b http://epubl.ltu.se/1402-1552/2007/079/LTU-DUPP-07079-SE.pdf
  31. ^ "Congressional Research Service Report RS21998, on the European Parliament, by Kristin Archick, Specialist in European Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Updated January 23, 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. [dead link]
  32. ^ a b c Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: Our Members
  33. ^ Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: Program
  34. ^ Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: Staff
  35. ^ "http://www.elections2009-results.eu/en/united_kingdom_en_txt.html". Elections2009-results.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  36. ^ "http://www.elections2009-results.eu/en/france_en_txt.html". Elections2009-results.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  37. ^ "http://www.elections2009-results.eu/en/netherlands_en_txt.html". Elections2009-results.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  38. ^ "http://www.elections2009-results.eu/en/greece_en_txt.html". Elections2009-results.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  39. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/welcome_brochures/faces/ep_faces_2007_09_en.pdf
  40. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Kathy Sinnott (incl. Membership)
  41. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Robert Kilroy-Silk (incl. Membership)
  42. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Nigel Farage (incl. Membership)
  43. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Gerard Batten (incl. Membership)
  44. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Godfrey Bloom (incl. Membership)
  45. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Graham Booth (incl. Membership)
  46. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Derek Roland Clark (incl. Membership)
  47. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Roger Knapman (incl. Membership)
  48. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Michael Henry Nattrass (incl. Membership)
  49. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Jeffrey Titford (incl. Membership)
  50. ^ European Parliament archive entry for John Whittaker (incl. Membership)
  51. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Tom Wise (incl. Membership)
  52. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Jens-Peter Bonde (incl. Membership)
  53. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Paul Marie Coûteaux (incl. Membership)
  54. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Patrick Louis (incl. Membership)
  55. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Philippe De Villiers (incl. Membership)
  56. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Mario Borghezio (incl. Membership)
  57. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Umberto Bossi (incl. Membership)
  58. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Matteo Salvini (incl. Membership)
  59. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Francesco Enrico Speroni (incl. Membership)
  60. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Johannes Blokland (incl. Membership)
  61. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Bastiaan Belder (incl. Membership)
  62. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Georgios Georgiou (incl. Membership)
  63. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Hélène Goudin (incl. Membership)
  64. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Nils Lundgren (incl. Membership)
  65. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Lars Magnus Wohlin (incl. Membership)
  66. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Vladimír Železný (incl. Membership)
  67. ^ Incoming / Outgoing. Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  68. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Urszula Krupa (incl. Membership)
  69. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Witold Tomczak (incl. Membership)
  70. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Filip Adwent (incl. Membership)
  71. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Sylwester Chruszcz (incl. Membership)
  72. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Maciej Giertych (incl. Membership)
  73. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Dariusz Maciej Grabowski (incl. Membership)
  74. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Mirosław Mariusz Piotrowski (incl. Membership)
  75. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Bogdan Pęk (incl. Membership)
  76. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Bogusław Rogalski (incl. Membership)
  77. ^ Media facing bans at EU complex, IHT, March 17, 2005
  78. ^ Europe's legislature sees hope in its own TV and comedy, IHT, March 20, 2005
  79. ^ Barroso, hit by charges over cruise, fires back, IHT, May 26, 2005
  80. ^ "MEPs see no bread in motion against Barroso, dV, 9 June 2005". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  81. ^ "Report on EU parliament funding abuse to remain secret, dV, February 26, 2008". Forbes.com. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  82. ^ "van Buitenen puts pressure on EP, AD, March 11, 2008". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  83. ^ Barroso defends delay in EU vote, CNN, October 27, 2004[dead link]
  84. ^ Nominees struggle in Parliament, IHT, October 12, 2004
  85. ^ EU's poll data 'propaganda': Millions are to be spent on promoting the constitution among member states, Times, February 17, 2005[dead link]
  86. ^ Leaders plan for a robust constitution as remedy to voter apathy, Times, June 15, 2004[dead link]
  87. ^ They don't like the EU constitution? Quick, send in the force, Times, January 21, 2005[dead link]
  88. ^ english@peopledaily.com.cn (11 July 2005). "EU charter's fate still uncertain after Luxembourg's Yes vote, PD, July 11, 2005". English.people.com.cn. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  89. ^ MEPs: Kosovo and Lisbon treaty should top EU agenda, PM, 16 January 2008
  90. ^ "EU Treaty deal meets praise and criticism, EA, 27 June 2007". Euractiv.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  91. ^ "Students discuss with top-level representatives of the EU Parliament, OJ, 20 December 2005". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  92. ^ "Brussels Will Lose Moral Authority on Democracy, CI, December 21, 2007". Cato.org. 21 December 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  93. ^ Many tongues, now some teeth, Times, June 10, 2004[dead link]
  94. ^ "Lega Nord expelled from the Eurosceptic group Independence and Democracy. Borghezio announces appeals, IN, 16 March 2006". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  95. ^ "Northern League as a free radical, WZ, 18 March 2006". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  96. ^ "Lega Nord permanently expelled from the Eurosceptic group, VN, 18 March 2006". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  97. ^ Bonde calls for ‘election not coronation’ in EU parliament vote, PM, 15 January 2007
  98. ^ Wurtz urges sea change in EU parliament elections, PM, 12 January 2007
  99. ^ Strasbourg 'spinelessness' angers EU deputies, PM, 15 June 2006
  100. ^ "EP President no longer talking about Strasbourg, TR, 15 June 2006". Translate.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  101. ^ MEPs outline plans to boost EU parliament election turnout, PM, 27 November 2007
  102. ^ Parliament strengthens its control over the Commission, EA, 11 September 2006[dead link]
  103. ^ "MEPs debate Commission 2007 work programme, EGOV, 16 November 2006". Egovmonitor.com. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  104. ^ Marson, Ingrid (19 July 2005). "More MEPs demand transparency after patent debacle, ZDNET, 19 July 2005". News.zdnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  105. ^ "EU perks-buster wins little popularity, TT, June 13, 2004". Taipeitimes.com. 13 June 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  106. ^ Plenary sitting - Home. Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  107. ^ http://indemgroup.eu/uploads/media/Prague_declaration_EN.pdf
  108. ^ http://indemgroup.eu/uploads/media/declaration_of_Delphi.pdf
  109. ^ http://indemgroup.eu/48/
  110. ^ Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament: EU Watch

External links[edit]