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
Euroscepticism
Economic liberalism[3]
Political position Centre-right to Right-wing
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 conservative and eurosceptic[4] European political party, defending broader conservative and economically liberal principles.[3] It has twenty-two member parties, as well as four independent members, spread across twenty countries. Its member parties have fifty MEPs and one European Commissioner. It has two heads of state and its members form part of two further governments in the European Council. Its wider non-EU membership also includes a further 3 parties in government. It has political groups in the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Congress and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The party was founded on 1 October 2009,[5] 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 twelve more member parties since then, representing the eurosceptic centre-right.

The AECR is led by a board of directors who are elected by the Council, which represents all AECR member parties.[6] The AECR's president is Jan Zahradil MEP, and its secretary-general is Daniel Hannan MEP. The Vice-Presidents are MP Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, from Iceland, MEP Anna Fotyga from Poland, MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown from the United Kingdom and Zafer Sirakaya from the AK Party in Turkey.

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,[7] 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. 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.[8] 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.[9] 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 twenty-two member parties, and a further four independent members, across twenty European countries.
Country Political party MEPs National MPs Joined
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia Not in the EU
36 / 131
3 July 2014
 Azerbaijan Azerbaijani Popular Front Party Not in the EU
1 / 125
15 November 2015
 Bulgaria Independent MEPs
2 / 17
N/A 2014
 Croatia Croatian Conservative Party
1 / 11
0 / 151
22 May 2015
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
2 / 21
16 / 200
1 October 2009
 Faroe Islands People's Party Not in the EU
6 / 33
8 November 2013
 Finland Finns Party
2 / 13
38 / 200
15 November 2015
 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
 Italy Conservatives and Reformists[10]
2 / 73
9 / 630
13 November 2015[10]
 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
 Montenegro Movement for Changes Not in the EU
5 / 81
22 May 2015
 Poland Law and Justice
18 / 51
235 / 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 Freedom and Solidarity
1 / 13
11 / 150
13 November 2015
 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
20 / 73
331 / 650
1 October 2009
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party
1 / 73
2 / 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 of Australia
81 / 150
2014
 Canada Conservative Party of Canada
99 / 308
1 November 2012
 Morocco Istiqlal Party
60 / 395
2014
 New Zealand New Zealand National Party
59 / 121
2014
 United States Republican Party
299 / 535
2014

Former members[edit]

Elected representatives of member parties[edit]

European institutions[edit]

Organisation Institution Number of seats
 European Union European Commission
1 / 28
 European Union European Council
(Heads of Government)
2 / 28
 European Union Council of the EU
(Participation in Government)
4 / 28
 European Union European Parliament
50 / 751
 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
22 / 321

AECR groupings[edit]

The AECR is formally affiliated to groupings in the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, the Congress of the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

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 75 MEPs from 16 countries. The ECR group is led by Syed Kamall of the British Conservative Party.

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 Conservative Party HKS  Croatia 1 1 July 2013 AECR
Civic Democratic Party ODS  Czech Republic 2 22 June 2009 AECR
Danish People's Party DF  Denmark 3 4 June 2014 None
Independent[a] IND  Denmark 1 4 June 2014 None
Finns Party PS  Finland 2 4 June 2014 AECR
Alternative for Germany AfD  Germany 2 12 June 2014 None/ECPM[b]
Alliance for Progress and Renewal[c] ALFA  Germany 5 12 June 2014 None
Family Party FAMILIE  Germany 1 4 June 2014 ECPM
Independent[d] IND  Greece 1 4 June 2014 None
Fianna Fáil[e] FF  Ireland 1 23 June 2014 None
Conservatives and Reformists CR  Italy 2 19 May 2015 AECR
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
M10 M10  Romania 1 27 October 2015 None
Freedom and Solidarity SaS  Slovakia 1 8 October 2014 AECR
New Majority NOVA  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 AECR
Ordinary People OĽaNO  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 ECPM
Conservative Party Conservative  United Kingdom 20 22 June 2009 AECR
Ulster Unionist Party UUP  United Kingdom 1 22 June 2009 AECR

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).

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Full Affiliate Europarty EU Parliament International
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 3 1 AECR ECR IDU
 Denmark Danish People's Party 0 2 MELD ECR None
 Finland Finns Party 1 1 AECR ECR None
 Lithuania Independent 1 3 None None None
 Netherlands Christen Unie 1 1 ECPM ECR None
 Poland Law and Justice 1 4 AECR ECR None
 Slovakia Independent 1 0 None None None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 7 8 AECR ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 0 1 AECR ECR IDU

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. The EC group is lead by Samad Seyidov MP, of the New Azerbaijan Party.

As of 23 October 2014, the European Conservatives have the following members:[11]

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Europarty EU Parliament International
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia 2 AECR N/A None
 Armenia Republican Party of Armenia [A] 1 None N/A None
 Azerbaijan New Azerbaijan Party 4 None N/A None
 Azerbaijan Independent 1 None N/A None
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 2 AECR ECR IDU
 Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
 Greece Independent Greeks 1 None ECR None
 Iceland Independence Party 2 AECR N/A IDU
 Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
 Poland Law and Justice 7 AECR ECR None
 Poland United Poland 1 MELD No MEPs None
 Turkey Justice and Development Party [B] 13 AECR N/A None
 Turkey Nationalist Movement Party[C] 1 None N/A None
 Ukraine Party of Regions [D] 4 None N/A None
 Ukraine Sovereign European Ukraine 1 None N/A None
 Ukraine Independent 1 None N/A None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 17 AECR ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Democratic Unionist Party 1 None Non-Inscrits None
^A One of the three members of the Republican Party of Armenia sit with the EC Group. The other two members sit with the European People's Party.
^B Eleven of the thirteen members of the Justice and Development Party sit with the EC Group. One sits with the European People's Party and one sits with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
^C One of the two members of the Nationalist Movement Party sits with the EC Group. The other member sits with the Socialist Group.
^D Four of the seven members of Party of Regions sit with the EC Group. Two sit with the Socialist Group and one sits with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

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 31 members, 26 of whom represent parties in the AECR. The ECR group is led by Halldór Halldórsson of the Icelandic Independence Party.

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Europarty EU Parliament International
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia 1 AECR N/A None
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 3 AECR ECR IDU
 Czech Republic Independent 2 None N/A None
 Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
 Iceland Independence Party 2 AECR N/A IDU
 Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
 Poland Law and Justice 1 AECR ECR None
 Poland Independent 1 None N/A None
 Turkey Nationalist Movement Party 5 None N/A None
 Ukraine People's Party 1 None N/A None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 11 AECR ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 1 AECR ECR None

Youth organisation[edit]

European Young Conservatives[edit]

The European Young Conservatives (EYC) is the AECR's youth wing. It brings together conservative and centre-right political parties from across Europe. As of 2015, the group has a membership of 23 political youth organisations from 22 different countries and territories. Its patron was Margaret Thatcher until her death in 2013. The current chairperson of EYC is Keti Mumalashvili from the Georgian Young Conservatives.

Country Organisation Mother party
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia Youth Prosperous Armenia
 Belarus BPF Youth BPF Party
 Belgium Jong N-VA N-VA
 Czech Republic Young Conservatives Civic Democratic Party
 Denmark Young Conservatives Conservative People's Party
 Faroe Islands Huxa People's Party
 Finland Finns Party Youth Finns Party
 Georgia Young Conservatives Conservative Party of Georgia
 Germany Young Alternative Alternative for Germany
 Iceland Young Independents Independence Party
 Italy Youth for Freedom Forza Italia
 Latvia For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK Youth Club For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK
 Liechtenstein Junge FBP Progressive Citizens' Party
 Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania Youth Organisation Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
 Luxembourg ADRenalin Alternative Democratic Reform Party
 Norway Progress Party's Youth Progress Party
 Poland Law and Justice Youth Forum Law and Justice
 Portugal People's Youth Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party
 Romania New Republic Youth New Republic
  Switzerland Young SVP Swiss People's Party
 Turkey AK Party Youth Justice and Development Party
 United Kingdom Conservative Future Conservative Party
 United Kingdom Young Unionists Ulster Unionist Party

Conservatives and Reformists Initiative[edit]

The Conservatives and Reformists Initiative (CRI) is a flagship project of the AECR, and its partner New Direction – the Foundation for European Reform that was launched in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 November 2015 and covered extensively on the Al Jazeera news network.

The CRI aims to strengthen the moderate Centre-Right in emerging democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. It runs practical programmes designed to strengthen the organisational capacity of each political party, support party campaign and communications operations, assist with policy development create regional support for like-minded political parties and support elected representatives at all levels, particularly in communications with constituents and the media.

See also[edit]

Conservatism portal

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rikke Karlsson left the DF.
  2. ^ One AfD MEP, Beatrix von Storch, is an ECPM member.
  3. ^ Bernd Lucke left AfD with 4 more MEPs after losing leadership of his party in 2015.
  4. ^ Notis Marias left ANEL.
  5. ^ 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.

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. ^ John McCormick (2015). European Union Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-137-45340-2. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "Organisation". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "News 2009". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Prosperous Armenia joins AECR". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "AECR welcomes two new members from Slovakia and Georgia". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Fitto: Conservatori e Riformisti entrano ufficialmente nell’Aecr, l’alleanza dei partiti e movimenti conservatori europei" [Lease: ECR officially entered in ecr, the alliance of European conservative parties and movements]. conservatorieriformisti.it (in Italian). 13 November 2015. 
  11. ^ "European Conservatives Group". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 23 October 2014. 

External links[edit]