A Parting Gift – The ECR and the Visegrad+

More a case of putting down a marker for posterity…. but, have you noticed what a comfy looking home the ECR must look to fringe european nationalists? For all the approbrium that has been heaped on the ECR, it has often been the big mainstream parties that have have opened their doors to europes nuttier political parties. PES and EPP in particular, but this musing is about the latter of those two.

jbt_ecr.png

Perhaps we’re reaching the point where the EPP will cease to be a useful shield…

With Britain leaving there will be a great big chunk knocked out of UKIP’s EFD bloc, and a substantial chunk from the Conservatives ECR bloc. If these parties are to remain a vehicle for the ambitions of their member parties then things will have to change.

The big question hangs over Hungary, and Orban’s grouping that sits in the EPP bloc. With voting happening right now on whether Hungary should have its voting rights suspended, if we have reached the point where the EPP is no longer willing to defend its micreant member then Orban might be better served by joining formally with the Law and Justice in Poland, who sit in the ECR. If they could pull the same stunt with the Austrian People’s Party then they would have seriously damaged the dominant bloc in the European Parliament. The loss of UKIP might well tempt The League in Italy to jump ship from a sinking EFD, and join their compatriots in the ECR.

As federal-sceptic pro-europeans, would they find much to object to in the Prague declaration?

  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.

I think not. More emphasis would be placed on immigration.

We might wake up in 2019 and find that the eastern fringe have coalesced into a power bloc, no longer content to act from cover. Now they would openly challenge for the future of the EU.

It won’t be your father’s ECR – the Conservatives were careful about the membership – because the new tenants will of course make the group in their own image.

Update – 2018.06.30 – So, which way will they jump? “League of the Leagues of Europe” would bring together “all the free and sovereign movements that want to defend their people and their borders. To win we had to unite Italy, now we will have to unite Europe,”

Update – 2018.07.04 – Swedish populists join the ECR: “Conservative MEPs acknowledge these efforts but believed the Sweden Democrats needed further time before being admitted to the ECR group,” he said. “However, we respect the decision of our ECR colleagues.”

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