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Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe

The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE), formerly known as the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR), is a conservative Eurosceptic[4] European political party with a main focus on reforming the European Union (EU) on the basis of Eurorealism,[5] as opposed to total rejection of the EU (anti-EU-ism).[6][7] It currently has twenty-four member parties and three further independent members from twenty-one countries, in addition to seven regional partners worldwide.[8]

Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
PresidentJan Zahradil (CZ)
Secretary-GeneralDaniel Hannan (UK)
Founded1 October 2009 (2009-10-01)
Split fromEuropean People's Party
Preceded byMovement for European Reform[1]
HeadquartersRue du Trône 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium[2]
Think tankNew Direction
Youth wingEuropean Young Conservatives
IdeologyConservatism[3]
Economic liberalism[3]
Euroscepticism[3]
Political positionCentre-right to right-wing
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean Conservatives and Reformists
Colours     Blue
European Parliament
72 / 751
European Council
2 / 28
European Commission
0 / 28
European Lower Houses
1,004 / 9,874
European Upper Houses
324 / 2,714
Website
www.acreurope.eu

The political movement was founded on 1 October 2009,[9] 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.

ACRE is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the Council, which represents all ACRE member parties.[10] The ACRE's President is Jan Zahradil MEP, and its Secretary-General is Daniel Hannan MEP. The Vice-Presidents are Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson MP from Iceland, Anna Fotyga MEP from Poland, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP from the United Kingdom and Zafer Sırakaya from Turkey.

The party is affiliated with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, the pan-European think tank New Direction – The Foundation for European Reform, 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, in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in the Congress of the Council of Europe, and in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.[11]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe was founded as the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists on 1 October 2009,[12] 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. Amongst ACRE's eight founding members the largest were the UK Conservative Party, the Polish PiS and the Czech ODS.

ACRE was formally constituted under the chairmanship of Belgian MEP Derk Jan Eppink, who was succeeded by Czech MEP Jan Zahradil. At ACRE's first congress was in Warsaw on 8 June 2010, attended by its founding members, including UK Conservative Party Chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. On 25 March 2011, the Civic Conservative Party from Slovakia joined; Iceland's Independence Party in November 2011 (the party's first member from outside the European Union); Georgia's Christian-Democratic Movement in August 2012; Italy's Conservatives and Social Reformers in October 2012; the Conservative Party of Canada became the ACRE's first associate member (later renamed 'regional partners') in November 2012; Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party in November 2013; and the Faroe Islands' People's Party, and Romania's New Republic; and in July 2014, Prosperous Armenia.[13] The Conservative Party of Georgia and New Majority joined on 1 November 2014. At the same time, the ACRE formally affiliated to the European Conservatives Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[14] In November 2015, the Conservatives and Reformists of Italy were admitted as ACRE members,[15] followed by the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (ALFA) of Germany and M10 party of Romania in March 2016.[16] 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, followed by Afek Tounes and Likud Movement in 2015 and 2016.

The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists officially changed its name to the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) on 6 October 2016.[17]

In December 2018, ACRE was ordered to repay more than half a million euros of EU funds, following an investigation into their spending. This included €250,000 for a three-day conference in Miami and €90,000 for a trade meeting in Kampala. ACRE had previously been asked to return €121,000 given to the Prosperous Armenia party.[18]

PrinciplesEdit

ACRE adopted the Reykjavík Declaration at its Council Meeting on 21 March 2014. The declaration defines the principles that underpin ACRE.

The Reykjavík Declaration

  • The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) 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.
  • ACRE believes in a Europe of independent nations, working together for mutual gain while each retaining its identity and integrity.
  • ACRE is committed to the equality of all European democracies, whatever their size, and regardless of which international associations they join.
  • ACRE 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.
  • ACRE 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.
  • ACRE 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.
  • ACRE cherishes the important role of civil associations, families and other bodies that fill the space between the individual and the government.
  • ACRE acknowledges the unique democratic legitimacy of the nation-state.
  • ACRE is committed to the spread of free commerce and open competition, in Europe and globally.
  • ACRE 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.

MembersEdit

Member partiesEdit

 
The ACRE has twenty-four member parties, and a further three independent members, across twenty-one European countries.
Country Political party MEPs National MPs Joined
  Albania Republican Party of Albania Not in the EU
1 / 140
7 April 2017
  Armenia Prosperous Armenia Not in the EU
26 / 132
3 July 2014
  Azerbaijan Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Not in the EU
1 / 125
15 November 2015
  Belarus BPF Party Not in the EU
0 / 110
7 April 2017
  Bulgaria Reload Bulgaria
1 / 17
0 / 240
2018
  Croatia Croatian Conservative Party
1 / 11
0 / 151
22 May 2015
  Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
2 / 21
18 / 81
(Senate)
24 / 200
(Chamber of Deputies)
1 October 2009
  Faroe Islands People's Party Not in the EU
6 / 33
8 November 2013
  Finland Blue Reform
0 / 13
0 / 200
December 2015[19]
  Georgia Christian-Democratic Movement Not in the EU
0 / 150
16 August 2012
  Georgia Conservative Party of Georgia Not in the EU
6 / 150
1 November 2014
  Germany Liberal Conservative Reformers
5 / 96
0 / 709
18 March 2016
  Iceland Independence Party Not in the EU
16 / 63
12 November 2011
  Italy Direction Italy
2 / 73
0 / 315
(Senate)
1 / 630
(Chamber of Deputies)
13 November 2015[15]
  Italy Brothers of Italy
2 / 73
18 / 315
(Senate)
33 / 630
(Chamber of Deputies)
22 February 2019
  Latvia National Alliance
1 / 8
13 / 100
2014
  Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
1 / 11
8 / 141
22 June 2009
  Luxembourg Alternative Democratic Reform Party
0 / 6
4 / 60
8 June 2010
  North Macedonia Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – People's Party Not in the EU
0 / 120
  Moldova Șor Party Not in the EU
7 / 101
1 December 2018
  Montenegro Movement for Changes Not in the EU
5 / 81
22 May 2015
  Northern Cyprus National Unity Party Not in the EU
18 / 50
7 April 2017
  Poland Law and Justice
18 / 51
66 / 100
(Senate)
239 / 460
(Sejm)
22 June 2009
  Romania M10
1 / 32
0 / 588
18 March 2016
  Serbia Enough is Enough Not in the EU
3 / 250
22 February 2019
  Slovakia Civic Conservative Party
0 / 13
1 / 150
25 March 2011
  Slovakia Freedom and Solidarity
1 / 13
20 / 150
13 November 2015
  Slovakia New Majority
1 / 13
2 / 150
1 November 2014
  United Kingdom Conservative Party
20 / 73
317 / 650
1 October 2009
  United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party
1 / 3
(NI MEPs)
0 / 650
1 October 2009

Independent membersEdit

Former membersEdit

Regional partnersEdit

The ACRE also has eight regional partners, formerly called 'associate members', from outside Europe.

Country Logo Political party National Legislators Joined
  Australia Liberal Party
78 / 150
2014
  Canada Conservative Party
98 / 338
2012
  Colombia Democratic Center
32 / 172
2017
  Israel Likud
35 / 120
2016
  Kenya Jubilee Party
171 / 349
  Maldives Progressive Party of Maldives
5 / 87
  Morocco Istiqlal Party
46 / 395
2014
  New Zealand National Party
56 / 120
2014
  Tanzania Chadema
63 / 293
  Tunisia Afek Tounes
8 / 217
2015
  United States Republican Party
53 / 100
199 / 435
2014

Elected representatives of member partiesEdit

European institutionsEdit

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

ACRE affiliate groupingsEdit

The ACRE 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 ParliamentEdit

The ECR group is the third-largest group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2009, before the ACRE 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 Abbr. Member state MEPs Date joined Europarty
New Flemish Alliance N-VA   Belgium
4 / 21
18 June 2014
Reload Bulgaria BBT   Bulgaria
1 / 17
12 June 2014
IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement IMRO-BNM   Bulgaria
1 / 17
24 June 2014
Croatian Conservative Party HKS   Croatia
1 / 11
1 July 2013
Solidarity Movement KA   Cyprus
1 / 6
8 March 2016
Civic Democratic Party ODS   Czech Republic
2 / 21
22 June 2009
Danish People's Party DF   Denmark
3 / 13
4 June 2014 EAPN
Finns Party PS   Finland
2 / 13
4 June 2014 EAPN
Independent[a] Independent   Germany
1 / 96
29 September 2018 None
Liberal Conservative Reformers[b] LKR   Germany
4 / 96
12 June 2014
Bündnis C AUF & PBC   Germany
1 / 96
4 June 2014
Independent[c] Independent   Greece
1 / 21
4 June 2014 None
Fianna Fáil[d] FF   Ireland
1 / 11
23 June 2014 None
Direction Italy DI   Italy
2 / 73
19 May 2015
Brothers of Italy FdI   Italy
2 / 73
17 December 2018
National Alliance NA   Latvia
1 / 8
22 June 2009
EAPL–CFA[e] LLRA–KŠS   Lithuania
1 / 11
23 June 2009
Christian Union CU   Netherlands
1 / 26
22 June 2009
Reformed Political Party SGP   Netherlands
1 / 26
16 June 2014
Law and Justice PiS   Poland
14 / 51
22 June 2009
Right Wing of the Republic PR   Poland
1 / 51
1 July 2014
Independent Independent   Poland
4 / 51
1 July 2014 None
M10 M10   Romania
1 / 32
27 October 2015
Freedom and Solidarity SaS   Slovakia
1 / 13
8 October 2014
New Majority NOVA   Slovakia
1 / 13
4 June 2014
Ordinary People OĽaNO   Slovakia
1 / 13
4 June 2014
Sweden Democrats[20] SD   Sweden
2 / 20
3 July 2018 None
Conservative Party Conservative   United Kingdom
18 / 73
22 June 2009
Ulster Unionist Party UUP   United Kingdom
1 / 73
22 June 2009
  1. ^ Joachim Starbatty left LKR.
  2. ^ Bernd Lucke left AfD with 4 more MEPs after losing leadership of his party in 2015. The remaining two AfD members, Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell were expelled from the ECR group in 2016.
  3. ^ Notis Marias left ANEL.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Full name: Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance


Committee of the RegionsEdit

Following the creation of the ECR Group in the European Parliament in 2009, and the creation of the ACRE 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 ACRE. 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 ACRE ECR IDU
  Denmark Danish People's Party 0 2 MELD ECR None
  Finland Finns Party 1 1 ACRE ECR None
  Lithuania Independent 1 3 None None None
  Netherlands Christian Union 1 1 ECPM ECR None
  Poland Law and Justice 1 4 ACRE ECR None
  Slovakia Independent 1 0 None None None
  United Kingdom Conservative Party 7 8 ACRE ECR IDU
  United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 0 1 ACRE ECR IDU

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeEdit

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 ACRE on 29 September 2014. The EC group is led by Samad Seyidov MP, of the New Azerbaijan Party.

As of 23 October 2014, the European Conservatives have the following members:[21]

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Europarty EU Parliament International
  Armenia Prosperous Armenia 2 ACRE 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 ACRE ECR IDU
  Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
  Greece Independent Greeks 1 None ECR None
  Iceland Independence Party 2 ACRE N/A IDU
  Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
  Poland Law and Justice 7 ACRE ECR None
  Poland United Poland 1 MELD No MEPs None
  Turkey Justice and Development Party [B] 13 ACRE 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 ACRE 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 EuropeEdit

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 ACRE. 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 ACRE N/A None
  Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 3 ACRE ECR IDU
  Czech Republic Independent 2 None N/A None
  Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
  Iceland Independence Party 2 ACRE N/A IDU
  Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
  Poland Law and Justice 1 ACRE 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 ACRE ECR IDU
  United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 1 ACRE ECR None

Youth organisationEdit

European Young ConservativesEdit

The European Young Conservatives (EYC) is the ACRE's youth wing. It brings together conservative and 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 for Germany 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 AKP Youth Justice and Development Party
  United Kingdom Young Conservatives (UK) Conservative Party
  United Kingdom Young Unionists Ulster Unionist Party

Conservatives and Reformists InitiativeEdit

The Conservatives and Reformists Initiative (CRI) is a flagship project of ACRE, and its partner New Direction – the Foundation for European Reform, launched in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 November 2015 (covered extensively on the Al Jazeera news network).[22][23][24]

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

Two CRI Summits have so far been held:

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Contacts". Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "European Union". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. ^ John McCormick (2015). European Union Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-137-45340-2.
  5. ^ Reformists, European Conservatives and. "ECR Group - European Conservatives and Reformists Group". ecrgroup.eu. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  6. ^ Erkanor Saka (2009). Mediating the EU: Deciphering the Transformation of Turkish Elites (PhD Thesis). ProQuest. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-109-21663-9. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  7. ^ Matthew (26 October 2011). "Why anti-EUism is not left-wing". Workers' Liberty. Alliance for Workers Liberty. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  8. ^ "ACRE - EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". ACRE - MEMBER PARTIES & REGIONAL PARTNERS. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Organisation". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  11. ^ "ACRE - EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". ACRE - OUR FAMILY. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  12. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "News 2009". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Prosperous Armenia joins AECR". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  14. ^ "AECR welcomes two new members from Slovakia and Georgia". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  15. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015.
  16. ^ "AECR welcomes M10 and ALFA as new members". aecr.eu. 18 March 2016. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  17. ^ "AECR to change its name to ACRE | ACRE". AECR to change its name to ACRE | ACRE. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Daniel Hannan's MEP group told to repay €535,000 in EU funds". The Guardian. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Blue Reform - Member of ACRE - Sininen tulevaisuus".
  20. ^ Reformists, European Conservatives and. "ECR Group – European Conservatives and Reformists Group". ecrgroup.eu.
  21. ^ "European Conservatives Group". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 23 October 2014. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  22. ^ "European ists conclude summit in Tunis". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  23. ^ "European ists reject neocolonial accusation". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Summit in Tunis devolves into right-left heated debate". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  25. ^ AECR President Jan Zahradil opens Tunis Summit, AECR News, November 13, 2015
  26. ^ Conservatives and Reformists Summit Antalya, AECR News, changeandwin.org, March 2016

External linksEdit