European Conservatives and Reformists Party

The European Conservatives and Reformists Party (ECR Party), formerly known as Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) (2009–2016) and Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) (2016–2019), is a conservative Eurosceptic[10] European political party with a main focus on reforming the European Union (EU) on the basis of Eurorealism,[11] as opposed to total rejection of the EU (anti-EU-ism).[12][13] It currently has twenty-four member parties and three further independent members from twenty-one countries, in addition to seven regional partners worldwide.[14]

European Conservatives and Reformists Party
ChairpersonGiorgia Meloni
Secretary-GeneralAnna Fotyga
Founded1 October 2009 (2009-10-01)
Split fromEuropean People's Party
Union for Europe of the Nations
Preceded byMovement for European Reform[1]
HeadquartersRue du Trône 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium[2]
Think tankNew Direction
Youth wingEuropean Young Conservatives
IdeologyConservatism[3]
Soft Euroscepticism[3]
Factions:
Economic liberalism[3]
Right-wing populism
National conservatism
Political positionRight-wing[4][5][6] (with far-right factions)[7][8][9]
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean Conservatives and Reformists
Colours  Blue
European Parliament
62 / 705
European Council
1 / 27
European Commission
1 / 27
European Lower Houses
1,004 / 9,874
European Upper Houses
324 / 2,714
Website
ecrparty.eu

The political movement was founded on 1 October 2009,[15] after the creation of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group of the European Parliament. It was officially recognised by the European Parliament in January 2010.

ECR is governed by a board of directors who are elected by the Council, which represents all ECR member parties.[16] The executive board is composed of the president Giorgia Meloni, Secretary General Anna Fotyga MEP from Poland, and Treasurer Jorge Buxadé MEP from Spain.[17][18]

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 Congress of the Council of Europe, and in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.[19] In the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the ECR Party forms the European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance with the Identity and Democracy Party.

HistoryEdit

The European Conservatives and Reformists Party was founded as the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists on 1 October 2009,[20] 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.

ECR 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 Chairman 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.[21] 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.[22] In November 2015, the Conservatives and Reformists of Italy were admitted as ECR Party members,[23] followed by the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (ALFA) of Germany and M10 party of Romania in March 2016.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26]

More recently the ECR has seen a shift further towards the conservative right with the acceptance of the Brothers of Italy, Forum for Democracy, Vox and Sweden Democrats as members in 2019.[27][28] All four members are nationalist, right-wing populist and anti-immigration marking a departure from the more moderate positions of the majority of members.

PrinciplesEdit

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

The Reykjavík Declaration

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

 
As of 2019, the ECRP is composed of members from 29 European nations (shown in dark blue) and regional partners from 10 non-European nations (shown in light blue).

Member partiesEdit

The following parties listed below are members of the ECRP as of 2021.[29]

Country Political party Party Leader Political group
in Ninth European Parliament
European Parliament National lower house MPs Position in national legislature
  Albania Republican Party of Albania
Partia Republikane e Shqipërisë (PR)
Fatmir Mediu Not in the EU Not in the EU
0 / 140
Opposition
  Armenia Prosperous Armenia
Բարգավաճ Հայաստան (ԲՀ)
Gagik Tsarukyan Not in the EU Not in the EU
0 / 107
No seats
  Azerbaijan Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan
Bütöv Azərbaycan Xalq Cəbhəsi Partiyasi (BAXCP)
Gudrat Hasanguliyev Not in the EU Not in the EU
1 / 125
Opposition
  Belarus BPF Party
Партыя БНФ
Ryhor Kastusiou Not in the EU Not in the EU
0 / 110
No seats
  Bulgaria IMRO - Bulgarian National Movement
ВМРО – Българско Национално Движение (ВМРО – БНД)
Krasimir Karakachanov European Conservatives and Reformists
2 / 17
0 / 240
No seats
Reload Bulgaria
Презареди България
Nikolay Barekov None
0 / 17
0 / 240
No seats
  Croatia Croatian Conservative Party
Hrvatska konzervativna stranka (HKS)
Marijan Pavliček European Conservatives and Reformists
1 / 11
2 / 151
Opposition
  Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
Občanská demokratická strana (ODS)
Petr Fiala European Conservatives and Reformists
4 / 21
34 / 200
Opposition
  Faroe Islands People's Party
Fólkaflokkurin
Jørgen Niclasen Not in the EU Not in the EU
8 / 33
Government
  Finland Blue Reform
Sininen tulevaisuus (SIN)
Blå framtid
Kari Kulmala None
0 / 13
0 / 200
No seats
  Georgia Conservative Party
კონსერვატიული პარტია
Sak’art’velos konservatiuli partia (SPK)
Zviad Dzidziguri Not in the EU Not in the EU
6 / 150
Government
  Germany Liberal Conservative Reformers
Liberal-Konservative Reformer (LKR)
Bernd Kölmel None
0 / 96
0 / 709
No seats
  Italy Brothers of Italy
Fratelli d'Italia (FdI)
Giorgia Meloni European Conservatives and Reformists
6 / 76
35 / 630
Opposition
  Kosovo Democratic Party of Kosovo
Partia Demokratike e Kosovës (PDK)
Enver Hoxhaj (Acting) Not in the EU Not in the EU
25 / 120
Opposition
  Latvia National Alliance
Nacionālā Apvienība (NA)
Raivis Dzintars
Gaidis Bērziņš
European Conservatives and Reformists
2 / 8
13 / 100
Government
  Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance
Lietuvos lenkų rinkimų akcija – Krikščioniškų šeimų sąjunga (LLRA–KŠS)
Valdemar Tomaševski European Conservatives and Reformists
1 / 11
8 / 141
Opposition
  Luxembourg Alternative Democratic Reform Party
Alternativ Demokratesch Reformpartei (ADR)
Jean Schoos None
0 / 6
4 / 60
Opposition
  Montenegro Movement for Changes
Pokret za promjene (PzP)
Nebojša Medojević Not in the EU Not in the EU
5 / 81
Government
  Netherlands Forum for Democracy
Forum voor Democratie (FvD)
Thierry Baudet European Conservatives and Reformists
0 / 26
8 / 150
Opposition
  Netherlands Right Answer 2021
Juiste Antwoord 2021 (JA21)
Joost Eerdmans European Conservatives and Reformists
3 / 26
3 / 150
Opposition
  North Macedonia VMRO - People's Party
ВМРО – Народна Партија (BMPO – НП)
Ljubčo Georgievski Not in the EU Not in the EU
1 / 120
Junior party in coalition
  Northern Cyprus National Unity Party
Ulusal Birlik Partisi (UBP)
Ersin Tatar Not in the EU Not in the EU
18 / 50
Government
  Poland Law and Justice
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS)
Jarosław Kaczyński European Conservatives and Reformists
25 / 51
239 / 460
Majority government
  Romania The Right Alternative
Alternativa Dreaptă (AD)
Adela Mîrza European Conservatives and Reformists
0 / 33
0 / 330
No seats
  Serbia Enough is Enough
Доста је било
Dosta je bilo (DJB)
Saša Radulović Not in the EU Not in the EU
0 / 250
No seats
  Slovakia Civic Conservative Party
Občianska konzervatívna strana (OKS)
Ondrej Dostál None
0 / 13
1 / 150
Government
Freedom and Solidarity
Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS)
Richard Sulík European Conservatives and Reformists
2 / 13
13 / 150
Government
New Majority
Nová väčšina (NOVA)
Gábor Grendel None
0 / 13
2 / 150
Government
  Spain Vox Santiago Abascal European Conservatives and Reformists
3 / 54
52 / 350
Opposition
  Sweden Sweden Democrats
Sverigedemokraterna (SD)
Jimmie Åkesson European Conservatives and Reformists
3 / 20
62 / 349
Opposition
  United Kingdom Conservative Party
Conservative and Unionist Party (Con)
Boris Johnson Not in the EU Not in the EU
365 / 650
Majority government
Ulster Unionist Party
(UUP)
Doug Beattie Not in the EU Not in the EU
0 / 18
No seats

Regional partnersEdit

Country Political party Party Leader National Lower Houses Government
  Australia Liberal Party
(LP)
Scott Morrison
61 / 151
Senior party in coalition
  Canada Conservative Party
Parti conservateur du Canada (CPC)
Erin O'Toole
121 / 338
Opposition
  Colombia Democratic Center
Centro Democrático (CD)
Álvaro Uribe
32 / 172
Government
  Israel Likud
(מחל) הליכוד
Benjamin Netanyahu
30 / 120
Opposition
  Kenya Jubilee Party Uhuru Kenyatta
171 / 349
Government
  Maldives Progressive Party of Maldives
ޕްރޮގްރެސިވް ޕާރޓީ އޮފް މޯލްޑިވްސް (PPM)
Abdulla Yameen
5 / 87
Opposition
  New Zealand National Party
Rōpū Nāhinara (National)
Christopher Luxon
33 / 120
Opposition
  Tanzania Chadema – Party for Democracy and Progress
Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA)
Freeman Mbowe
63 / 293
Opposition
  Tunisia Afek Tounes
آفاق تونس
Yassine Brahim
2 / 217
Opposition
  United States Republican Party
(GOP)
Ronna McDaniel
211 / 435
Opposition

Former member partiesEdit

Elected representatives of member partiesEdit

European institutionsEdit

Organisation Institution Number of seats
  European Union European Commission
1 / 27
European Council
(Heads of Government)
1 / 27
Council of the EU
(Participation in Government)
3 / 27
European Parliament
61 / 705
  Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
22 / 321

ECR 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 sixth-largest group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2009, the ECR brings together 64 MEPs from 15 countries.[30] The ECR currently is led by a two Co-Chairmen, Ryszard Legutko of the Polish Law and Justice party and Raffaele Fitto of the Brothers of Italy party.[31]

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 politician 1 0 None None None
  United Kingdom Conservative Party 7 8 ACRE None IDU
  United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 0 1 ACRE None 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:[32]

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
  Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
  Poland Law and Justice 7 ECRP 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 N/A IDU
  United Kingdom Democratic Unionist Party 1 None N/A 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 ECRP.

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
  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 ECR Party's youth wing. It brings together conservative and political parties from across Europe. As of 2020, the group has a membership of 30 political youth organisations from 30 different countries and territories. Its patron was Margaret Thatcher until her death in 2013.

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
  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
  Netherlands Youth Forum for Democracy Forum for Democracy
  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

See alsoEdit

  Conservatism portal

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  4. ^
  5. ^ "Ursula von der Leyen makes final pledges to secure EU's top job". The Guardian. 15 July 2019. Von der Leyen says in her letters that she hopes the "snapshot" on her positions, some of which are retreads of previous proposals from the commission, will reassure her critics, although there is a risk of putting off MEPs within the more Eurosceptic and rightwing European Conservatives and Reformists group, in which Poland's Law and Justice is the largest party.
  6. ^ "Explainer: Von der Leyen's rocky path to confirmation as EU Commission chief". Reuters. 12 July 2019. The right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), will decide just ahead of the vote whether to support von der Leyen, but officials say the group is divided over the issue.
  7. ^ "Dutch and Greek far-right parties join ECR Group". European Interest. 6 June 2019.
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  18. ^ Caro, Paola Di (29 September 2020). "Giorgia Meloni al vertice dei conservatori Ue: è la prima italiana a guidare un partito europeo". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  19. ^ "ACRE – EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". ACRE – OUR FAMILY. Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  20. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "News 2009". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  21. ^ "Prosperous Armenia joins AECR". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  22. ^ "AECR welcomes two new members from Slovakia and Georgia". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 1 November 2014. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "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.
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External linksEdit