" Conservatives form new grouping in the European Parliament
Monday, June 22 2009
The Conservatives have formed a new grouping in the European Parliament, which is likely to become the fourth largest.
All of the parties in the new grouping have signed a declaration, which argues for reform and a non-federalist future for the EU.
Mark Francois, the Shadow Minister for Europe, said:
"We are very excited about this important new development in European politics. Our European Conservatives and Reformists Group, which already has fifty-five MEPs, will make a strong case for a centre/centre-right but non-federalist future for the EU."
And he added, "We already have participants from eight countries but talks are still continuing and we believe that more will be attracted to join our ranks in the near future."
The parties, from across the EU, which now comprise the core of the European Conservatives and Reformist Group, are:
* Czech Republic: Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with 9 MEPs
* Poland: Law & Justice (PiS) with 15 MEPs
* United Kingdom: The Conservative Party, with 26 MEPs in the New Group.
* Belgium: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), with 1 MEP in the New Group
* Finland: The Centre Party (Keskusta) sits in the Liberal (ALDE) group but one of its MEPs is now joining the New Group. (Takku)
* Hungary: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with 1 MEP
* Latvia: Latvian National Independence Movement (TB/LNNK) with 1 MEP
* The Netherlands: ChristianUnion (ChristenUnie) with 1 MEP
Prague Declaration in full:
" THE PRAGUE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES OF THE EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES AND REFORMISTS GROUP IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
CONSCIOUS OF THE URGENT NEED TO REFORM THE EU ON THE BASIS OF EUROREALISM, OPENNESS, ACCOUNTABILITY AND DEMOCRACY, IN A WAY THAT RESPECTS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF OUR NATIONS AND CONCENTRATES ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY, GROWTH AND COMPETITIVENESS, EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES AND REFORMISTS GROUP SHARES THE THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
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.