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European Conservatives and Reformists form New Grouping in the European Parliament

For release on 22 June 2009
Centre and Centre-Right MEPs from eight different EU countries have today announced the formation of a new ‘European Conservatives and Reformists Group’ in the European Parliament. These participants, totalling 55 MEPs, have formed the initial ‘core’ of the group, which is likely to be the fourth largest group in the new Parliament. However, negotiations are still continuing and it is hoped that other EU parties and MEPs may be attracted to the group by the time that the new European Parliament convenes in Strasbourg, on 14 July. The parties, from across the EU, which now comprise the core of the new European Conservatives and Reformists Group, are: Belgium: Czech Republic: Finland: Hungary: Latvia: The Netherlands: Poland: United Kingdom: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), with 1 MEP in the New Group Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with 9 MEPs The Centre Party (Keskusta) sits in the Liberal (ALDE) group but one of its MEPs is now joining the New Group. Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with 1 MEP For Fatherland and Freedom (TB/LNNK) with 1 MEP ChristianUnion (ChristenUnie) with 1 MEP Law & Justice (PiS) with 15 MEPs The Conservative Party, with 26 MEPs in the New Group.

All of the parties have signed up to a declaration, originally negotiated in Prague, which sets out the aims and values of the new grouping. A copy of the Prague Declaration, which argues for reform and a non-federalist future for the EU, is attached for reference. Commenting on the establishment of the new European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament 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. 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.”