Party leaders to join ECR group after EU elections

Written by Martin Banks on 5 March 2019 in News
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The leaders of two political parties have announced their intention to join the ECR group in Parliament following the European elections in May.

Photo Credit: European Parliament Audiovisual


Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who leads French party Debout la France, and Thierry Baudet, who leads Dutch party Forum for Democracy, both signed declarations with ECR co-leader, Ryszard Legutko.

This, they say, “outlines their shared views on Europe as we approach the European elections in May.”

Speaking after the announcement, Legutko explained the reasoning behind the move.


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He said, “I am delighted that Debout La France and Forum for Democracy have announced their intention to join the ECR after the elections. They share our belief that the EU has overreached and that the days of ever more centralisation in Brussels must end.”

“The ECR group will continue to grow into and beyond the European elections in May and will be the strongest voice for securing real change and genuine reform in Europe.”

Dupont-Aignan said, "We have never been against Europe and cooperation, we support a Europe of independent nations.”

“The ECR group will continue to grow into and beyond the European elections in May and will be the strongest voice for securing real change and genuine reform in Europe” Ryszard Legutko MEP

“Times are changing; the bureaucrats and federalists are losing their monopoly in Brussels. We offer a different path, that respects national democracies and offers flexible cooperation among European states,” he added.

Further comment came from Baudet, who added that the ECR group "have proven themselves to be the only credible voice for a turnaround in Brussels and for a Europe that respects its Member States.”

Baudet went on, “We cannot continue to ignore voters who, in election after election, have called for change but yet continue to see more and more powers transferred to the EU."

"This has to stop,” he added.

The ECR was set up largely by the UK Conservatives after former UK Prime Minister David Cameron pulled his MEPs out of the larger EPP group.

The ECR currently comprises these Conservative deputies, who are about to leave when the UK exits the EU on 29 March, plus a few Polish members.

The group is expected to prove an attractive proposition for any new members from so-called populist and nationalist parties after the elections.

Polls suggest such groups will perform well in the EU-wide election and will force the EPP and Socialists groupings, with fewer seats than now, into some form of “coalition.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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