Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley, Fianna Fails sole MEP, is set to announce that he will be leaving the liberal ALDE Group in the European Parliament and instead will join the European Conservatives and Reformists according to Press Reports today.
If this does happen it will put in doubt Fianna Fails membership of the pan-European ALDE Party to which the party leader, Michael Martin is firmly in favour of.
Crowley’s decision to join ECR will mean that Irish MEPs are now spread across 5 European Parliament Groups.
- EPP: 4 MEPs (Fine Gael)
- GUE/NGL: 4 MEPs (3 Sinn Fein, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan)
- ALDE: 1 MEP (Marian Harkin)
- ECR: 1 MEP (Brian Crowley)
- S&D: 1 MEP (Nessa Childers)
With Crowley joining the ECR they are now represented in 15 countries. The UK (Conservatives) and Poland (Law and Justice) make up the largest delegations with 20 and 19 respectively and the rest of the group made of MEPs from Belgium (4), Bulgaria (1), Czech Republic (2), Denmark (4), Germany (8), Greece (1), Croatia (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1), Netherlands (2), Slovakia (2) and Finland (2).
Crowleys transfer also solidifies ECR as the 3rd largest group in the parliament with 69 seats and pushing ALDE back to 66.
It will be interesting to see now what happens to Fianna Fails membership of the ALDE Party and how often Crowley will be voting with his colleagues.
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