Crowley set to join ECR

European_Conservatives_and_Reformists_logoIreland 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.

 

European Parliament Elections 2014 – Commission President

One of the big outcomes (supposedly!) from this years European Parliament Elections will be the nominated by the winning European Parliament Grouping in the Elections. While some believe this will lead to deadlock and confrontation, other believe it is the start of a truly democratic European Union.

So who are the European Parties nominating?

Party of European Socialists (PES)

The PES had a great idea of a Europe wide primary among its member parties, but in the end this didn’t happen as only one candidate was nominated, that being the current President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz of the Germany’s SPD. While this has annoyed a number of activists, it has prevented a possible long drawn out campaign.

European People’s Party (EPP)

The EPP will open its nominations for the Commission President Candidate on February 13th and they close on March 5th before being selected at their Congress in Dublin on March 6th and 7th (Full Details here). A number of names have been mentioned including former head of the European Group and former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker. Though it is thought that Germany’s Angela Merkel is against his appointment and would prefer either Poland’s Donald Tusk or Ireland’s Enda Kenny to be the EPP’s nomination.

Another possible candidate is Viviane Reding the current Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

The ALDE Party (formerly ELDR)

The newly renamed ALDE Party is set to name its Candidate at a special conference in Brussels on February 1st. This is set to be a showdown between current Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn of Finland and the leader of the ALDE Group Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium. It will be interesting to see who will be victorious.

European Green Party

The European Green Party has embraced the internet and is allowing anyone who agrees with their policies to vote for their Candidate in an online Primary. You can vote for two out of the four candidates. The Candidates include José Bové of France, Monica Frassoni of Italy, Rebecca Harms of Germany and Ska Keller also of Germany. If you want to vote head on over to GreenPrimary.eu

European Left Party

The European Left Party last month nominated Alexis Tsipras leader of the Greek SYRIZA party to be its candidate in the elections. This is interesting as SYRIZA is the only party of the European Left Party to be leading in the polls in its home country. Its highly unlikely that Tsipras will be European Commission President, the next Greek Prime Minister on the other hand…

The other possible candidates include Maire Le Pen leading a European Far Right grouping (or maybe Nigel Farage?) and a possible European Conservatives and Reformist candidate, no names have emerged from that grouping.

It will be an interesting one to watch.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The End of the ECR Grouping?

European Conservatives and Reformists
Image via Wikipedia

Michael Heaver is reporting that 11 members of the European Conservatives and Reformists, those MEPs of the Polish Law and Justice, are set to leave the ECR and join the Europe of Freedom and Democracy grouping in the Parliament.

This casts the survival of the the grouping into doubt as for a group to exist it must have 25 MEPs from across seven member states to be a grouping. If the Polish MEPs leave that would leave only six member states represented in the Grouping (The UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Hungary). While the group will still have 39 members, they will no longer be considered a group by the Parliament.

This is on top of the turmoil by the ECR leader Kaminski resigning from the Law and Justice Party. He was joined by two other MEPs Marek Migalski MEP and Adam Bielan MEP vice chair of the ECR.

If of course those MEPs stay with the ECR, then it will survive.

Interesting times ahead for the ECR.

Enhanced by Zemanta

ECRG Down to the Minimum – Already?

It looks like the European Conservatives and Reformists Group is in a bit of bother today due to decision of Finnish MEP Hannu Takkula to remain in the ALDE grouping according to NewsRoom Finland. Jon Worth thinks “some people in the party [Finnish Centre Party] must have applied pressure” on him to remain in the ALDE.

This leaves the ECRG at the bare minimum of representation with MEPs from 7 member states. On Monday there were talks of other MEPs joining. Currently there is talk that Lithuanian MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania is joining the ECRG so they could be back up to 8 member states quite quickly.

They do need a buffer to allow for MEPs to leave so that they could survive as a grouping. I don’t think they thought they would need the buffer so early.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Okay, so we know all the Groupings?

With the anouncement today of the new conservative grouping in the European Parliament, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECRG), we now know all the Groupings in the Parliament.

They are (in order of size) (PS not sure im numbers are correct):

  • European People’s Party – 266
  • Party of European Socialists – 161
  • Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – 80
  • European Conservatives and Reformists – 55
  • Greens-European Free Alliance – 53
  • Union for Europe of the Nations – 35
  • United Left-Nordic Greens – 32
  • Independence/Democracy – 18
  • Non-Inscrits – 38

So it looks like the Parliament will be dominated by the centre right. The BNP failed to get enough MEPs.

Its going to be an interesting five years in Brussels/Strasbourg.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]