EU Political Parties to get Legal Statute

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In the European Parliament has passed a Non-legislative resolution calling for European Political Parties to get legal statue so that they can play the role set out to them under Article 10, paragraph 4 of the Lisbon Treaty whereby political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.

The report by Marietta Giannakou (EPP, Greece) was passed by 560 votes in favour, 93 against and 22 abstentions. The report also called for

  • the possibility of direct membership of natural persons;
  • the rise of the present ceiling of €12,000 per year for donations to €25,000 per year and per donator;
  • the organisational convergence of political parties at EU level with the aim of the creation in the future of a transnational party system;
  • the independent resources that European political parties are required to demonstrate could be reduced to 10% of their total budget, in order to further enhance their development.

The ELDR recently launched an Associate Member scheme and this enactment of this report would be the logical next step.

If the recommendations are passed into law, something which is expected as Commissioner Šefčovič expressed a will to examine and put forward the proposal of the European legal statute of EU political parties based on EU law

if this was to become the case it would allow european parties to launch national campaigns and be involved in referendum campaigns. It could open up a whole new era of politics in Europe, but will it happen?

ELDR Launch Individual Memebership

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The European Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party have today launched an individual membership system for the European party. Now you no longer need to be a member of a National Party to be a member of the ELDR.

for €25 a year you can become an associate member and you will get the following benefits:

  • An Associate membership card,
  • Home delivery of the quarterly ELDR newspaper,
  • The ELDR electronic newsletter.
  • Personalised invitations for selected events.
  • Furthermore, associate members will be able to participate and be a candidate in online elections that will select the delegate(s) representing associate members at the yearly ELDR Congress.

“Direct participation is all about nourishing the quality of future democracy. And with this initiative ELDR would like to add flesh to the bones to what was introduced in 1992 by the Maastricht Treaty: the European citizenship” commented Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, President of the ELDR Party.

“Associate Membership for individuals – Neyts-Uyttebroeck added – is a sign of support to the European liberal values of freedom and individual responsibility, democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and tolerance”.

Of course to be a member you cannot be a member of any national political party that itself belongs to any other European political party other than the ELDR Party.

This is an interesting idea from the ELDR. It will do two things for them. One create a possible cash flow and secondly create a a grouping that will work for them outside of the framework of the national parties. I wonder will other European parties follow their lead.

Roche Re-elected ELDR VP

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Irish Minister for Europe, Dick Roche, has been re-elected as one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Liberal Democratic and Reform Party at its recent congress in Helsinki. He was originally elected last November at the ELDR’s congress in Barcelona.

He was elected with 67% of the vote. The other Vice Presidents Elected were Graham Watson, of the UK Liberal Democrats, former leader of the ALDE grouping of the European Parliament and Vesna Pusic of the Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS-LD). Vesna is the Parliamentry Floor leader of the HNS-LD.

I wonder will Roche keep going for this position?

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Ógra Fianna Fail application to Join LYMEC Denied – AGAIN!

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Ógra Fianna Fail have again failed in its bid to join LYMEC (The European Liberal Youth) which acts as the youth wing of the European Liberal and Democratic Reform Party which Fianna Fail joined last month.

Ógra when it previously applied were blocked by the Young Progressive Democrats. A few of those involved are still around and are behind Liberals.ie. Im not sure if they have membership of LYMEC but the YPDs are still listed as full members on the LYMEC website

This time round I am not sure who blocked them, but I am told it was concerns about how ‘Liberal’ Fianna Fail really are that brought their membership into question. Their stance on divorce, abortion, and blasphemous libel are said to have worked against them and led to their application being rejected.

The strategy before was to have Ógra join LYMEC and then for senior party to follow into ELDR. With the YPD’s consistently blocking that they switched tactics, sending senior party in first but LYMEC is sticking to its guns and not letting Ógra in.

Interesting times ahead for Fianna Fail, as its youth wing is excluded from its European Party!

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Which Party Should You Vote For?

A new website launched recently to show people which national party you should vote for. Its called EU Profiler. I had a go off it.

It presents to you 30 statements and say whether you agree or disagree. Then you rate their importance and then say who you would be willing to vote for. The results are close enough. I come out right wing and pro-Europe which fits the me perfectly I think!

Its recommendations for me are:

  1. Fine Gael: 53.9%
  2. Labour: 50.9%
  3. Fianna Fail: 50%
  4. Greens: 37%
  5. Socialist: 30.9%
  6. Sinn Fein: 23.1%
  7. Libertas: 20.3%

Just for fun you can see the top ten parties you mach with across Europe. My top ten are:

  1. Venstre, Liberal Party of Denmark (ELDR): 81.7%
  2. Liberal People’s Party of Sweden  (ELDR): 81.5%
  3. Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania: 81.3%
  4. Centrolew (Centre-left) of Poland: 78.6%
  5. Green Party of Czech Republic (European Green Party): 77.7%
  6. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (EPP): 77.1%
  7. SNK European Democrats of Czech Republic (EPP-ED): 76%
  8. Centre Party of Sweden (ELDR): 76%
  9. Croatian Democratic Union (EPP): 75.8%
  10. Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party of Czech Republic (EPP): 75.4%

A strange mix but interesting none the less.

I think it is fairly accurate and its interesting to see what party you are most aligned with in other countrues. Well it is for politics nerds like me!

Does EU Profiler get it right for you?

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My plan did not work

So yea, I was hoping that a certain Think post of mine would get activists of the PES (Socialists) riled up and start arguing, but it didn’t. So my plan did not work. In fact I had a PES blogger agreeing with me!

What it did point out is that PES activists seem to be the same as most voters in the European Election and ignore most of the campiagning done at the European level. Who really cares if the PES and ELDR (Liberals) exchanged open letters not exactly vote getting stuff now is it!

So how do I annoy PES activists? Please someone tell me!

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Fianna Fail Join The ELDR

So it happened offically today. From the PR:

The Irish Fianna Fàil becomes member of ELDR

After fruitful bilateral negotiations the European Liberal and Democrat party welcomes today Fianna Fàil as a new ELDR member party. Fianna Fail Secretary General Sean Dorgan was warmly welcomed in Brussels today to finalize the application procedure of his party with the ELDR Council, the highest decision-making body of the ELDR Party in matters of membership.

The Irish newcomer will see the ELDR party establish itself as a key player for the forthcoming European elections and finds in ELDR a partner in view of the Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland, scheduled probably for the end of October 2009. For ELDR, Fianna Fail’s membership will bring to the liberal family a new and interesting perspective from a strong party currently in government, an additional strong voice in the European Council and a crucial contribution to European liberal politics.

They obviously havent been reading the Irish Opinion Polls? I doubt this will have any effect on the European Elections, but it will allow Fianna Fail to tap into ELDR/ALDE funds for the Lisbon II referendum.

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FF split on joining ELDR??

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According to John over at Semper-Idem splits seam to be developing between the National Party and the MEP’s in Brussels. I wonder why that is?

This of course was announced with great fanfare at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis by an Taoiseach Brian Cowen. He said in his opening speech the following:

Given the changing role of the Parliament and the new structures of its groups, Fianna Fáil has no alternative but to reconsider current arrangements. We need to strengthen our work with others who share our basic approach while insisting on the right to vote in accordance with the views of the people we represent. To that end, we will soon advance a proposal to join, for the first time, a pan-European party – the European Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party. Our representatives have been part of that party’s group in the Council of Europe for some time and this has worked out well – particularly because it is a group which works hard to respect the views of smaller countries.

Following June’s election, should everything progress as expected, we will then consider joining the parliamentary group to which the ELDR is affiliated. I am confident that we can negotiate a position that will strengthen our voice and that of all people who believe in a Europe of states working closely together.

Yet in yesterdays Irish Times Brian Crowley MEP insisted that “”no deal had yet been done” on whether the FF MEPs would join the ALDE Group in the parliament. I wonder why he said that? Is it because he knows that he will lose many of his perks if FF leave the UEN? What perks you ask? Well as co-president of the UEN (A position he is unlikely to attain in the ALDE Group) he is entitled to a car! He doesn’t seam willing to give that up.

All know that my prediction of the end of the UEN being in 2009 seams to be accurate enough.

This is posted on the Thinkaboutit.eu website aswell! Do read and rate it there!

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