Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe

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Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
President Jan Zahradil (CZ)
Secretary-General Daniel Hannan (UK)
Founded 1 October 2009 (2009-10-01)
Preceded by Movement for European Reform[1]
Headquarters Rue du Trône 4, 1000 Brussels, Belgium[2]
Think tank New Direction
Youth wing European Young Conservatives
Ideology Conservatism[3]
Economic liberalism[3]
National conservatism
Euroscepticism[3]
Political position Centre-right to right-wing
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colours Blue and white
European Parliament
72 / 751
European Council
2 / 28
European Commission
0 / 28
European Lower Houses
1,004 / 9,874
European Upper Houses
324 / 2,714
Website
www.acreurope.eu

The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) – formerly known as the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) – is a conservative and eurosceptic[4] European political party, promoting conservative and economically liberal principles.[5] The party focuses on reforming the European Union (EU) on the basis of Eurorealism[6] as opposed to total rejection of the EU (anti-EU-ism).[7][8] It currently has twenty-four member parties and three further independent members from twenty-one countries, in addition to seven regional partners worldwide.[9]

The political movement was founded on 1 October 2009,[10] after the creation of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group in the European Parliament. It was officially recognised by the European Parliament in January 2010.

ACRE is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the Council, which represents all ACRE member parties.[11] The ACRE's President is Jan Zahradil MEP, and its Secretary-General is Daniel Hannan MEP. The Vice-Presidents are Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson MP from Iceland, Anna Fotyga MEP from Poland, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP from the United Kingdom and Zafer Sirakaya from Turkey.

The party is affiliated with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, the pan-European think tank New Direction – The Foundation for European Reform, and the youth organisation the European Young Conservatives. It is also formally associated with the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the Committee of the Regions, in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in the Congress of the Council of Europe, and in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.[12]

History

The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe was founded as the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists on 1 October 2009,[13] after the ECR political group was founded in the wake of the 2009 European Parliament election, and was officially recognised by the European Parliament in January 2010. Amongst ACRE's eight founding members the largest were the UK Conservative Party, the Polish PiS and the Czech ODS.

ACRE was formally constituted under the chairmanship of Belgian MEP Derk Jan Eppink, who was succeeded by Czech MEP Jan Zahradil. At ACRE's first congress was in Warsaw on 8 June 2010, attended by its founding members, including UK Conservative Party Chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. On 25 March 2011, the Civic Conservative Party from Slovakia joined; Iceland's Independence Party in November 2011 (the party's first member from outside the European Union); Georgia's Christian-Democratic Movement in August 2012; Italy's Conservatives and Social Reformers in October 2012; the Conservative Party of Canada became the ACRE's first associate member (later renamed 'regional partners') in November 2012; Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party in November 2013; and the Faroe Islands' People's Party, and Romania's New Republic; and in July 2014, Prosperous Armenia.[14] The Conservative Party of Georgia and New Majority joined on 1 November 2014. At the same time, the ACRE formally affiliated to the European Conservatives Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[15] In November 2015, the Conservatives and Reformists of Italy were admitted as ACRE members,[16] followed by the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (ALFA) of Germany and M10 party of Romania in March 2016.[17] The Liberal Party of Australia, Istiqlal Party of Morocco, National Party of New Zealand, and Republican Party of the United States joined as further regional partners in 2014, followed by Afek Tounes and Likud Movement in 2015 and 2016.

The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists has officially changed its name to the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe on 6 October 2016.[18]

Principles

ACRE adopted the Reykjavík Declaration at its Council Meeting on 21 March 2014. The declaration defines the principles that underpin ACRE.

The Reykjavík Declaration

  • The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) brings together parties committed to individual liberty, national sovereignty, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, private property, low taxes, sound money, free trade, open competition, and the devolution of power.
  • ACRE believes in a Europe of independent nations, working together for mutual gain while each retaining its identity and integrity.
  • ACRE is committed to the equality of all European democracies, whatever their size, and regardless of which international associations they join.
  • ACRE favours the exercise of power at the lowest practicable level—by the individual where possible, by local or national authorities in preference to supranational bodies.
  • ACRE understands that open societies rest upon the dignity and autonomy of the individual, who should be as free as possible from state coercion. The liberty of the individual includes freedom of religion and worship, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of movement and association, freedom of contract and employment, and freedom from oppressive, arbitrary or punitive taxation.
  • ACRE recognises the equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of ethnicity, sex or social class. It rejects all forms of extremism, authoritarianism and racism.
  • ACRE cherishes the important role of civil associations, families and other bodies that fill the space between the individual and the government.
  • ACRE acknowledges the unique democratic legitimacy of the nation-state.
  • ACRE is committed to the spread of free commerce and open competition, in Europe and globally.
  • ACRE supports the principles of the Prague Declaration of March 2009 and the work of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament and allied groups on the other European assemblies.

Members

Member parties

The ACRE has twenty-four member parties, and a further three independent members, across twenty-one European countries.
Country Political party MEPs National MPs Joined
 Albania Republican Party of Albania Not in the EU
1 / 140
7 April 2017
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia Not in the EU
36 / 131
3 July 2014
 Azerbaijan Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party Not in the EU
1 / 125
15 November 2015
 Belarus BPF Party Not in the EU
0 / 110
7 April 2017
 Bulgaria Independent MEPs
2 / 17
N/A 2014
 Croatia Croatian Conservative Party
1 / 11
0 / 151
22 May 2015
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party
2 / 21
25 / 200
1 October 2009
 Faroe Islands People's Party Not in the EU
6 / 33
8 November 2013
 Finland Finns Party
2 / 13
38 / 200
15 November 2015
 Georgia Christian-Democratic Movement Not in the EU
0 / 150
16 August 2012
 Georgia Conservative Party of Georgia Not in the EU
6 / 150
1 November 2014
 Germany Liberal Conservative Reformers
5 / 99
0 / 709
18 March 2016
 Iceland Independence Party Not in the EU
16 / 63
12 November 2011
 Italy Direction Italy
2 / 73
9 / 630
13 November 2015[16]
 Latvia National Alliance
1 / 8
17 / 100
2014
 Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
1 / 11
8 / 141
22 June 2009
 Luxembourg Alternative Democratic Reform Party
0 / 6
3 / 60
8 June 2010
 Montenegro Movement for Changes Not in the EU
5 / 81
22 May 2015
 Northern Cyprus National Unity Party Not in the EU
18 / 50
7 April 2017
 Poland Law and Justice
18 / 51
235 / 460
22 June 2009
 Romania M10
1 / 32
0 / 588
18 March 2016
 Romania New Republic
0 / 32
1 / 588
8 November 2013
 Slovakia Civic Conservative Party
0 / 13
1 / 150
25 March 2011
 Slovakia Freedom and Solidarity
1 / 13
20 / 150
13 November 2015
 Slovakia New Majority
1 / 13
2 / 150
1 November 2014
 Turkey Justice and Development Party Not in the EU
317 / 550
8 November 2013
 United Kingdom Conservative Party
20 / 73
317 / 650
1 October 2009
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party
1 / 3
(NI MEPs)
0 / 650
1 October 2009

Independent members

Former members

Regional partners

The ACRE also has eight regional partners, formerly called 'associate members', from outside Europe.

Country Political party National Legislators Joined
 Australia Liberal Party of Australia (Coalition with the National Party of Australia)
76 / 150
2014
 Canada Conservative Party of Canada
98 / 308
2012
 Colombia Democratic Center
19 / 166
2017
 Israel Likud
30 / 120
2016
 Morocco Istiqlal Party
46 / 395
2014
 New Zealand New Zealand National Party
56 / 121
2014
 Tunisia Afek Tounes
8 / 217
2015
 United States Republican Party
51 / 100
241 / 435
2014

Elected representatives of member parties

European institutions

Organisation Institution Number of seats
 European Union European Commission
1 / 28
 European Union European Council
(Heads of Government)
2 / 28
 European Union Council of the EU
(Participation in Government)
4 / 28
 European Union European Parliament
50 / 751
 Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
22 / 321

ACRE affiliate groupings

The ACRE is formally affiliated to groupings in the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, the Congress of the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

European Parliament

The ECR group is the third-largest group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2009, before the ACRE was launched, the ECR brings together 75 MEPs from 16 countries. The ECR group is led by Syed Kamall of the British Conservative Party.


Party name or Member Abbr. Member state MEPs Date joined Europarty
New Flemish Alliance N-VA  Belgium
4 / 21
18 June 2014 EFA
Reload Bulgaria BBT  Bulgaria 1 12 June 2014 None
IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement IMRO-BNM  Bulgaria 1 24 June 2014 None
Croatian Conservative Party HKS  Croatia 1 1 July 2013 ACRE
Solidarity Movement KA  Cyprus 1 8 March 2016 None
Civic Democratic Party ODS  Czech Republic
2 / 21
22 June 2009 ACRE
Danish People's Party DF  Denmark
3 / 13
4 June 2014 None
Independent[a] Independent  Denmark 1 4 June 2014 None
Finns Party PS  Finland
2 / 13
4 June 2014 ACRE
Liberal Conservative Reformers[b] LKR  Germany
5 / 96
12 June 2014 ACRE
Family Party FAMILIE  Germany 1 4 June 2014 ECPM
Independent[c] Independent  Greece 1 4 June 2014 None
Independent[d] Independent  Ireland 1 23 June 2014 None
Direction Italy DI  Italy
2 / 73
19 May 2015 ACRE
For Fatherland and Freedom NA  Latvia 1 22 June 2009 ACRE
Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania AWPL  Lithuania 1 23 June 2009 ACRE
Christian Union CU  Netherlands 1 22 June 2009 ECPM
Reformed Political Party SGP  Netherlands 1 16 June 2014 ECPM
Law and Justice PiS  Poland
15 / 51
22 June 2009 ACRE
Right Wing of the Republic PR  Poland 1 1 July 2014 ECPM
Independent Independent  Poland
3 / 51
None
M10 M10  Romania 1 27 October 2015 ACRE
Freedom and Solidarity SaS  Slovakia 1 8 October 2014 ACRE
New Majority NOVA  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 ACRE
Ordinary People OĽaNO  Slovakia 1 4 June 2014 ECPM
Conservative Party Conservative  United Kingdom
20 / 73
22 June 2009 ACRE
Ulster Unionist Party UUP  United Kingdom 1 22 June 2009 ACRE
  1. ^ Rikke Karlsson left the DF.
  2. ^ Bernd Lucke left AfD with 4 more MEPs after losing leadership of his party in 2015. The remaining two AfD members, Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell were expelled from the ECR group in 2016.
  3. ^ Notis Marias left ANEL.
  4. ^ Brian Crowley was the sole member of Fianna Fáil elected in the 2014 election; following his announcement that he was joining the ECR, Fianna Fáil withdrew the party whip. Crowley remains a member of the Fianna Fáil party as a whole, but has been excluded from its cross-Parliamentary caucus.


Committee of the Regions

Following the creation of the ECR Group in the European Parliament in 2009, and the creation of the ACRE in 2010, the ECR Group in the Committee of the Regions was formed on 10 April 2013 under the leadership of Gordon Keymer CBE and with the support of the ACRE. The Group was officially announced during the 11–12 April 100th Committee of the Regions plenary session.

The ECR Group was the first Group to be formed in the Committee of the Regions during the course of a mandate and was the first ECR Group to be formed outside of the European Parliament.

The President of the Group is Cllr. Gordon Keymer CBE (Leader of Tandridge District Council) and the Vice Presidents are Dan Jiránek (Mayor of Kladno) and Daiva Matonienė (Deputy Mayor of Šiauliai City Council). Adam Banaszak (Member of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie regional assembly), Cllr. Kay Twitchen OBE (Member of Essex County Council) and Cllr. Judith Pearce (Deputy Leader of Wychavon District Council and Executive Board Member for Planning, Infrastructure and Housing).

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Full Affiliate Europarty EU Parliament International
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 3 1 ACRE ECR IDU
 Denmark Danish People's Party 0 2 MELD ECR None
 Finland Finns Party 1 1 ACRE ECR None
 Lithuania Independent 1 3 None None None
 Netherlands Christian Union 1 1 ECPM ECR None
 Poland Law and Justice 1 4 ACRE ECR None
 Slovakia Independent 1 0 None None None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 7 8 ACRE ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 0 1 ACRE ECR IDU

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

The European Conservatives Group in the European Parliament, founded in 1970 and existing for most of its history as the 'European Democrat Group' became officially affiliated to the ACRE on 29 September 2014. The EC group is led by Samad Seyidov MP, of the New Azerbaijan Party.

As of 23 October 2014, the European Conservatives have the following members:[19]

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Europarty EU Parliament International
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia 2 ACRE N/A None
 Armenia Republican Party of Armenia [A] 1 None N/A None
 Azerbaijan New Azerbaijan Party 4 None N/A None
 Azerbaijan Independent 1 None N/A None
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 2 ACRE ECR IDU
 Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
 Greece Independent Greeks 1 None ECR None
 Iceland Independence Party 2 ACRE N/A IDU
 Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
 Poland Law and Justice 7 ACRE ECR None
 Poland United Poland 1 MELD No MEPs None
 Turkey Justice and Development Party [B] 13 ACRE N/A None
 Turkey Nationalist Movement Party[C] 1 None N/A None
 Ukraine Party of Regions [D] 4 None N/A None
 Ukraine Sovereign European Ukraine 1 None N/A None
 Ukraine Independent 1 None N/A None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 17 ACRE ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Democratic Unionist Party 1 None Non-Inscrits None
^A One of the three members of the Republican Party of Armenia sit with the EC Group. The other two members sit with the European People's Party.
^B Eleven of the thirteen members of the Justice and Development Party sit with the EC Group. One sits with the European People's Party and one sits with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
^C One of the two members of the Nationalist Movement Party sits with the EC Group. The other member sits with the Socialist Group.
^D Four of the seven members of Party of Regions sit with the EC Group. Two sit with the Socialist Group and one sits with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Congress of the Council of Europe

The ECR group in the Congress of the Council of Europe brings together representatives in local government from across Europe. It has 31 members, 26 of whom represent parties in the ACRE. The ECR group is led by Halldór Halldórsson of the Icelandic Independence Party.

Country Party name Members Other affiliations
Europarty EU Parliament International
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia 1 ACRE N/A None
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party 3 ACRE ECR IDU
 Czech Republic Independent 2 None N/A None
 Denmark Danish People's Party 1 None ECR None
 Iceland Independence Party 2 ACRE N/A IDU
 Norway Progress Party 2 None N/A None
 Poland Law and Justice 1 ACRE ECR None
 Poland Independent 1 None N/A None
 Turkey Nationalist Movement Party 5 None N/A None
 Ukraine People's Party 1 None N/A None
 United Kingdom Conservative Party 11 ACRE ECR IDU
 United Kingdom Ulster Unionist Party 1 ACRE ECR None

Youth organisation

European Young Conservatives

The European Young Conservatives (EYC) is the ACRE's youth wing. It brings together conservative and centre-right political parties from across Europe. As of 2015, the group has a membership of 23 political youth organisations from 22 different countries and territories. Its patron was Margaret Thatcher until her death in 2013. The current chairperson of EYC is Keti Mumalashvili from the Georgian Young Conservatives.

Country Organisation Mother party
 Armenia Prosperous Armenia Youth Prosperous Armenia
 Belarus BPF Youth BPF Party
 Belgium Jong N-VA N-VA
 Czech Republic Young Conservatives Civic Democratic Party
 Denmark Young Conservatives Conservative People's Party
 Faroe Islands Huxa People's Party
 Finland Finns Party Youth Finns Party
 Georgia Young Conservatives Conservative Party of Georgia
 Germany Young Alternative for Germany Alternative for Germany
 Iceland Young Independents Independence Party
 Italy Youth for Freedom Forza Italia
 Latvia For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK Youth Club For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK
 Liechtenstein Junge FBP Progressive Citizens' Party
 Lithuania Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania Youth Organisation Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
 Luxembourg ADRenalin Alternative Democratic Reform Party
 Norway Progress Party's Youth Progress Party
 Poland Law and Justice Youth Forum Law and Justice
 Portugal People's Youth Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party
 Romania New Republic Youth New Republic
  Switzerland Young SVP Swiss People's Party
 Turkey AKP Youth Justice and Development Party
 United Kingdom Conservative Future Conservative Party
 United Kingdom Young Unionists Ulster Unionist Party

Conservatives and Reformists Initiative

The Conservatives and Reformists Initiative (CRI) is a flagship project of ACRE, and its partner New Direction – the Foundation for European Reform, launched in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 November 2015 (covered extensively on the Al Jazeera news network).[20][21][22]

The CRI aims to strengthen the moderate centre-right in emerging and developing democracies. It runs practical programmes designed to strengthen the organisational capacity of each political party, support party campaign and communications operations, assist with policy development, and provide regional support for like-minded political parties and support elected representatives at all levels, particularly in communications with constituents and the media.

Two CRI Summits have so far been held:

See also

DodgerBlue flag waving.svg Conservatism portal

Notes

References

  1. ^ "William Hague gives a reply (if not an answer) to the question: "What does 'We will not let matters rest there' actually mean in practice?"". ConservativeHome. 2 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  2. ^ "Contacts". Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Parties and Elections in Europe". www.parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 2017-05-28. 
  4. ^ John McCormick (2015). European Union Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-137-45340-2. 
  5. ^ Rendall, Alasdair (26 March 2014). "The European political parties". BBC News. 
  6. ^ http://ecrgroup.eu/about-us/our-history/
  7. ^ Erkanor Saka (2009). Mediating the EU: Deciphering the Transformation of Turkish Elites (PhD Thesis). ProQuest. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-109-21663-9. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Matthew (26 October 2011). "Why anti-EUism is not left-wing". Workers' Liberty. Alliance for Workers Liberty. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "ACRE - EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". ACRE - MEMBER PARTIES & REGIONAL PARTNERS. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  10. ^ "ECR Trans-National Party Set for EU Funding – But is it legal?". New Europe. 18 January 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Organisation". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "ACRE - EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". ACRE - OUR FAMILY. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  13. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "News 2009". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Prosperous Armenia joins AECR". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "AECR welcomes two new members from Slovakia and Georgia". Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Fitto: Conservatori e Riformisti entrano ufficialmente nell'Aecr, l'alleanza dei partiti e movimenti conservatori europei" [Lease: ECR officially entered in ecr, the alliance of European conservative parties and movements]. conservatorieriformisti.it (in Italian). 13 November 2015. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "AECR welcomes M10 and ALFA as new members". aecr.eu. 18 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "AECR to change its name to ACRE | ACRE". AECR to change its name to ACRE | ACRE. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  19. ^ "European Conservatives Group". Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 23 October 2014. 
  20. ^ "European centre-rightists conclude summit in Tunis". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  21. ^ "European centre-rightists reject neocolonial accusation". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Summit in Tunis devolves into right-left heated debate". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  23. ^ AECR President Jan Zahradil opens Tunis Summit, AECR News, November 13, 2015
  24. ^ Conservatives and Reformists Summit Antalya, AECR News, changeandwin.org, March 2016

External links

  • Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe Official website
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