Thursday 12 March 2009

Tories: Self-banishment from Europe

The British Conservative party has drawn the conclusions from its continuing trajectory towards the fringes of European politics by announcing its divorce from the European People’s Party – European Democrats (EPP-ED) group in the European Parliament.

The BBC reports ‘Tories leaving Europe’s EPP group’ (11 March 2009):

Self-expulsion is the easy part, but what are the Tories going to do in European politics?

According to the amended Rule 29(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, which enters into force after the European elections in June 2009, the minimum requirements for a political group are:

2. A political group shall comprise Members elected in at least one-quarter of the Member States. The minimum number of Members required to form a political group shall be twenty-five.


The Tories would have to find soul-mates from six other member states in order to form a political group, which is the prerequisite for effective work within the EP. By the looks of it, the ‘talent pool’ outside the constructive groups will be fairly unpalatable for people with some standards on political content and governance.

The alternative is to join the splinter groups and individual MEPs who are content to arrange dress-up charades and other silly pranks to demonstrate against the institution they have been elected to.


At a time when concerted European action is needed more than ever, what can we expect from a future Tory government?

They are absolutely not working for the interests of the citizens of the European Union, but can they even begin to explain how their self-ostracism serves the interests of British nationals?

Ralf Grahn


  1. Good point, and thanks for the update on the Tories. The sad thing is that there is a need for alternative approaches to governance more than ever --- not just opposition to the EU or governance in general. In the US the Republicans are held back from joining in the national dialogue for similar reasons.

  2. Michael,

    Thank you for your Quick comment.

    Well, if you do your level best to appear uncooperative (as the UK Tories and the US Republicans seem to do), you may actually succeed in convincing people.

  3. The Tories are interesting over the EU but even more so has UKIP now disqualified itself from standing in June.

    In countering Libertas Nigel Farage, UKIP leader and also interim head of the Independence/Democracies Group (the alternate Chair having gone off to join Libertas who as a Danish MEP was always scrupulous in paying lip service to the "project") has now come straight out against the EU in an article in as linked this morning from my blog.

    Can UKIP now participate in June?


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