New Conservative group united
Friday 10 July 2009
By EU Reporter Correspondents
Conservative Members of the European Parliament were today celebrating 'unity of purpose' for their European Conservative and Reform Group (ECR) in the face of rumours that at least two members were planning to stay in the European Peoples Party (EPP) group.
Roger Helmer MEP told EU Reporter that the Conservative MEPs had enjoyed a "first class constituency meeting" and were united.
But former Vice President of the European Parliament Edward McMillan-Scott responded with a statement to EU reporter that while it concurs suggests that the unity parade might have been drizzled on. He told us in a statement:
Mr Edward McMillan-Scott (Conservative), a Vice-President in the outgoing parliament who was re-elected top of the list in Yorkshire denied rumours that he would stay in the majority EPP group.
At the inaugural meeting of the European Conservative and Reformist group in Brussels (June 24) McMillan-Scott, who re-negotiated the association with the EPP in 1999 while leader of the Conservative MEPs, said he would have preferred an even more detached relationship with the EPP, especially after Italy's right-wing Alleanza Nazionale joined it.
Describing the new Conservative group as a "political adventure" he said he was "uncomfortable" and was checking the backgrounds of some of its MEPs:"Before 1989, when I worked with reformists in the Soviet bloc, politics were different. Since then, politicians are answerable for their actions. I hope no MEP in the new group has had links with extremist movements like Poland's National Revival."
McMillan-Scott said he is an "internationalist, pro-European Catholic" but worried that if the only coherence of the group was opposition to federalism - over which MEPs had no powers - it would divide on moral questions where they did, like genetics, embryology and sexual politics.