|European Parliament group|
|Formal name||European Democratic Group|
|Ideology|| Conservatism |
|Political position||Centre-right to right-wing|
|From||17 July 1979|
|To||1 May 1992|
|Preceded by||European Conservative Group|
|Succeeded by||European People's Party–European Democrats|
|Chaired by|| James Scott-Hopkins, |
|MEP(s)||63 (17 July 1979)|
50 (23 July 1984)
34 (25 July 1989)
The European Democrats were a loose association of conservative political parties in Europe. It was a political group in the European Parliament from 1979 until 1992, when it became a subgroup of the European People's Party–European Democrats (EPP-ED) group. The European Democrats continued to exist as a political group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) until 2014, when it became the European Conservatives Group.
The European Democratic Group(ED) was formed on 17 July 1979 by British Conservative Party, Danish Conservative People's Party and other MEPs after their success in the 1979 elections. It supplanted the earlier European Conservative Group.
In the late seventies and early eighties, the ED was the third-largest political group in the European Parliament.
However, the group saw its membership fall sharply in the late 1980s, as many centre-right members moved to the rival European People's Party (EPP), dominated by the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), Italian Christian Democrats and the ideology of Christian democracy in general. The ED had been somewhat further from the political centre and less pro-European than the EPP. Largely isolated, even hardline eurosceptics like Margaret Thatcher conceded that the British Conservatives could not be effectively heard from such a peripheral group.
On 1 May 1992,the ED (now largely composed of UK Conservative Party members) dissolved, and its remaining members were accorded "associated party" status in the European People's Party Group; that is, being part of the parliamentary group without retaining actual membership in the EPP Europarty organisation. This was considered essential for the Conservatives, as the EPP was generally seen as quite favourable to European integration, a stance at odds with their core ideology. The Conservatives' relationship to the EPP would become a sore point in the following years, particularly for the eurosceptic general membership in Britain. Then-leader of the British Conservative Party William Hague hoped to put the issue to rest by negotiating a new arrangement in 1999 by which the EPP's parliamentary group would rebrand itself as the European People's Party–European Democrats (EPP-ED), with the "European Democrat" nomenclature returning after a seven-year hiatus. This was intended to nominally underscore the Conservatives' status apart from the rest of EPP, and it was hoped that with the coming enlargement of the European Union numerous newly involved right-wing parties, averse to the EPP proper for its perceived European federalism, would be willing to instead enter the ED subgroup, growing the overall alignment.
The arrangement proved to do little to appease opposition. Hague's successor, Iain Duncan Smith, made a concerted drive at one point to resurrect the European Democratic Group, but backed off when it became clear that Conservative MEPs would not move voluntarily. The hope that multiple Central and European parties would join ED also proved to be dubious, as only the Czech Civic Democratic Party took up the offer, with the remainder joining EPP proper or other groups such as Union for Europe of the Nations (UEN) or Independence and Democracy (IND/DEM). Meanwhile, the ED remained a more eurosceptic subgroup within the broader EPP-ED bloc that contributed slightly more than 10% of its total MEPs. It resisted the trend of incorporating as a European political party.
During the 2005 Conservative leadership contest, eventual winner David Cameron pledged to withdraw the Conservatives from the EPP-ED group, while opponent David Davis argued in a letter to the editor of The Daily Telegraph that the current ED arrangement allowed the Conservatives to maintain suitable distance from EPP while still having influence in the largest parliamentary grouping. Conservative/EPP-ED MEP Martin Callanan responded in that paper the following day:
SIR - David Davis (Letter, November 10) is sadly misinformed about our Conservative MEPs' relationship with the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. He claims that "Conservatives are members of the European Democrat group, which forms an alliance with the EPP". In reality, though, the ED does not exist. It has no staff or money and is, in effect, a discussion group within the EPP. […] Far from being a symbolic step, as Mr Davis suggests, leaving the EPP is the one hard, bankable commitment to have come out of this leadership campaign.
The Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the Law and Justice (PiS) of Poland and the Rally For France party were among the first to discuss forming a breakaway group under the Movement for European Reform. Sir Reg Empey, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has committed his party thereuntoIts position would be that the European Union should exist, but as a looser supranational organisation than at present, making the group less eurosceptic than the UEN and IND/DEM groups. Some members from the above parties founded a new organization, the Alliance for an Open Europe, in the midst of this debate, with broadly similar objectives.
Cameron initially intended to form the new group in 2006, though this aspiration had to be cancelled due to their main prospective partners, the ODS and PiS, being unable or unwilling to break away from their then-groupings; the new grouping was put on hiatus until the 2009 European elections. By then, new factors—including the collapse of the UEN group—made conditions for forming a new political grouping much more favourable. On 22 June 2009, the founder members of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, all signatories of the Prague Declaration announced that they were to leave the EPP-ED, and in virtue of that fact, the European Democrats movement. This announcement ended the 30-year existence of the European Democrats in the European Parliament.
The following political parties were associated with the European Democrats at some point:
|Civic Democratic Party||ODS||Czech Republic||14 July 2004||22 June 2009|
|Conservative People's Party||K||Denmark||17 July 1979||1 May 1992|
|Pensioners' Party||PP||Italy||20 July 1999||14 July 2009|
|Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party||CDS–PP||Portugal||20 July 2004||2006|
|People's Alliance||AP||Spain||10 June 1987||25 July 1989|
|Conservative Party||United Kingdom||17 July 1979||22 June 2009|
|Ulster Unionist Party||UUP||United Kingdom||20 July 1999||22 June 2009|
The European Democrat Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was founded as the Group of Independent Representatives in 1970 by British and Scandinavian members of PACE, having about 35–40 members from the UK, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden and Switzerland. It adopted the European Democrats Group name in September 1980, later becoming the European Conservatives Group in 2014.
The European People's Party Group is a centre-right political group of the European Parliament consisting of deputies (MEPs) from the member parties of the European People's Party (EPP). It sometimes includes independent MEPs and/or deputies from unaffiliated national parties. The EPP Group comprises politicians of Christian-democratic, conservative and liberal-conservative orientation.
Union for Europe of the Nations (UEN) was a national–conservative, Eurosceptic political group of the European Parliament active between 1999 and 2009.
The European Parliament Election, 1999 was a European election for all 626 members of the European Parliament held across the 15 European Union member states on 10, 11 and 13 June 1999. The voter turn-out was generally low, except in Belgium and Luxembourg, where voting is compulsory and where national elections were held that same day. This was the first election where Austria, Finland and Sweden voted alongside the other member states, having joined in 1995 and voted separately. The next election was held in 2004.
The Civic Democratic Party is a liberal-conservative and eurosceptic political party in the Czech Republic. It holds 25 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and is the second strongest party following the 2017 election.
Elections to the European Parliament were held between 10 and 13 June 2004 in the 25 member states of the European Union, using varying election days according to local custom. The European Parliamental parties could not be voted for, but elected national parties aggregated in European Parliamental parties after the elections.
The European People's Party (EPP) is a European political party with Christian-democratic, conservative, and liberal-conservative member parties. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties. Founded by primarily Christian-democratic parties in 1976, it has since broadened its membership to include liberal-conservative parties and parties with other centre-right political perspectives. On 20 November 2019, the party elected as its president the former Prime Minister of Poland and President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
The CDS – People's Party is a conservative and Christian democratic political party in Portugal. It is characterized as being between the centre-right and right-wing of the political spectrum. In voting ballots, the party's name appears only as the People's Party, with the acronym CDS–PP unchanged.
The European Democratic Party (EDP), also known as the European Democrats, is a centrist European political party in favour of European integration. François Bayrou is the President of the party.
The political groups of the European Parliament are the parliamentary groups of the European Parliament. The European Parliament is unique among supranational assemblies in that its members (MEPs) organise themselves into ideological groups as in traditional national legislatures. The members of other supranational assemblies form national groups. The political groups of the European Parliament are usually the formal representation of a European political party in the Parliament. In other cases, they are political coalitions of a number of European parties, national parties, and independent politicians.
Jan Zahradil is a Czech politician for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) who has been Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since the Czech Republic entered the European Union in 2004. Zahradil also served as Member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) from 1998 to 2004.
The Alliance for an Open Europe is a Eurosceptic and free market transnational political organisation, that includes representatives from political parties and think tanks.
European Democrats may refer to:
The Movement for European Reform, abbreviated to MER, was a pan-European alliance of national centre-right political parties with conservative, pro-free market and Eurosceptic inclinations. It consisted of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom and the Civic Democratic Party of the Czech Republic.
Elections to the European Parliament were held in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) between 4 and 7 June 2009. A total of 736 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were elected to represent some 500 million Europeans, making these the biggest trans-national elections in history. An additional 18 observers were pre-elected.
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for which was held on Thursday 4 June 2009. The election was held concurrently with the 2009 local elections in England. In total, 72 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation.
The 1994 European Parliamentary Election was a European election held across the 12 European Union member states in June 1994.
The Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe was the liberal–centrist political group of the European Parliament from 2004 until 2019. It was made up of MEPs from two European political parties, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and the European Democratic Party, which collectively form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) was a right-wing Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. The group was formed following the 2009 European parliamentary election, mostly composed of elements of the Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM) and Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN) groups that had existed during the 6th European Parliament. The group had a loose relationship with Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (MELD), a European political party founded in 2011.
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is a Eurosceptic, anti-federalist political group of the European Parliament. The ECR is the parliamentary group of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party European political party (formerly known as the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe or Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, but also includes MEPs from four other European parties and thirteen MEPs without European party affiliation.
The European Conservatives and Reformists Party, formerly known as Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) (2009–2016) and Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) (2016–2019), is a conservative Eurosceptic European political party with a main focus on reforming the European Union (EU) on the basis of Eurorealism, as opposed to total rejection of the EU (anti-EU-ism). It currently has twenty-four member parties and three further independent members from twenty-one countries, in addition to seven regional partners worldwide.