Fianna Fáil to join European Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party

For the first time Fianna Fáil are to join a pan-European party – the European Liberal, Democratic and Reform Party – and may affiliate to the ALDE Group within the European Parliament. The announcement proposal was made by Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the Official Opening of 72nd Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis. Full text here.

“This is a time when parties who support Europe from all parts of the Union must work more closely together. They must make sure that the Parliament works well and stands against the radical Eurosceptic agenda.

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.”