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.”

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  • JD

    No real surprise here. The PDs will be officially disbanded within the next couple of weeks. This move has been expected for quite some time.

    Fianna Fail certainally embraced liberal economics, but social liberalism would not sit well with them. Their MEPs blocked a similar move a few weeks ago.

    So the Alliance Party’s sister party in the South is now Fianna Fail….

  • JD

    “a few weeks ago” should read “a few years ago”

    Should use the review facility on the site

  • Mark McGregor

    Also should be noted that their current rag-bag group has very little chance of meeting the new criteria for group formation the other side of the election.

  • ^^^Hopefully that turns out to be the case. Though it has to be said that these people are nowhere near as bad as Sinn Féin’s [url=http://www.guengl.org/showPage.jsp?ID=640]commie friends[/url].

  • Mark McGregor

    A group from June 2009 with need 25 members from seven nations not 20 members from six nations.

    FF’s UEN group only has MEP’s from six nations and is unlikely to gain additional national affiliation.

  • bob Wilson

    Bet ya a fiver they dont join this group in the end ….

  • Dave

    “They must make sure that the Parliament works well and stands against the radical Eurosceptic agenda.”

    Well, the leader of the ALDE group in the EP, Graham Watson, also beleives that democratic debate about the merits of being colonised by the EU should not be tolerated in a ‘democratic’ society (just like the outcome of a referendum) and that Europhiles should seek to “stymie” open debate, so Biffo and his band of hapless gombeens should feel right at home among this bunch of self-serving careerist hacks:

    Watson said that one of the challenges facing parliament in the upcoming European elections was to “stymie” critics of the institution and the EU and “send the likes of Declan Ganley back to the political hinterland from whence they came.”