Is the end of the ECR Group nigh (again)? - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Is the end of the ECR Group nigh (again)?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Ever since its creation, the European Conservative and Reformist (ECR) Group has had to fight off speculation that it is to disband; and again today, according to theparliament, 11 MEP members of the ECR Group are set to leave and join the EFD Group in the Parliament, which is home to the UKIP MEPs headed up by the ever-charismatic Nigel Farage.

The 11 MEPs in question are the Polish members that belong to the Law and Justice Party – the same party that the Polish ECR group leader himself Michał Kaminski quit last month saying it was becoming too extreme (three other MEPs have since followed suit).

Besides being a further embarrassing development for David Cameron and his Conservative MEPs who formed the ECR Group, what would happen if this report is true and these Polish MEPs leave?

Well, according to Rule 30.2 of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure, a political grouping in the chamber requires a minimum of 25 MEPs from seven different member states in order to exist. If the Polish contingent leaves, only six member states would be still represented by the remaining members in the grouping: those being the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the UK. So while the group will still have 39 members, they would no longer be considered a group by the Parliament.

If the story is untrue, as affirmed by the ECR group this evening, and the Polish MEPs remain then the grouping would survive… for now. But surely it’s simply a matter of time before Mr Cameron is forced to admit he was wrong to move his MEPs out of the majority EPP grouping to form a new group on the sidelines?

The ECR saga continues…

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