Vox announced this afternoon that yesterday it presented its formal request to join the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists (CRE), together with the Poles of Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS).
A group that brings together liberal-conservative parties from 19 countries
The ECR, founded ten years ago, groups liberal-conservative parties from 19 countries and currently has as a main partner the already mentioned PiS with 14 seats (it is the ruling party in Poland). The British Conservative Party was until this year the majority partner with 18 seats, but in the last European elections lost 14 of them (in addition, the remaining 4 could be left out of the European Parliament shortly because of Brexit). Among the oldest parties in the group is the Irish Fianna Fáil, founded in 1928 and which has been in most of the governments of the Republic of Ireland. It is very possible that Fidesz, the party of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is also joining the ECR in this term; until now it had been part of the European People's Party, from which he has been increasingly and more distant. Vox maintains good relations with the Polish PiS, as was demonstrated in the recent trip of Santiago Abascal, the president of Vox to Warsaw last March. Relations with Orbán's Hungary are also good: a few days ago the Vox MEP Hermann Tertsch was awarded the Hungarian Gold Medal of Merit by the Hungarian ambassador in Spain, Enikö Györi.
In defense of freedom and of the family in front of the left
Vox has published a statement on its website stating that "the parties integrated in the ECR will promote the reform of community norms and institutions to curb the federalist aspirations of other leftist groups, increase the democratic and transparent life of the European Union and demand the respect and promotion of the most basic individual and family freedoms and that are threatened in Europe by the social-democratic consensus." Likewise, Vox has indicated that "it will initiate the defense of its convictions in Brussels accompanied by broad-spectrum parties characterized by the defense of the constitutional order and the sovereignty of the Member States in the face of the intrusions of the community institutions, so often abusive and questionable."
The ECR accepts a condition that could lead to the expulsion of Flemish nationalists
The main obstacle to the integration of Vox in the ECR was the belonging to that group of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), a nationalist party related to Catalan separatism, which currently has 4 MEPs. Vox has indicated that "has decided to join this European alliance after having consolidated the commitment of the ECR group that the parties that comprise it, without exception, will not interfere in the constitutional order, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the member states." Vox pointed out that the co-chair of the ECR group, Ryszard Legutko, has sent a letter to the VOX delegation in the European Parliament making clear "respect for the constitutional, democratic and sovereign integrity and independence of the member states" as fundamental value of the group, noting that "they do not participate or promote, under the umbrella of the group, activities that question the internal policy, the Constitution, or the sovereign integrity of another member state." In this way, Vox could demand the expulsion of the N-VA if it interfered in Spanish politics, for example, by supporting Catalan separatism.
Vox will act autonomously in defense of Spain and the Christian identity of Europe
In his statement, Vox has also indicated "what is going to be an essential point of his activity in Europe: defending the unity, security and dignity of our Homeland and fighting all those who, directly or indirectly, intend to attack or belittle our constitutional order and the unity and sovereignty of Spain, guarantees of our freedoms and our way of life." Likewise, Vox indicates that the ECR "has also committed to respecting VOX voting autonomy in those matters central to our proposal: Spain, the defense of our rural world and cultural traditions or the promotion of the Christian identity of Europe."
Personally, I think that the integration in the ECR is the best choice that Vox could have made, within the options available in the European Parliament. Going free would have reduced Vox's ability to influence. I hope that this serves to consolidate Vox's ties with Poland and Hungary, whose governments, with their pluses and minuses, are setting a worthy counterpoint to the elites of Brussels, especially with regard to the defense of Christian roots of Europe and the sovereignty of the Nations that are part of the Union.
Photo: Vox. An image of the meeting that the leaders of Vox kept in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland last March.
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