Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The New European Parliament - ALDE

by nanne Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 11:46:25 AM EST


The ALDE Logo
The new European Parliament will hold its inaugural session this July 15th. There is some interest in finding out what the parties look like on the inside. As a first step, let's take a look at ALDE.

With 83 seats, ALDE is the third largest group in the Parliament. The group is made up out of two parties: the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) and the European Democratic Party (EDP). Most ALDE MEPs belong to the ELDR, but some in the new Parliament including MoDem, Marian Harkin and the Lithuanian Labour Party belong to the EDP, which will probably continue to exist.

As you may remember, European Parties are all but united on their socioeconomic policies and their stance with regard to EU integration. There is some group likeness, but grouping is often more due to the historical lineage of parties than their agreement on current political issues.

For aid in finding out how sane the current ALDE is, we have the EU Profiler (also see An Electoral Compass for the European Elections). It neatly divides all European parties into 4 political quadrants (for and against the EU, and socioeconomic left and right).

See below the fold... afew

Below is the picture for me, again. The yolkish yellow are the ALDE parties. There are quite a few in the sane top upper-left quadrant, if all are to my right socioeconomically.

Me in the landscape of EU parties yielded by the EU Profiler

Now, what does this look like in terms of seats?

As none of the ALDE parties are really anti-European, I'll sub-divide the upper quadrants horizontally to give a rough division of the parties. This results in two classifications: federalist and non-federalist liberals, and right- and left-liberals.

Federalist Left-liberals (top upper left quadrant):

  • Mouvement Réformateur (BE): 2 seats
  • Mouvement Démocrate (FR): 6 seats
  • Marian Harkin (IE): 1 seat (*my estimation based on 5 seconds of research)
  • Italia dei Valori (IT): 7 seats (*straddles into top upper right)
  • Democratic Party (LU): 1 seat
  • Democraten 66 (NL): 3 seats
  • Zares (SI): 1 seat
  • Coalición por Europa (SP): 2 seats (*by approximation from CiU and PNV)
  • Liberal Democrats (UK): 11 seats

Total: 34 seats.

Left-liberals (lower upper left quadrant)

  • Estonian Centre Party (EE): 2 seats
  • Estonian Reform Party (EE): 1 seat
  • Swedish People's Party (FI): 1 seat
  • Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (SI): 1 seat

Total: 5 seats.

Federalist Right-liberals (top upper right quadrant)

  • Open VLD (BE): 3 seats
  • National Movement for Stability and Progress (BG): 2 seats
  • Movement for Rights and Freedoms (BG): 3 seats
  • Venstre (DK): 3 seats
  • Freie Demokratische Partei (DE) 12 seats
  • Labour Party (LT): 1 seat
  • Liberal People's Party (SE): 3 seats
  • Centre Party (SE): 1 seat

Total: 28 seats.

Right-liberals (lower upper right quadrant)

  • Centre Party (FI): 3 seats
  • Fianna Fáil (IE): 3 seats
  • Latvia First / Latvian Way Party (LV): 1 seat
  • Liberals' Movement (LT): 1 seat
  • Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (NL): 3 seats
  • National Liberal Party (RO): 5 seats

Total: 16 seats.

On balance, the new ALDE party is clearly pro-European and slightly right-of-centre on socioeconomic issues. Of course, you have to keep in mind where the 'centre' is these days (on the right). Moreover, 'socioeconomic' is a term that clearly designates two related but often separated political arenas, and the liberals are traditionally on the left on culturally social issues but on the right on economic issues.

So we can expect something of them in terms of social rights and privacy, and it may be possible to successfully put pressure on ALDE in that regard. We can expect rather less in terms of economic equality, labour standards, and nothing at all in terms of the trade agenda.

Part of the idea is that those who know their national parties shout "but these guys are insane!"

If that is the case.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 02:47:28 PM EST
Coalición por Europa (SP): 2 seats (*by approximation from CiU and PNV)

CiU is itself a coalition. The main party, Convergencia, caucuses with ALDE. They replaced a well-respected MEP, Ignasi Guardans (see my diary Airports and Secret Legislation) because he wasn't nationalist enough, with Ramon Tremosa, an economist.

PNV is Christian Democrat and Basque Nationalist. The PP blocked their bid to join the EPP so they joined Bayrou's the European Democratic Party and they caucus with ALDE as well.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 05:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good work, nanne, that's a really helpful breakdown.

I don't know if the MoDem is crazy, but François Bayrou is. He has compared his disastrous attack on Cohn-Bendit (rarely have a politician's tactics been so swiftly and thoroughly disallowed by the electorate) to Zidane's headbutt in the World Cup final against Italy. <sigh>

But the MoDem is OK re Europe.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 04:33:28 PM EST
did somebody explained to him that Zidane had to cease his careeer after this brilliant move?
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:22:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bayrou appears to make the comparison to express regret.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:37:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what Cohn-Bendit said about Bayrou's sister.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 06:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My score on the profiler was in the middle of the upper left quadrant.  Closest match in the UK was the Liberal Democrats, in Europe was Sweden's Piratpartiet.  Other close matches were the French Greens, German SPD, and Dutch GreenLeft parties.

Interestingly, the British Labour party was shown as further to the 'socioeconomic right' than the Conservatives.

by tyronen on Tue Jun 9th, 2009 at 04:55:08 PM EST
In The U.K. I am an almost perfect sub-set of the Green Party.  I would be closer to the top of that compass were I less cautious about EU integration, which I favor, but about which I have concerns as to how it is done.  In Germany and Luxembourg it would be Die Linke and in Spain it would be Izgierda Unida.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 12:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be curious to hear your concerns about how EU integration is done - it would be a useful outside perspective.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 08:12:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting party profile quiz.  I ended up in the upper left quadrant, further to the left than most, and a little less pro-EU (about in the middle of the upper left quadrant) than most lefties.  Which was surprising.

The closest match I got was Piratpartiet (87%).  Aaarrgh, I'm going to join the Pirate Party!

Although, just scrolling through the parties of each country and looking at the visuals, I appeared closest to the Bloque Nacionalista Galego.  

WooHoo!  I'm a Galician pirate!  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 12:43:00 PM EST
So something like this then:

Carolina Eade's portrait of the galician pirate Benito Soto Aboal.

Now that's some politics!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 04:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, exactly!

None of you would ever believe me if I told you this makes more sense than you'd ever guess...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An excellent diary, and I would love to read more of them, but I cringe a bit when I read "anti-European" and "pro-European". It is a rethoric that uses basically empty terms to point at constitutional policy positions, building the terms up is setting them up - in the long term - to be used for labeling resistance to any policy proposal as "anti-European".

To see an example, replace European with American.

I would much prefer say "federalist/anti-federalist" or "centralist/decentralist" as those terms actually says something on the constitutional policy positions.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:06:01 PM EST
Or, as in the graph, pro/anti EU integration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 05:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, noted for the future.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Jun 12th, 2009 at 07:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]