The ECR Group was formed in 2009 with a common cause to reform the EU on the basis of eurorealism, respecting the sovereignty of our nations and focusing on economic recovery, growth and competitiveness. In 2014 the ECR Group became the third largest group in the European Parliament.
The ECR's beginnings: Movement for European Reform
The leaders of the British Conservative Party, David Cameron, and the Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek formed the Movement for European Reform (MER) promoting the idea of an open, flexible and non-federalist Europe.
They were soon joined by Poland’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) and announced their intention to establish a new political group in the European Parliament after the European elections in 2009.
The Group's Formation
Following the European elections in June 2009, the ECR Group was formed in the European Parliament with 54 MEPs from 8 countries. Its founding document the Prague declaration was signed setting out euro-realistic policies, including opposition to a federal EU and further EU centralisation.
ACRE and New Direction
In October 2009, the “Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists” was established to bring together national parties supportive of the ECR Group. Its political foundation – “New Direction – Foundation for European Reform” – was launched at the same time.
Two Prime Ministers
In May 2010 David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, became Prime Minister and a month later in the Czech Republic Petr Nečas, Leader of the Civic Democratic Party, became Prime Minister, giving the ECR family two Prime Ministers within the European Council at that time.
2014 European Parliamentary Elections
The European elections showed a growing desire for an alternative future for the EU and the ECR Group became the third largest group in the European Parliament with 70 MEPs from 15 different member states. British Conservative MEP Syed Kamall became the Chairman.