Opinion: We the people, to form a more perfect union…

The creation of the Conservatives’ new right-wing group in the European Parliament is welcome as a source of more media attention to the Parliament. The Group is promoting its “Prague Manifesto” as a statement of its conservative guiding principles.

The European Liberal Democrats – currently numbering, across the 27 EU states, four prime ministers, nine EU commissioners, 64 Ministers in 20 governments, 75 MEPs, and the Sec-Gen of NATO – made our own Stuttgart Declaration in 1976. The full declaration is 850 words. The main headings are:

1. The supreme task of the European Union must be to guarantee human, civil and political rights on the European level.

2. The European Union needs a free democratic constitution based on the principles of division of powers, majority voting and protection of minorities.

3. The European Union must assure steady and balanced economic growth, thus creating for its citizens the conditions for effective social protection in the vissicitudes of life. This can no longer be done at national level.

4. The European Union needs a common foreign policy covering both the external relations of the European Community and the European Political Cooperation and designed to serve the freedom and security of Europe and peace in the world, side by side with our partners in the Atlantic Alliance, notably the United States, and in the United Nations.

5. The European Union must be founded on the common conviction that the freedom of the individual, equal opportunities for all and the free competition of ideas and parties are indispensable elements of a democratic society.

These remain the guiding principles of the European Liberal Democrats today. Will the Conservatives’ Prague Manifesto last 33 years?

Antony Hook is a member of the Council of the European Liberal Democrats (ELDR).

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and Op-eds.


  • Hope it’s not in the order of importance.

  • I read that and my eyebrows shot up so far it hurt.

    I would like to bet a very large sum of money that UK elections to the EP are not fought by transnational groups at either of the next two elections.

  • Malcolm Todd 25th Jun '09 - 12:16am

    I’m with Jon’s eyebrows. ‘European-wide party entities’ are a fantasy, and European-wide news channels won’t do anything to change that.

  • Hmm, so what happens when some bright sparks register themselves as EPP and stand in UK Euro constituencies?

  • Europhile-EUphobe 27th Jun '09 - 8:02pm

    I wonder if we should be so proud of our EU declaration when it is clear that the EU bureaucracy is still moving steadily away from each of points 1-5 with every moment that passes.

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