Photo by Jorgen Hendriksen on Unsplash
The members of the ECR in the European Parliament have decided to accept the application for membership of the Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset) and to admit them to its ranks.
The new delegation will be made up of Teuvo Hakkarainen and Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, who will join the European Parliament in the coming weeks, replacing Laura Huhtasaari, who has moved to the Parliament of Finland following the Finns Party’s national election success.
An ECR source said, “For the Finns Party, this represents a political return to the ECR Group, of which they were already a member in the 2014-2019 parliamentary term.”
ECR Co-Chairman Nicola Procaccini commented:”We are delighted that the Finns Party is with us again. For us, this is a confirmation that our political family is growing and our course, which avoids extremism and maintains a reasonable democratic balance within the Union, is right. We are convinced that the Finns will make a very decisive contribution to the work of our group and to our wider movement.”
Further comment came from ECR Co-Chair Prof Ryszard Legutko who told this site, “We are pleased that the Finns Party shares our alternative vision of the future of Europe and wants to work with us to reform the EU as a community of homelands and nations working together with respect for our different identities and distinctiveness. It provides a good outlook for the future.”
Following the decision, Ms Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner thanked the Group and said, “We signed the Prague Declaration and believe that, at a time when Europe is experiencing the most difficult period in its post-World War II history, a conservative, constructive path is the one best suited to the challenges our continent is facing.”
Her colleague, MEP Teuvo Hakkarainen, added, “We are delighted with the warm welcome we have received at the ECR and are convinced that we are well-positioned in the ECR Group, also against the backdrop of the upcoming European elections.”
The ECR Group will grow to 66 MEPs when the change in membership is officially announced at the next plenary session.
The ECR is a centre-right, conservative group in the European Parliament.