Following the European elections on 25 May, the M5S has had talks with European Parliament political groups. For each one, you can see the possible points of contact in their political agenda and the willingness to welcome the 17 M5S MEPs. Contact has been made with the General Secretary or with the Chair of the group (outgoing or newly appointed) as these are representatives of a unified political intention in relation to the member delegations. Statements made by individual MEPs or single delegations have not been considered to be representative, as they do not have the authority to make an agreement that will be respected once the citizens have voted in the online consultation.
The European political groups that have officially shown interest in the Italian delegation of the M5S are “Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD)” and “European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)”. To complete the picture, we can add that the “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)”, the most pro-European and federalist group that already exists in the European Parliament, has also expressed a unitary position, but has said that it considers the M5S’s “Seven points for Europe” to be "completely incompatible with their pro-Europe agenda " and has defined the M5S as being "profoundly anti European" and its programme as being "unrealistic and populist".
On the basis of these consultations, M5S signed up members can today choose the following options:
EFD (Watch Nigel Farage’s video presentation)
In the previous legislature, this is the group that offered the most strenuous opposition to the federalism that is based on austerity and the concentration of power in the hands of the non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels. The EFD is against the euro that has generated poverty and unemployment. UKIP, the largest party in the EFD group, believes in direct democracy and it is a party that is against any form of discrimination, and within its membership there are people of different genders and ethnic groups who have come together to defend freedom and democracy. The party is against the power of the big banks and the multinationals. It’s against excessive bureaucracy, it devotes just 15% of its budget to its administrative structure, and thus frees up many resources for political activity and for communications. It is willing to change the name and to work with the M5S to choose another one. It is guaranteeing sufficient weight to deal with issues where there is a common position, but at the same time, it is offering complete freedom to vote on issues where the political agenda differs from that of the M5S.
ECR (Watch the video presentation)
The group came into being as an expression of the British Conservatives (Tories). It wants to reform the European Union by opposing federalism on the basis of a euro-realism that respects the sovereignty of the Member States. It believes in free enterprise and trade. It believes that the European Union should put an end to waste and excessive bureaucracy. The ECR has a consolidated administrative structure that provides extensive support to political activity. Furthermore, just like the EFD, the ECR offers the M5S complete voting freedom on those issues where there is not a common position.
The M5S deputies can decide not to join any political grouping. In this case they will automatically be seated in the benches of the "Non-Inscrits". Being one of the “Non-Inscrits” means that one has limited influence (or no influence) on legislative activity in the European Parliament. The "Non-Inscrits" cannot hold official positions ( Committee Chair, parliamentary vice-presidencies, etc..), nor can they vote in the main decision-making body of the European Parliament (the Conference of Presidents) and they have no way of ensuring that the topics that are important for the M5S, are at the centre of the legislative agenda in Europe.
Voting takes place between 10.45 am and 7.00 pm (Italian time) today, 12 June 2014. Before voting, have a look at this video. VOTE ONLINE!
PS: If the solution that gets the most votes doesn’t turn out to be practicable, the second favourite will be followed up.