Friday, September 23, 2016

Europe: Likud becomes member of the 3rd largest political group in the European Parliament

From the European Jewish Press:
The Likud party, headed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, became a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR), a conservative and euroskeptic European political grouping with 22 member parties and four independent members across 20 countries, including the ruling British Conservative party. [...] 

The Likud joins other regional members from outside Europe, including the American Republican Party, Australia’s Libéral Party and Canada’s Conservative Party.

The AECR was founded on October 1, 2009 and officially recognized by the European Parliament in January, 2010. It is the third-largest group in the European Parliament and the fastest growing, bringing together 75 European Parliament members.

“The agreement is historic, because it is the first time that an Israeli Center-Right party has been accepted as a regional partner of a European party,” Elie Hazan, Likud’s Foreign Affairs Director , said. “It’s even more significant because the signing happened when Israel is fighting for its international image. There’s no doubt that this is further damage to the boycott Israel movement.” 

The bond will enable the Likud to participate in AECR party meetings and actively influence decisions connected to Israel. Hazan invited all 76 AECR parliament members for a formal visit to Israel hosted by the Likud.

he AECR’s president is Czech member of the European Parliament Jan Zahradil, and its secretary-general is British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Likud tried unsuccessfully in the past to join the European People’s Party, the largest in the European Parliament, but was turned down because the EPP preferred to sign a deal with Kadima under Tzipi Livni. Since then, EPP members have supported requiring labels on Israeli products from over the Green Line while AECR members oppose the move.

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