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N-VA remains in the ECR group in the European Parliament
On Tuesday evening, the party council of the N-VA, the party’s highest political body, reached a decision regarding which European group the party will join during this legislative term. The members of the party council voted to continue to remain in the, the European Conservatives and Reformists group, of which the N-VA was also a member during the previous legislature.
Freedom of vote and communication
“The ECR is a very diverse group that explicitly guarantees its members the greatest possible freedom: freedom of vote and communication. As a result, we as the N-VA can continue to steer our own course and promote our own political positions,” the party says. “Moreover, the N-VA broadly supports the ECR baseline, with emphases such as, strengthening and deepening the internal market, effective and controlled migration, transparency of the EU institutions, preservation of the transatlantic defence links and a clear position between that of the blind Europhile and that of the most Eurosceptic groups.”
The N-VA will consequently also get a seat on its preferred committees: Geert Bourgeois will sit on the Committee on International Trade, not unimportant for Flanders as an export country and with a view to the upcoming Brexit. Assita Kanko will have a seat on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Finally, Johan Van Overveldt will get a seat on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
Assita Kanko to be Vice-President
Not without significance is also the fact that Assita Kanko will become the vice-president of the ECR. In this way she can directly monitor the lines of the group.
The political groups are an important factor in the European Parliament. A recognised group - with at least 25 MPs from at least 8 EU Member States - is guaranteed seats in committees and rapporteurships. MPs in the group also get more speaking time in Parliament. European groups are not as centralised and ideologically coherent as in the national parliaments. Choosing a group is therefore much more of a political-technical decision.