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Pro-family and anti-immigration: Who are Brian Crowley's new mates?

They’re Brian Crowley’s new European bedfellows, but what do they stand for?

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE DECISION OF Fianna Fáil’s only MEP Brian Crowley to leave the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) has made headlines in the last 24 hours.

The unilateral decision has been called “unacceptable” by his party and his new choice of European bedfellows has raised eyebrows in Ireland.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) is the European Parliament’s third-largest grouping and is led by the UK’s Conservative Party.

Ostensibly, the grouping is a pro-business, small government and for “controlled immigration”.

And, while some of the parties adhere to that, most are right-wing, populist Euro-sceptics.

But what do they stand for?

Immigration

All of the parties favour some form of immigration controls, from tighter quotas, limits of European movement and requirements for workers

Some, however are far more hardline on the issue. This includes the Danish People’s Party, who say that they “do not accept a multi-ethnic transformation of the country“.

The Independent Greeks follow this line, being opposed to immigration and multi-culturalism.

The most hardline party on the issue is the Finns Party. One of their top MPs, Jussi Halla-aho has been convicted of ethnic agitation and many of their politicians have used racist slurs in public.

51% of their supporters believe that “some of the breeds of people simply are not fit to live in a modern society.

The Dutch Christian Union Party, however, favours a more open policy to asylum seekers.

Social Issues

With most of the parties on the right, it is no surprise that they are mostly anti abortion, anti-euthanasia and pro nuclear families.

The Finns Party believe in national pride, ending subsidies for arts and are against Sharia Law, despite only 1% of Finland being Muslim.

The Alternative for Germany wants to abolish the Euro and introduce direct democracy.

The Danish People’s Party supports stricter punishments for rape, reckless driving and animal cruelty.

Latvia’s For Fatherland and Freedom party attend Waffen-SS commemorations every year and the Dutch Christian Union wants to phase out abortion and euthanasia, close businesses on a Sunday and fight the country’s acceptance of soft drugs.

The Dutch Reformed Political Party believes that men and women have “separate places in society”, opposes freedom of religion and did not allow women join until 2006.

Gay Rights

The joint-largest party in the group is the Law and Justice Party from Poland. One of their MPs said last year that homosexuals are “socially useless”.

“The society cannot offer a sweet life to unstable, infertile relationships of people, from whom the society gets no benefit, only because of their sexual bonds.”

While the party held the mayorship of Warsaw, they refused permission for a gay pride parade, saying it would be “obscene and offensive to people’s beliefs”.

The Finns Party are also anti same-sex marriage. One of their MPs boycotted a Finnish Independence Day party because gay rights groups were invited.

“If I become the president, f****ts will not dance in the palace.”

While the Dutch Christian Union is not specifically anti same-sex marriage, they want civil servants to be allowed refuse to perform the ceremonies. Their Reformed Political Party counterparts, however, believe the Dutch laws that grant freedom for gay couples to marry will “create a world without foundations … where the historical understanding of marriage is torn from its roots.”

In the UK, the Conservative Party introduced same-sex marriage to England and Wales this year.

Read: Fianna Fáil says Brian Cowley’s move to Eurosceptic group is ‘unacceptable’

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