The Euro-critical EU Democrats (EUD) could form a new European Parliament group with anti-Lisbon Treaty platform Libertas after the June elections, EUD President Sören Wibe told EURACTIV in an interview.
This surprising revelation comes after Wibe’s national party Junilistan (the June List) rejected Libertas’ “aggressive” advances in Sweden earlier this year to merge the two parties for the European elections. Wibe claims that under the terms of this offer, “if we changed our name to Junilistan-Libertas and ran some candidates under the Libertas banner […] they [Libertas] could provide us with one million euros”.
Despite this rejection, Wibe, who is Junilistan’s leader and top candidate for the June elections, said that some form of cooperation may be possible after the election results are known, depending on what specific policy programme Libertas outlined in the coming weeks.
Such a group would comprise different factions, Wibe said, something that is quite common among European Parliament groups. However, he also acknowledged that he currently finds some of Libertas’ ideas questionable. “He [Libertas leader Declan Ganley] said, for example, that they want an elected EU president. That is what we are against!”
He argued that Ganley “treats politics like a business, as if a political party is a commodity which you can sell with the same method in every country. My personal view is that he’s a rather naïve politican”.
The EUD president believes his group has a good chance of gaining seats in Sweden, Denmark and Ireland, as well as potential seats in France, Slovenia and Italy. In total, the EUD hopes to increase its size from six MEPs to 10.
In policy terms, the EUD wants to devolve power from the EU back to national parliaments, limiting cooperation within the Union to a few areas. “‘Yes’ to Europe, ‘no’ to an EU state” is Wibe’s message.
As for the European Parliament, of which he was a member between 1995 and 1999, Wibe says he would call for returning the assembly to what it was in the 1960s and 1970s. “I wouldn’t mind if it was unelected, then you’d have an assembly that met a couple of months a year and took on some resolutions,” he argued.
He also believes the introduction of the euro has worsened the economic crisis, because it fixes the exchange rates of eurozone countries.
As regards the elections, Wibe does not believe voters will turn out in particularly larger numbers to either back mainstream or non-mainstream parties. “In fact,” he argues, “I think we will have a lower participation rate yet again, particularly in the Western countries”.