By Lea Pachta

The Conservatives have formed a new grouping in the European Parliament, which is likely to become the fourth largest.

All of the parties in the new grouping have signed a declaration, which argues for reform and a non-federalist future for the EU.

Mark Francois, the Shadow Minister for Europe, said:

“We are very excited about this important new development in European politics. Our European Conservatives and Reformists Group, which already has fifty-five MEPs, will make a strong case for a centre/centre-right but non-federalist future for the EU.”

And he added, “We already have participants from eight countries but talks are still continuing and we believe that more will be attracted to join our ranks in the near future.”

The parties, from across the EU, which now comprise the core of the European Conservatives and Reformist Group, are:

•Czech Republic: Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with 9 MEPs
•Poland: Law & Justice (PiS) with 15 MEPs
•United Kingdom: The Conservative Party, with 26 MEPs in the New Group.
•Belgium: Lijst Dedecker (LDD), with 1 MEP in the New Group
•Finland: The Centre Party (Keskusta) sits in the Liberal (ALDE) group but one of its MEPs is now joining the New Group.
•Hungary: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with 1 MEP
•Latvia: Latvian National Independence Movement (TB/LNNK) with 1 MEP
•The Netherlands: ChristianUnion (ChristenUnie) with 1 MEP