SaS MEP Sulík left liberals for conservatives in the EP

Chairman of the Slovak opposition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and MEP Richard Sulík has left the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and joined the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) faction.

Chairman of the Slovak opposition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and MEP Richard Sulík has left the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and joined the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) faction.

Sulík said, however, as quoted by the Sme daily on October 2, that liberals in the European Parliament are rather closer to socialists in terms of their economic and political views. In this faction, he felt left alone with his views, according to Sme.

“I discovered that they promote the federalist concept of the EU,” Sulík told the TASR newswire. “From the Slovak point of view, they represent the most eager Euro-optimists. In this faction, I found myself alone with my views, as in all important votes I voted in accordance with my convictions – and at odds with the faction’s recommendations.“

Sulík cites two reasons that guided him to join ECR, which does not belong to either the People’s Party (right wing) or Socialist bloc in the EP. “From the whole European Parliament, I share most political views with German Alternative für Deutschland, whose programme and representatives I’m familiar with,” he explained. “Their membership in the faction was a decisive factor for me. Another, not insignificant, advantage was that I’ve received a much larger room to express my opinions freely, under the personal guarantee given by leaders of the faction.”

Sulík added for TASR that he might not concur with all ECR members on issues of individual freedoms, yet will find common ground with all of them on what kind of powers the EU should enjoy and what agenda should member states address. The SaS chair was also entertaining the personal offer from British Euro-sceptic Nigel Farage to join the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) faction.

“Although I find many of Farage’s statements appealing and have never concealed this fact, I do believe that politics of this faction go beyond what I perceive as acceptable in terms of the EU’s future,” Sulík said. “I stressed in my election campaign that the goal of SaS will never be the breakup of the EU, only its streamlining, de-socialisation and the stripping away of powers that belong to national states.”

(Source: Sme, TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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