Martin Steven
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The new conservative politics of ECR
in The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)
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Chapter 3 moves on to analyse the core concept of Euro-realism and tries to locate it against the backdrop of the ideologies of other European party families. Is it merely a simple concept based on ‘common sense’, as ECR leaders would suggest, or is there more substance to it? How does it relate to nationalism? And does it intentionally also make allusions to realism in international relations? It is argued in the chapter that Euro-realism is above all else primarily a form of conservatism, and not simply another form of Euroscepticism, as the very limited literature on the party group has thus far claimed. Conservatives have been associated with the cause of European reform for many years, and Euro-realism articulates those activities on the centre-right quite effectively in a new way, and also using vocabulary that is much more at home in English-speaking political systems such as the UK and US. Linked to this, there are also questions marks over the extent to which ECR can really be regarded as a type of ‘honest friend’ for the EU, which is sometimes implied.

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The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)

Politics, parties and policies


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