Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 18:10 UK

Groups in the European Parliament

The political groups in the European Parliament are mostly broad coalitions. Most MEPs sit in three blocs - centre-right, centre-left and liberal. But there are also smaller groups, such as greens, anti-federalists and the hard left.



Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 41

This parliamentary group is a union of two smaller organisations, the European United Left and the Nordic Green Left.

Some members belong to their national communist parties.

The bloc says it is "firmly committed to European integration, although in a different form from the existing model".

It emphasises the need to tackle unemployment, ensure social justice and develop solidarity among EU member states.

It calls for a Europe "without the democratic deficit" and "free from neo-liberal monetarist policies".


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 216

This is the group for Europe's Socialist and Social Democrat parties, including the British Labour Party. The biggest national delegations are from France, Spain and Germany.

The political groups, explained with cake

It is united in supporting the Lisbon Treaty.

The PES describes its priorities as: "safeguarding employment and living standards against the recession, tackling climate change, promoting social justice, security and fairness".

It wants a European Pact for decent minimum wages across the EU.

Many PES members accuse European conservatives of contributing to the recession by placing too much faith in the free market and allowing light-touch regulation.


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 43

This group brings together Greens on the one hand, and "regionalists" on the other - "representatives of stateless nations" from Scotland, Wales, the Basque region, Romania and Latvia.

In 2004 Greens/EFA was the first bloc to run a common campaign in all EU member states, with common logos, posters and pan-European meetings. They repeated that approach in 2009.

It is campaigning for better environmental protection, decentralisation of democracy and gender equality in the workplace.

Greens/EFA often adopts federalist positions, though British and Swedish Greens tend to be more wary about European integration than their colleagues.


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 100

The ALDE favours further deepening and enlargement of the EU, and what its leader, Graham Watson, calls "finding supra-national answers" to pan-European challenges.

The liberals want the European single market to function better, with more freedom of movement for workers and more competition in areas such as energy, postal services and financial services.

The main pan-European party in the ALDE is the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR). Its manifesto puts the defence of civil liberties top of the agenda.

After the election, Ireland's governing Fianna Fail party will move from the nationalist UEN group to the ALDE. The party will have ALDE support for its "Yes" campaign ahead of fresh Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, expected in October.


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 288

The group is dominated by Europe's Christian Democratic parties - the leading force of the EPP - but also includes the more eurosceptic European Democrats (14% of the total) headed by Britain's Tories.

However, Conservative leader David Cameron plans to take his MEPs out of the EPP-ED after the election.

The EPP wants closer economic integration in Europe, as well as common immigration, defence and foreign policies. It was opposed to the UK having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty - something the Conservatives campaigned for.

Its programme calls for protection of family values, far-reaching EU budget reform and a firm transatlantic partnership.

The four biggest national delegations in the EPP-ED are German, British, Spanish and Italian. While the bloc may lose British MEPs after the election it may gain more Italians.


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 44

The group's members are stalwart believers in national sovereignty and opponents of European integration.

The biggest delegations come from Poland (the conservative Law and Justice Party) and Italy (the National Alliance and far-right Northern League).

The UEN charter says the EU "can only be built and prosper if tradition, sovereignty, democracy and the identity of European peoples are respected".

There was no common UEN campaign in this election - the parties tend to put national issues first.

The UEN's future is uncertain. Ireland's Fianna Fail, Italy's National Alliance and Poland's Law and Justice, all seem likely to leave after the election.


Members in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 22

IND/DEM says it "incorporates EU-critics, eurosceptics and eurorealists". It is led by Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Some members of the group, notably UKIP, advocate the complete withdrawal of their country from the EU.

IND/DEM argues that nations have the right to protect their own traditions and values, free of any European "superstate".

It rejects the Lisbon Treaty.


Number in outgoing (785-seat) parliament: 30

Non-attached MEPs include French National Front veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has been an MEP since 1984, and his daughter Marine Le Pen, vice-president of the National Front.

The ranks of MEPs belonging to no group swelled when the far-right Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty (ITS) bloc disbanded in November 2007, after a row between its Italian and Romanian members over race.

To form a political group in the parliament - and to claim the funding and committee posts that go with that status - it is necessary to have 25 members from at least seven of the 27 member states.

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MEP Seats

  Votes MEPs
Party % +/- % Total +/-
EPP 33.4 -1.4 264 -18
Socialists 23.2 -4.1 183 -26
Liberal 11.0 +1.6 84 +5
Green 7.4 +1.3 50 +9
Left 5.3 -0.6 34 -2
UEN 3.4 +1.6 28 +2
Ind/Dem 2.7 -1.8 21 -15
No Group 13.6 +3.4 72 +3.4
0 of 27 countries declared.

UK Total MEP Seats

Party Votes MEPs
% +/- % Total +/-
CON 27.7 1.0 *26 1
UKIP 16.5 0.3 13 1
LAB 15.7 -6.9 13 -5
LD 13.7 -1.2 11 1
GRN 8.6 2.4 2 0
BNP 6.2 1.3 2 2
SNP 2.1 0.7 2 0
PC 0.8 -0.1 1 0
OTH 8.5 2.4 0 0
SF 1 0
DUP 1 0
72 of 72 seats declared. Vote share figures exclude Northern Ireland as it has a separate electoral system to the rest of the UK
* Includes UCUNF MEP elected in Northern Ireland
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