Tea Party Goes Global: International Libertarians

July 31, 2012 04:48

Freedom is a universal yearning. On July 25th, 2012, nearly 30 Tea Party activists from countries like Serbia, Japan, Israel, Nigeria and Georgia are among the thousands gathering in Dallas this week as a part of FreedomWorks’ “International Freedom Project,” aimed at connecting various conservative and freedom movements from every corner of the world.

Last year we wrote of the “Tea Party” in Europe:


Teaparty caucus in Europe?


The love of freedom knows no boundaries. They are not all “European style socialists” in Europe.

By Michael Whipple, Editor usACTIONnews.com

At the recent American Conservatives Union event in Orlando, Florida I met the head of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), Jan Zahradil, MEP who had traveled there to see what American conservatives are doing.

The love of freedom knows no boundaries. They are not all “European style socialists” in Europe.

Jan Zahradil, MEP

With a statement of principles that includes “Free enterprise, free and fair trade and competition, minimal regulation, lower taxation, and small government as the ultimate catalysts for individual freedom and personal and national prosperity” they could pass for the Teaparty in the US.

Maybe that is why Mr. Zahradil seemed enthused with Herman Cain’s “direct approach” and Michele Bachmann’s “don’t settle for a moderate” speeches at CPAC FL. He prophetically chose Herman Cain as his top choice the day before the Florida straw poll was announced.

Other stated principles that seem to fit with the Teaparty include:

Freedom of the individual, more personal responsibility and greater Democratic accountability.

Sustainable, clean energy supply with an emphasis on energy security.

The importance of family as the bedrock of society.

The sovereign integrity of the nation state, opposition to EU federalism and a renewed respect for true subsidiarity.

The overriding value of the transatlantic security relationship in a revitalized NATO, and support for young democracies across Europe.

Effectively controlled immigration and an end to abuse of asylum procedures.

An end to waste and excessive bureaucracy and a commitment to greater transparency and probity in the EU institutions and use of EU funds.

Respect and equitable treatment for all EU countries, new and old, large and small.

The ECR has fifty-six members from nine countries in the European Parliament which is made up of about eight hundred representatives from 27 countries. It makes you wonder what the other seven hundred plus members have against these principles. The number of MEPs for each country is roughly in proportion to its population. Under the Lisbon Treaty no country can have fewer than 6 or more than 96 MEPs. The EU has 23 official languages which include Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

As the MEP from the Czech Republic Zahradil commutes to ECR offices in Brussels, Belgium from his home in Prague, Czech Republic. One way is a one hour flight so he goes home on weekends like many of his American counterparts.

Zahradil said “We do not think that a “united states of Europe would ever work.” He pointed out that the most ardent supporters of a federalist Euro-nation were from the left: “socialists, green, left wing liberals – all these people are profoundly defending the idea of a super-national federation of Europe.”

Zahradil is also head of the closely related Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists which is a “transnational alliance of like minded political parties from all over Europe promoting free market growth.” The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) aims to spread conservative values in Europe and campaigns for radical reform of the European Union.

Daniel Hannan, British MEP and Secretary General of AECR has a large conservative following in the US due to some of his EU speeches being posted on Youtube. (see them here)

From the AECR web site:

Seven political parties from different EU member states have signed the Prague Declaration of Principles. To realise the goals set out in this declaration, the parties have outlined common strategies and have laid the foundations for a new Euro-realist Political Group in the European Parliament.

The European Parliament—for the very first time in its history—now has an Official Opposition: the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

The AECR was recognised as a political formation under Article 191 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) by the European Parliament in January 2010. It acts as the pan-European umbrella for this new opposition movement consisting of the following eleven national member parties:

In recent speeches at the EU Parliament Zahradil espoused conservative principles in facing the further centralization of power in the EU.

“National governments all have a duty to reduce debt, restructure public spending and embark on fiscal reforms. It is right that we take steps to restore financial discipline.

“So what is wrong? Unfortunately, behind all this is a hidden agenda. It is an attempt to use this crisis to further shift powers.”


“We simply can not live forever under a 50-year-old federalist vision of European integration. The paradigm has changed and the sooner everyone in this parliament understands that, the better for us all.”

Chairman Zahradil came to CPAC in Florida to make contacts with American conservatives,  to share ideas and form alliances for the spread of freedom and free enterprise around the world. He was encouraged and excited by the one day event and looks forward to the main ACU Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2012 in Washington, DC Feb. 9-11.

Conservatives here in the US should take encouragement from the efforts of Zahdril and his associates in ECR and AECR as the “Teaparty” in Europe.

Follow Michael Whipple on Twitter

Follow usACTIONnews on Twitter or on Facebook


Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: