Syed Kamall New Year’s Message

Dec 31, 2016


In his New Year message, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Syed Kamall MEP has warned that failing to respond to people’s concerns risks them voting for extremist parties, and the ECR intends to use the opportunity of 2017 to chart a new course for the EU that offers tangible solutions.

He said:
“2016 was certainly a dramatic year for all of us. The pictures from Syria, the growing threat of Russia to her neighbours, and uncertainty in politics across much of the Western World.
In 2016 the alarm bells rang loud and clear. But are we listening to them?

Or are we ignoring the concerns of millions of people who this year could cast a vote for extremist parties – such is their frustration at mainstream politics.

2017 has the potential to be another wasted opportunity. It could even be the year when extremists are elected to high office. Or it has the potential to be a year when we finally began to offer tangible solutions and chart a new, better course.

In the European Parliament, we have seen the end of the so-called Grand Coalition between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. Over the past few years we have seen the imperative of consensus between these two groups standing in the way of progress for all citizens in the EU countries.

So in 2017, the ECR will be using this new opportunity to push for a new direction in the EU. A new direction that finally understands why so many people rejected EU integration in 2015 and 2016 – not just in Britain, but in referendums in the Netherlands and Denmark, and in a number of elections.

Our MEPs represent 18 countries from every corner of Europe, and we will go on making the case for an EU that focuses on finding practical solutions and in trusting people, not on ever-expanding the powers of the European Union and passing more ossifying legislation. On willing cooperation between EU member states, not forcing decision upon member state countries from Brussels and Strasbourg.

Good living standards and security are not guaranteed in the EU, and unless we can change direction, we face an uncertain future. That is why the ECR will make a positive contribution towards reforming the EU for the better.

On behalf of everyone in the ECR, I wish you, your families and your communities a very happy and prosperous new year.”