Danish centrist party joins EU’s Renew
The recently-founded Moderaterne centrist party of former prime minister and current Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen joined the Renew Europe political group in the EU Parliament as his son unexpectedly switched to another party.
Bergur Løkke Rasmussen, former MEP for the Danish liberal party Venstre, joined the Moderates Party, founded by Løkke Rasmussen in June last year. Together with the Liberals and the Danish Social Liberal Party, the Moderates are now the third Danish party to be represented in Renew Europe.
In the EU Parliament, the change will have little political impact, as both the Liberals and the Moderates are members of Renew Europe. However, it brings the number of governing parties in the EU to 19 for the Renew Europe political group in the European Parliament.
It also means that two Renew Europe-affiliated parties – Venstre and Moderaterne – now rule Denmark together with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democrats.
“We are pleased by the choice of Moderaterne to join Renew Europe. All Centrist, liberal and reformist parties of Europe are finding a home in our family as we are united in our vision for Europe, whatever the difference at the national stage may be,” a Renew Europe spokesperson told EURACTIV.
“The choice of the Moderates is another signal that every time a pro-European political force emerges in a country, they eventually pick Renew Europe. Four years after our creation, our bet is paying off,” the spokesperson added.
Three and a half months ago, Bergur Løkke Rasmussen, who had just become an MEP for the Danish Liberal Party in the European Parliament, guaranteed that the party could be sure he would also stand for the Liberal Party in the next EU elections in 2024.
“I have been through a thought process about whether I should switch to the Moderates, now that my father – my great political role model – had founded that project. But that thought process is over, and I am sitting here for the Liberal Party. I am a liberal. I want to help promote liberal values. And I will stay in the Liberal Party,” Bergur Løkke Rasmussen said in Altinget in November.
On Tuesday, however, the politician changed his mind.
“It is in the DNA of the Moderates to be a little more pragmatic and find long-term solutions to society’s problems. I fit in better with that DNA,” he said.
According to the new Renew Europe MEP, the EU is in a state of permanent crisis, where migration, inflation, security, energy, environment, climate and many other issues call for far-reaching cooperation in the EU and elsewhere.
“This is why we need to rethink our approach to EU cooperation. We need to start with the challenges and then agree on the framework and tools to address them. For example, we need to be able to talk about the EU’s muscle in terms of budget and powers,” he wrote on Facebook.
(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com)