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Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (MELD): Formation, Political Leanings & Status

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  • 0:02 MELD Intro
  • 0:40 History
  • 2:25 Politics
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we explore the Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy, a European political party firmly rooted in euroskepticism and anti-EU ideals.

Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracies

A healthy amount of skepticism on any subject is generally considered a good thing. Whether it's whether to buy a used car, whether to trust a suspect seller, or whether that past-due yogurt in your fridge is still okay to eat, a healthy amount of skepticism helps us ask pointed questions and gain further information before we make important decisions. Skepticism is an important part of European governance as well. In fact, there are several parties and groups which participate in European politics as skeptics of the entire organization and its bureaucracy. One of these groups is the right-wing Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracies, or MELD.

History

MELD is a very new party at the European level. Founded only in 2012, MELD was founded in part due to the 21st-century rise in euroskepticism across Europe. This refers to the popular idea that the supranational institutions of the European Union encroach upon the sovereignty of individual European nations and, moreover, do more harm than good for the nations of Europe and all Europeans. Euroskeptics often complain that the EU has too large of a bureaucracy and governance is too slow, stilted, or inaccessible to the public. The solution, for many euroskeptics, is the wholesale dismantling of the EU or simply the resignation of their home country from the supranational organization.

Riding the popularity of this sentiment, MELD's membership quickly grew as far right parties and right-of-center parties joined the fledgling political party. As of 2014, there are a dozen parties across Europe who are members of the MELD. Several members of the UK Independence Party who serve in the European Parliament are themselves members of the MELD, but UKIP itself is not a member.

In addition to its founding, the MELD immediately joined the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, or EFDD, parliamentary group in 2012. The EFDD itself is relatively young, only existing since 2009, forming after the European elections of the same year. Though by 2014 the EFDD and the MELD within it had some Members of European Parliament, or MEPs, the 2014 elections were its first full election. In it, the EFDD won 38 seats, many of which were occupied by MELD members. The results have made the EFDD the seventh largest party in the European Parliament.

Politics

As mentioned before, the MELD's ideology is firmly rooted in euroskepticism. As such, it claims its most important goal, besides adhering to basic principles like democracy, freedom, and cooperation, is to stop the bureaucratization of Europe. MELD wants to eliminate as much of the European bureaucracy as possible as well as stop the integration which has increasingly brought European countries closer together in the last half century. This integration, according to MELD, hurts democracy and attacks the sovereignty of individual nations by allowing the central EU government to absorb many governing powers from the EU member states. MELD hopes to stem the integration by making all future treaties or modifications to existing EU structures subject to popular vote by EU citizens. This, MELD claims, will reintroduce democracy into the EU system and ensure that if the European people truly want more integration, which MELD is sure they do not, then it will at least be able to vote the integration into effect.

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