ECR Group at the Committee of the Regions Travels to Valladolid

Environment - June 12, 2024

On 3 May, a very relevant event was held in the city of Valladolid (Spain), organised in collaboration between the Cortes de Castilla y León and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group of the European Committee of the Regions.

Valladolid is the capital of the Spanish region of Castilla y León; the first region in which the political party VOX, member of the ECR group and party, formed a coalition government with the popular party; and a clear example that the arrival of VOX has meant a historical change in the politics of the Spanish regions; adopting decisions and projecting initiatives that the popular party has not been able to modify or reverse in decades, and that harmed the life of the Spanish citizens in those regions.

This has been the case with the repeal of democratic memory laws, promoted by previous socialist or Popular Party governments, which sought to impose an official version of Spanish history, restricting freedom of expression or ideological freedom in the media or universities. The event will address two of the issues raised by the event, namely the question of the ‘socialism of the Spanish people’, and the historical measure of substantially reducing public subsidies to Marxist trade unions.

The event addressed two of the most important issues for the present and future of Europe: on the one hand, the question of the rule of law and measures for a fair and impartial application of protection mechanisms at EU level; on the other hand, the challenges facing European agriculture.

Important political personalities in attendance included the Italian government’s Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida; the Polish Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski; Jorge Buxadé, MEP and Vice-President of the ECR Party, who headed the VOX list in the recent European elections, increasing its presence in the European Parliament; and Antonio Giordano, Italian MEP and Secretary General of the ECR Party.

In addition to the above, the panels were attended by representatives of the autonomous communities of Spain with a VOX presence, such as those of Castilla y León and Murcia (including the presence of Juan García Gallardo, who acted as organiser, and José Angel Antelo), as well as representatives of the Disenso Foundation, linked to VOX, and New Direction, linked to the ECR Party.

The interventions focused on the need to improve the systems of transparency and control of the institutions in Brussels; a demand of conservative parties, as the ruling bureaucracy in the Commission and other institutions is far removed from the usual mechanisms of accountability in national democracies.

Similarly, it was surprising when the Commissioner for Agriculture acknowledged in his speech that the urgent reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, approved in an extraordinary way to protect the European primary sector, had been conceived at a meeting organised by the ECR Group in Brussels, at the behest of Jorge Buxadé, with the most important Spanish and European agricultural organisations.

It was undoubtedly the news of the day in the region, and the media echoed the presence of the Committee of the Regions in Castilla y León, one of the regions of Europe where problems such as depopulation, deindustrialisation and wolf attacks on livestock farming are most serious.

Undoubtedly, all the issues discussed at the meeting should be on the agenda of the European Commission and Parliament for the new legislature, as I have no doubt that governments and the Council are much more sensitive to the political reality of their regions and their businesses.

The event demonstrated once again the vitality of the political offer of conservative political parties in Europe, as well as their ability to attract intellectuals such as Francesco Giubilei and Jorge Martín Frías.