“We welcome the investigation” – Roberto Fiore gives APF response to ‘attack’
1. The European Parliament shall verify regularly that the conditions set out in Article 3(a) and (b) continue to be met by political parties at European level.
2. With regard to the condition specified in Article 3(c), at the request of one quarter of its members, representing at least three political groups in the European Parliament, the European Parliament shall verify, by a majority of its members, that the condition in question continues to be met by a political party at European level.
Before carrying out such verification, the European Parliament shall hear the representatives of the relevant political party at European level and ask a committee of independent eminent persons to give an opinion on the subject within a reasonable period.
The committee shall consist of three members, with the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission each appointing one member. The secretariat and funding of the committee shall be provided by the European Parliament.
3. If the European Parliament finds that any of the conditions referred to in Article 3(a), (b) and (c) is no longer satisfied, the relevant political party at European level, which has for this reason forfeited this status, shall be excluded from funding under this Regulation.
Who better represent European principles such liberty and democracy? The patriots who stand for election, or those who send armed, masked men in the hours of early dawn to take them off to prison for the ‘crime’ of giving the people a real choice?
The legal text in regards to European-level parties is further elaborated in the Rules of Procedure of Parliament:
Rule 225 : Powers and responsibilities of the committee responsible and of Parliament’s plenary
1. At the request of one-quarter of Parliament’s Members representing at least three political groups, the President, following an exchange of views in the Conference of Presidents, shall call upon the committee responsible to verify whether or not a political party at European level is continuing (particularly in its programme and in its activities) to observe the principles upon which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.
2. Before submitting a proposal for a decision to Parliament, the committee responsible shall hear the representatives of the political party concerned. It shall ask for and consider the opinion of a committee of independent eminent persons, as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003.
3. Parliament shall vote (by a majority of the votes cast) on the proposal for a decision establishing that the political party concerned either does or does not observe the principles set out in paragraph 1. No amendment may be tabled. In either case, if the proposal for a decision does not secure a majority, a decision to the contrary shall be deemed to have been adopted.
4. Parliament’s decision shall apply with effect from the day upon which the request referred to in paragraph 1 was tabled.
5. The President shall represent Parliament on the committee of independent eminent persons.
6. The committee responsible shall draw up the report provided for in Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 on the application of that Regulation and the activities funded, and shall submit it in plenary.
It is important to note that, at this point, the APF doesn’t have to prove anything; one is innocent until proven otherwise, and our legal advisors have confirmed that our statutes are completely in line with the legislation.
“We will be very pleased to explain our position and discuss the issues with the responsible committee, though we reserve the right to take legal advice and action if it should emerge that it or individuals on it are biased against us. Those who question our very genuine attachment to liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms need to show the voters who pay their salaries that they understand that fundamental political freedoms are indivisible, and cannot only be extended to those with whom they agree.“It may be that our and their interpretation of core European values differs. It may be that some of those who have sparked this investigation have difficulty in understanding the famous words of Voltaire on the subject of freedom of expression. But the APF and its members are confident in the intellectual honesty, coherence and morality of our position. We will therefore approach the hearing as an opportunity to show those who may have been too quick to judge on the basis of hostile and biased media coverage, and their own ‘liberal’ prejudices, that our campaign for “peace and freedom” is absolutely in keeping with the stated values of the European Union.“We believe that, in view of the public interest that the process is sure to attract, the whole proceedings, including our evidence to the committee and the subsequent deliberations, should be live streamed via the Parliament’s web TV operation. In this way, the voters can judge for themselves both our position and that of the institutions of the Parliament itself. Transparency may not be classed as a ‘fundamental value’ of the EP, but it most assuredly matters to the taxpayers”.