The Problem for the Rest of Europe
Sure, there's an "official" European Parliament aspect to this (though ECR has long been the bee in the bonnet of the usual four continental groups of post-Christian Christian Democrats, post-democratic Social Democrats, post-liberalism Liberals, and posteverything Greens), but there are also important less formal reasons for this. The Tories serve as an example for many parties in first-generation democracies. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe take cues about the roles of the state and society not just from the corporatists in Germany or Sweden, or the populists in Greece, but from the actions, the actors, and the stage on which they play in the UK. And while they read the news about the US or Australia or Japan, they see in the UK something "European," if only to make "those folks" more like "who WE are."