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Europe of Freedom and Democracy
European Parliament group
Europe of Freedom and Democracy logo.jpg
Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group logo
Name Europe of Freedom and Democracy[1][2]
English abbr. EFD[3]
French abbr. ELD
Formal name Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group[3]
Ideology Euroscepticism[4], Nationalism,
National Conservatism[4],
Liberal Conservatism[5]
Regionalism,
Right-wing populism[4]
From 1 July 2009 (de facto)[6]
To Present
Preceded by Independence/Democracy,
Union for a Europe of Nations
Succeeded by N/A
Chaired by Nigel Farage (United Kingdom Independence Party) and Francesco Speroni (Lega Nord)
MEP(s) 30[7] (1 July 2009[7])
32[3] (14 July 2009[3])
Website http://www.efdgroup.eu/

Europe of Freedom and Democracy is a right-wing Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. Formed after the European Parliamentary elections in 2009, it is mostly made up of elements of the now defunct Independence/Democracy and Union for a Europe of Nations groups from the out-going parliament. The group is a coalition of nine political parties of which the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Italian Lega Nord, which together hold some 21 of the group's 32 seats, are the biggest.

Contents

History

Following the European Parliament election, 2009, Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM) and Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN), two political groups of the European Parliament, were in trouble. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) component of IND/DEM had done well, but the other parties of this group fared very poorly.[6] UEN had also lost MEPs and both groups had fallen under the threshold required for a group to exist.[8][9] The remnants of both groups needed to find a new group before the constitutive session of the Seventh European Parliament on 14 July 2009.

Speculation regarding the new group surfaced on 30 June 2009. The name of the group was originally speculated as A Europe of Free Peoples,[6][10] or A Europe of Peoples for Liberty[6][10], or a phrase involving the word Independence[6] or Freedom[11] or Democracy[11] or People.[6] In the absence of an official name, the nascent group was given the placeholder name of Liberty.[6]

On 1 July 2009 a press conference was held launching the group.[1][2][7] That press conference named the group Europe of Freedom and Democracy.[1][2]

Andreas Mölzer, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) EP list, later announced that FPÖ and EFD were in negotiations over FPÖ joining the group, but each side had reservations about the other,[12] with the Reformed Political Party, UKIP, and the far-right Slovak National Party each uneasy about FPÖ.[13]

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Controversy

On Thursday, March 4th 2010 it was announced [14] that UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire had had the UKIP whip withdrawn. Sinclaire had refused to join the EFD on the grounds that it was a grouping with "extreme views" and consequently had not sat with her UKIP colleagues in the European parliament.

Membership by Party

Europe of Freedom and Democracy has 31[3] elected members as follows:

Member state Party MEPs Previous Group
 Denmark Danish People's Party 2[3] Union for Europe of the Nations
 Finland True Finns 1[3] none
 France Movement for France 1[3] Independence/Democracy
 Greece LAOS 2[3] Independence/Democracy
 Italy Lega Nord 9[3] Union for Europe of the Nations
 Lithuania Order and Justice 2[3] Union for Europe of the Nations
 Netherlands Reformed Political Party 1[3] Independence/Democracy
 Slovakia Slovak National Party 1[3] none
 United Kingdom United Kingdom Independence Party 12[3] Independence/Democracy

References

  1. ^ a b c "New eurosceptic group to campaign against EU treaty in Irish referendum", 1 July 2009, from http://euobserver.com
  2. ^ a b c "UKIP forms new Eurosceptic group", 1 July 2009, from http://news.bbc.co.uk
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "List of Group Members by Membership Type" EFD official website
  4. ^ a b c http://www.parties-and-elections.de/eu.html
  5. ^ Krupavicius, Algis (December 2006). "Lithuania". European Journal of Political Research 45 (7–8): 1166–81. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2006.00673.x. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Ukip, Lega Nord form hard-right bloc in EU Parliament", 30 June 2009, from http://euobserver.com
  7. ^ a b c "EU-Critical Group in European Parliament launches", 1 July 2009, from http://indemgroup.eu
  8. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 7th parliamentary term - July 2009, Rule 30: Formation of political groups" 1 July 2009, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
  9. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 16th edition - March 2009, Rule 29: Formation of political groups" 6 April 2009, from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/
  10. ^ a b "UE/ Lega Nord nel nuovo gruppo di destra euroscettica", 30 June 2009, from http://www.ilsussidiario.net/, English translation here
  11. ^ a b "EU-kritisk grupp i EU", 30 June 2009, from http://www.nd.se/, English translation here
  12. ^ "EU law: foreign group has reservations about the FPÖ", 3 July 2009, from http://derstandard.at, English translation here
  13. ^ "FPÖ should not land right outside group", 8 July 2009, English translation here
  14. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8550698.stm

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