European Free Alliance: Wikis

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European Free Alliance
Europäische Freie Allianz
Alliance libre européenne
Alleanza libera europea
Alianza libre europea
L-Alleanza Ħilsa Ewropea
Aliança Lliure Europea
Fria Europeiska Alliansen
President Nelly Maes
Founded 1981 (1981)
Headquarters Rue de Woeringenstraat 19-21, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Ideology Regionalism (majority), separatism (minority), progressivism (majority)
International affiliation None
European Parliament Group The Greens–European Free Alliance
Official colours Blue and grey
Website
www.e-f-a.org
Politics of the European Union
Political parties
Elections

The European Free Alliance (EFA) is a European political party. It consists of various national-level political parties in Europe which advocate either full political independence (statehood), or some form of devolution or Self-governance for their country or region.[1] The alliance has generally limited its membership to progressive parties.[2] Therefore not all European regionalist parties are members of EFA. The EFA and European Green Party form the The Greens–European Free Alliance political grouping in the European Parliament. The EFA's youth wing is the European Free Alliance Youth (EFAY).

Contents

History

Since the 1979 European Parliament election regionalists and separatists have been represented in the European Parliament. In that election five regionalist parties got seats: the Northern Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, the Flemish People's Union (VU), the Waloon Democratic Front of Francophones (FDF) and the South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) won seats. The SNP, although being a social-democratic party, joined the European Progressive Democrats, which was led by the Gaullist Rally for the Republic, the SDLP the Socialist Group, VU and FDF the Technical Group of Independents, which comprised both conservative and left-wing MEPs, and the SVP joined the group of the European People's Party.

In 1981 several European regionalist parties joined together to form a pan-European political alliance, called the "European Free Alliance". It was not until the 1989 European Parliament election that the EFA members formed a united group in the European Parliament. Before the regionalists had been seated divided, with the SNP with the Gaullist European Democratic Alliance, VU, the Valdotanian Union and the Basque Nationalist Party in the Rainbow Group, together with green parties, and Batasuna sat among non-iscrits.

In 1989 the regionalists, including EFA-members, formed a group called the Rainbow Group as well. It consisted out of three Italian MEPs (for Lega Nord and the Sardinian Action Party), two Spanish MEPs (for the Basque Nationalist Party and the Andalusian Party), one Belgian MEP (for VU), one French MEP (for the Union of the Corsican People, one British MEP (for the SNP) and one Irish MEP (Neil Blaney, independent). They were joined by 4 MEPs from the left-wing Danish Eurosceptic People's Movement against the EU, while all the other regionalist MEPs, including those of the SDLP, the SVP and the Convergence and Union of Catalonia refused to join EFA.

In the 1994 European Parliament election the regionalists lost considerably. Moreover they had suspended the membership of Lega Nord for entering in a government with the post-fascist National Alliance and the Basque Nationalist Party had joined the European People's Party. The three remaining EFA members in the Parliament (SNP, VU and Canarian Coalition) formed a common group with the Energie Radicale-list. This group was called European Radical Alliance.

Following the 1999 European Parliament election the EFA-members in parliament formed a common European parliamentary group with the European Green Party called The Greens–European Free Alliance. The EFA supplied ten members from the Scottish National Party (2 MEPs), the Welsh Plaid Cymru (2), the Flemish People's Union (2), the Basque Nationalist Party (1), Basque Solidarity (1), the Andalusian Party (1) and the Galician Nationalist Bloc (1).

In the 2004 European Parliament election the EFA was reduced to four MEPs (two of the SNP (Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith), one of Plaid Cymru (Jill Evans) and one of the Republican Left of Catalonia (Mikel Irujo, for Spain), replaced at the mid-term by a MEP of Basque Solidarity) plus two affiliate members. MEP Tatjana Ždanoka (Latvia) and László Tőkés (Romania) both also sit in the EFA subgroup. They are both individual affiliates of the EFA subgroup, as Ždanoka's party For Human Rights in United Latvia is not a member of EFA and Tőkés is an independent. The cooperation between and the Greens was continued. In 2004 the EFA became a European political party.

Following the 2008 revision of the EU Regulation that governs European political parties allowing the creation of European foundations affiliated to Europarties, the EFA established in September 2007 its official foundation/think tank, the Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC)

In the 2009 European Parliament election the EFA got six MEPs elected: two from the Scottish National Party (Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith), one from the Plaid Cymru (Jill Evans), one from the Party of the Corsican Nation (François Alfonsi), one from the Republican Left of Catalonia (Oriol Junqueras) and Tatjana Ždanoka, individual member of the EFA, in Latvia. After the election the New-Flemish Alliance also joined the EFA.

Ideology

In the Brussels Declaration of 2000 the EFA codified its political principles. The EFA stands for "a Europe of Free Peoples based on the principle of subsidiarity, which believe in solidarity with each other and the peoples of the world."[3]

The EFA sees itself as an alliance of stateless peoples, which are striving towards independence or autonomy. It supports European integration on basis of the subsidiarity-principle. It believes however that Europe should move away from further centralisation. It works towards the formation of a Europe of Regions. It believes that regions should have more power in Europe, for in stance participate in the Council of the European Union, when matters within their competence are discussed. It also wants to protect the linguistic and cultural diversity within the European Union.

The EFA stands on the left of the political spectrum, and in the Brussels declaration it emphasizes the protection of human rights, sustainable development and social justice. In 2007 the EFA congress in Bilbao added several progressive principles to the declaration: including a commitment to fight against racism, antisemitism, discrimination, xenophobia and islamophobia and a commitment to get full citizenship for migrants, including voting rights.

EFA members are generally progressive parties, although there are some notable exceptions such as the conservative New-Flemish Alliance and Bavaria Party, the Christian-democratic ProDG, the centre-right Liga Veneta Repubblica and the far-right South Tyrolean Freedom.

Organization

The main organs of the EFA organization are the General Assembly, the Bureau and the Secretariat.

In the General Assembly every member party has one vote. It is the supreme council of the EFA. Only member parties can participate in the EFA. The EFA also has observers. Before becoming member a party needs to have been observer of the EFA for at least one year. Only one member party per region is allowed. If a second party from a region wants to join the first party needs to agree, these two parties will then form a common delegation with one vote. The EFA also recognizes friends of the EFA, a special status for regionalist parties outside of the European Union.[3]

The Bureau takes care of daily affairs. It is chaired by Nelly Maes, a former MEP for the FlemishProgressives. Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru), Gustave Alirol (Occitan Party) and Fabrizio Comencini (Liga Veneta Repubblica) are vice-chairpersons. Joan i Mari Bernat (Republican Left of Catalonia is secretary-general), while François Alfonsi (Party of the Corsican Nation) is treasurer. Other members of the Bureau are Ana Miranda Paz (Galician Nationalist Bloc), Alyn Smith (Scottish National Party), Sybren Posthumus (Frisian National Party), Irujo Amezaga (Basque Solidarity), Pavlos Voskopoulos (Macedonian Movement for Balkan Prosperity) and Rolf Granlund (Future of Åland).

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Members

Current state(s) Party Seeking to
represent
Joined
(Observer/Member[4])
MEPs
 Austria Unity List Slovenia Carinthian Slovenes 2005/2006 0
 Belgium New-Flemish Alliance  Flanders 2009 1
 Bulgaria United Macedonian Organization Ilinden–Pirin Macedonianethnicflag3.png ethnic Macedonians 2006/2007 0
 Czech Republic Moravané  Moravia 2006 0
 Finland Future of Åland  Åland 2005/2006 0
 France Savoyard League Savoie flag.svg Savoie 1999/2000 0
 France Savoy Region Movement Savoie flag.svg Savoie 1991 0
 France Occitan Party  Occitania 1982 0
 France Party of the Corsican Nation  Corsica 1981 1[5]
 France Breton Democratic Union  Brittany 1987 0
 France Union of the Alsatian People  Alsace 1991 0
 France Catalan Unity Catalonia Northern Catalonia 1991 0
 Germany Bavaria Party  Bavaria 2007/2008 0
 Germany The Friesen Ostfriesland Flagge mit Wappen.0.2.svg East Frisia 2008/2009 0
 Greece Rainbow Macedonianethnicflag3.png ethnic Macedonians 1999/2000 0
 Italy South Tyrolean Freedom  South Tyrol 2009 0
 Italy Emilian Free Alliance Bandiera Emilia.png Emilia 1999/2000 0
 Italy Liga Veneta Repubblica  Veneto 1999/2000 0
 Italy Sardinian Action Party  Sardinia 1984 0
 Italy Slovene Union Slovenia Slovenes 1991 0
 Lithuania Lithuanian Polish People's Party Poland Poles 2003/2004 0
 Netherlands Frisian National Party  Friesland 1981 0
 Poland Silesian Autonomy Movement Flagge Preußen - Provinz Oberschlesien.svg Upper Silesia 2002/2003 0
 Slovakia Party of Regions of Slovakia Prešov and Košice 2008/2009
 Spain Galician Nationalist Bloc  Galicia 1994/2000 0
 Spain Aragonese Junta  Aragon 2003/2004 0
 Spain Majorca Socialist Party  Balearic Islands 2000/2008 0
 Spain /  France Republican Left of Catalonia Catalonia Catalan Countries 1989 0
 Spain /  France Basque Solidarity  Basque Country 1986 1
 Spain Andalusian Party  Andalusia 1999 0
 United Kingdom Mebyon Kernow  Cornwall 2003 0
 United Kingdom Plaid Cymru  Wales 1983 1
 United Kingdom Scottish National Party  Scotland 1989 2

Observer members

Current state(s) Party Seeking to
represent
Joined
 Belgium ProDG BE DG Fahne randlos.pngGerman-speaking Belgians 2009
 Croatia List for Fiume Flag of the Free State of Fiume.svg Rijeka 2009
 Germany South Schleswig Voter Federation Denmark Danes 2009
 Germany Wendish People's Party Flag of Sorbs.svg Sorbs 2009
 Italy Valdotanian Renewal  Aosta Valley 2007
 Italy Movement for the Independence of Sicily  Sicily 2009
 Hungary Renewed Roma Union Party of Hungary Roma in Hungary 2009

Former members

Current state(s) Party Seeking to
represent
Joined
(Observer/Member[4])
Notes
 Belgium Party of German-speaking Belgians BE DG Fahne randlos.pngGerman-speaking Belgians 1981 Ceased activity in 2009
 Belgium Social Liberal Party  Flanders 2001 Merged into Groen! in December 2009
 Belgium People's Union  Flanders 1981 re-emerged in 2001, and finally split into the New-Flemish Alliance and SPIRIT
 Italy Lega Nord  Padania Suspended in 1994, left in 1996
 Spain /  France Basque Nationalist Party  Basque Country Left in 2004
 Italy Valdotanian Union  Aosta Valley Expelled in 2007 after lack of activity in EFA structures
 Italy Union for South Tyrol  South Tyrol Expelled in 2008 over its opposition to the Bilbao declaration
 Romania Transilvania–Banat League Flag of Transylvania before 1918.svg Transylvania and Banat Ceased activity
 Slovakia Hungarian Federalist Party Hungary Hungarians Ceased activity

Non-members

Several prominent regional, regionalist, secessionist or minority parties are not members of EFA. These include:

References

External links


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