European Free Alliance

The  European Free Alliance  (  EFA  ) is a European political coalition that consists of various regionalist  [2]  [3]  political parties in Europe. Members parties advocate for full political independence and sovereignty , or some form of devolution or self-governance for their country or region.  [4]  The alliance has limited its membership to progressive parties;  [5] therefore, only a fraction of European regionalist parties to the EFA.

Since 1999 the EFA and the European Green Party (EGP) have joined forces within the European Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens / EFA) group in the European Parliament , from some EFA members have joined other groups from time to time.

The EFA’s youth wing is the European Free Youth Alliance (EFAY), founded in 2000.


Regionalists have long been represented in the European Parliament . In the 1979 election oven Regionalist parts Obtained seats: the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Flemish People’s Union (VU), the Brussels-based Democratic Front of Francophones (FDF) and the South Tyrolean People’s Party (SVP). The SNP, being predominantly social-democratic , joined the European Progressive Democrats , a conservative group led by the French Rally for the Republic . The VU and the FDF joined the heterogeneous Technical Group of Independents, please join the European People’s Party .  [6]

In 1981 six parts (VU, the Frisian National Party , Independent Fianna Fáil , the Party of German-speaking Belgians , the Party for the Organization of a Free Brittany and the Alsace-Lorraine National Association ), plus three observers (the Union of the Corsican People , the Occitan Party and the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia , CDC), joined forces to form the  European Free Alliance  .  [7]  [8]  Regionalist MEPs continued, however, to sit in different groups in the European Parliament: the SNP in the Gaullist-dominated European Democratic Alliance; the VU, the Sardinian Action Party(PSA’Az) and Basque Solidarity (EA) in the Rainbow Group , together with Green parties; the SVP in the European People’s Party group ; the CDC with the Liberal Democrats ; and Batasuna among Non-Registered .  [9]

Only after the 1989 European Parliament election did EFA members form a united group, called Rainbow like its green predecessor. Italian MEPs (two for Lega Lombarda and one for the PSd’Az), two Spanish MEPs (one for the PNV and the Andalusian Party , PA), one Belgian MEP (for VU), one French MEP ( Union of the Corsican People , UPC), one British MEP (SNP) and one independent MEP from Ireland. Eurosceptic People’s Movement against the EU , while the other regionalist parties, including the SVP, Batasuna and the Convergence and Union of Catalonia (CiU) declined to join. [10]

In the 1994 European Parliament election the regionalists lost many seats. Moreover, the EFA had suspended its major affiliate, Lega Nord , for having joined forces with the post-fascist National Alliance . Also, the PNV thing to switch to the European People’s Party (EPP). The three remaining EFA MEPs (representing the SNP, the VU and the Canarian Coalition ) formed a group with the French  Radical Energy  list and the Italian Pannella List : the European Radical Alliance .  [11]

Following the 1999 European Parliamentary Election , in which the EFA parties formed a joint venture with the European Green Party , under the name The Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens / EFA). In the event the EFA supplied ten members: two of the Scottish SNP, the Welsh Plaid Cymru , and the Flemish VU, and one of the Basque PNV and EA, the Andalusian PA and the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG).  [12]

In the 2004 European Parliament election , the EFA, which had formally become a European political party ,  [1]  was reduced to four MEPs: two from the SNP ( Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith ), one from Plaid Cymru ( Jill Evans ) and one from the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC, Bernat Joan i Marí , replaced by MEP Mikel Irujo of the Basque EA). They Were joined by two associate members: Tatjana Ždanoka of For Human Rights in United Latvia (PCTVL) and László Tőkés, an independent MEP and member of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UMDR). Co-operation between the EFA and the Greens.

Following the 2008 revision of the EU Regulation that governs European political parties the creation of European political affiliates, the EFA established its official foundation / think tank , the Center Maurits Coppieters (CMC), in September 2007.  [14]

In the 2009 European Parliament election , six MEPs were returned for the EFA: two from the SNP (Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith), one from Plaid Cymru (Jill Evans), one from the Party of the Corsican Nation (PNC, François Alfonsi ) , one from the ERC ( Oriol Junqueras ), and Tatjana Ždanoka, an individual member of the EFA from Latvia. After the election, the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) also joined the EFA. The EFA subgroup thus counted seven MEPs.  [15]

In the 2014 European Parliament election , EFA-affiliated parties returned to the Parliament: four for the N-VA, two for the SNP, two for  L’Esquerra pel Dret a Decidir  (an electoral list primarily composed of the ERC), one for  Los Pueblos Deciden  ( EH Bildu , a Basque coalition including EA), one for  Primavera Europea  (an electoral list of the Valencian Nationalist Bloc , BNV, and the Aragonese Union , ChA), one from Plaid Cymru, and one from the Latvian Russian Union (LKS). Due to ideological divergences with the Flemish Greens ,  [16] The N-VA defected to the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group  [17]  [18]  and the EH Bildu MEP joined the European Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) group: the EFA representation within the Greens / EFA group was thus of seven MEPs.  [19]


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.“  [20]  The EFA sees itself as an alliance of stateless peoples, striving towards recognition, autonomy, independence or wanting a proper voice in Europe. It supports European integration on the basis of the subsidiarity-principle. It also believes that Europe should move away from further centralization towards the formation of a „Europe of regions“. It believes that regions should have more power in Europe, for instance participating in the Council of the European Unionwhen matters within their competence are discussed. It also wants to protect the linguistic and cultural diversity within the EU.

The EFA broadly stands on the left wing of the political spectrum.  citation needed  ]  The Brussels Declaration focuses on the protection of human rights , sustainable development and social justice . In 2007 the EFA congress in Bilbao added gradually Several principles to the statement, comprenant un commitment to fight contre racism , antisemitism , discrimination , xénophobie and Islamophobia , and a commitment to get full citizenship for immigrants , Includingvoting rights .  quote needed  ]

EFA members are a progressive , but there are some notable exceptions to the conservative New Flemish Alliance , Bavaria Party , Schleswig Party and Future of Åland , the Christian-democratic Slovenian Union , the center-right Liga Veneta Repubblica and the far-right  [21 ]  [22]  [23]  [24]  South Tyrolean Freedom .


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

General Assembly

In the General Assembly, the supreme council of the EFA, every member party has one vote.

Bureau and Secretariat

The office takes care of daily affairs. It is chaired by François Alfonsi ( Party of the Corsican Nation ), president of the EFA, while Jordi Solé ( Republican Left of Catalonia ) is secretary-general and Lorena Lopez de Lacalle ( Basque Solidarity ) treasurer and first vice-president. The Bureau is completed by nine other vice presidents: Olrik Bouma ( Frisian National Party ), Chantal Certan ( ALPE ), Jill Evans ( Plaid Cymru ), Anders Eriksson  ( sv )(Future of Åland ), David Grosclaude ( Occitan Party ), Flemming Meyer ( SSW Landesverband ), Ana Miranda ( Galician Nationalist Bloc ), Wouter Patho ( New Flemish Alliance ) and Natalia Pinkowska ( Silesian Autonomy Movement ).  [25]

Member parties

This is a list of EFA member parts.  [26]


Full members

Before becoming a member party, an organization needs to be an 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 EFA, the first party needs to agree, to which point 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 the European Union. [20]

Current state (s) Party Seeking to represent Joined
(Observer / Member)
 austria Unity List  ethnic Slovenes 2005/2006 0
 belgium New Flemish Alliance  Flanders 2010 4 [27]
 bulgaria United Macedonian Organization Ilinden-Pirin  ethnic Macedonians 2006/2007 0
 Czech Republic Moravané  Moravia 2006 0
 croatia List for Rijeka  Rijeka 2009/2010 0
 denmark Schleswig Party  ethnic Germans in North Schleswig 2011 0
 finland Future of Åland  Åland 2005/2006 0
 la France Savoy Region Movement  Savoy 1991 0
 la France Occitan Party  Occitania 1982 0
 la France Party of the Corsican Nation  Corsica nineteen eighty one 0
 la France Breton Democratic Union  Brittany 1987 0
 la France Our Land  Alsace 1991 0
 la France Catalan Unity  Northern Catalonia , Catalan Countries 1991 0
 germany Bavaria Party  Bavaria 2007/2008 0
 germany The Frisians  East Frisia 2008/2009 0
 germany Lusatian Alliance  Sorbs , Lusatia 2009/2013 0
 germany South Schleswig Voters‘ Association  ethnic Danes , North Frisia 2009/2010 0
 Greece Rainbow  ethnic Macedonians 1999/2000 0
 italy South Tyrolean Freedom  South Tyrol 2009 0
 italy Liga Veneta Repubblica  Veneto 1999/2000 0
 italy Sardinian Action Party  Sardinia 1984 0
 italy Slovene Union  ethnic Slovenes 1991 0
 italy Autonomy Liberty Participation Ecology  Aosta Valley 2007/2011 0
 Netherlands Frisian National Party  Friesland nineteen eighty one 0
 poland Silesian Autonomy Movement  Upper Silesia 2002/2003 0
 Romania Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania  ethnic Hungarians 2015/2016 0
 Slovakia Hungarian Christian Democratic Association  ethnic Hungarians 2008/2009 0
 Spain / France Aralar Party  Basque Country 2012/2013 0
 Spain / France Basque Solidarity  Basque Country 1986 1 [27]
 Spain / France Republican Left of Catalonia  Catalonia , Catalan Countries 1989 2 [27]
 spain Aragonese Union  Aragon 2003/2004 0
 spain Socialist Party of Majorca  Balearic Islands , Catalan Countries 2000/2008 0
 spain Galician Nationalist Block  Galicia 1994/2000 0
 spain Valencian Nationalist Block  Valencia , Catalan Countries 2012/2013 1 [27]
 United Kingdom Mebyon Kernow  Cornwall 2003 0
 United Kingdom Plaid Cymru  Wales 1983 1 [27]
 United Kingdom Scottish National Party  Scotland 1989 2
 United Kingdom Yorkshire Party [28]  Yorkshire 2015/2016 0

Observer members

Current state (s) Party Seeking to represent Joined
(as observe)
 italy The Other South  Sicily 2014 0
 italy Pro Lombardy Independence  Lombardy 2015 0
 latvia Latvian Russian Union  ethnic Russians , Latgalians 2010 [27]
 poland Kashubian Unity  [29]  Kashubia 2016 0
 spain New Canaries  Canary Islands 2013 0
 Greece Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace  ethnic Turks in Western Thrace 2015 0

Associate members

Current state (s) Party Seeking to represent Joined
(as associate)
 azerbaijan Democratic Party of Artsakh  [30]  [31]  Nagorno-Karabakh 2015 0
 serbia League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina  [29]  Vojvodina 2016 0

Former members

Current state (s) Party Seeking to represent Joined
(Observer / Member)
 belgium People’s Union  Flanders nineteen eighty one Split into the New Flemish Alliance and SPIRIT
 belgium Social Liberal Party  Flanders 2001 Ceased activity in 2009
 belgium Walloon Popular Rally  Wallonia 1982 Ceased activity as party in 2011
 belgium Party of German-speaking Belgians  German Community nineteen eighty one Merged into ProDG in 2008
 belgium Pro German-speaking Community  German Community 2009/2011
 la France Alsace-Lorraine National Association  Alsace , Lorraine nineteen eighty one
 la France Union of the Corsican People  Corsica nineteen eighty one Merged into the PNC in 2002
 la France Party for the Organization of a Free Brittany  Brittany nineteen eighty one Ceased activity in 2000
 la France Savoyan League  Savoy 1999/2000 Ceased activity in 2012
 hungary Renewed Roma Union Party of Hungary  Romani people 2009 Ceased activity in 2012
 Ireland Independent Fianna Fáil  Ireland nineteen eighty one Ceased activity in 2006
 italy Lega Lombarda  Lombardy 1989/1990 Joined Lega Nord in 1991
 italy Liga Veneta  Veneto 1989/1990 Joined Lega Nord in 1991
 italy Lega Nord  Padania 1991 Suspended in 1994, left in 1996 and joined ELDR
 italy Emilian Free Alliance  Emilia 1999/2000 Ceased activity in 2010
 italy Movement for the Independence of Sicily  Sicily 2009
 italy Valdostan Union  Aosta Valley Expelled in 2007 after lack of activity in EFA structures
 lithuania Lithuanian Polish People’s Party  ethnic Poles 2003/2004 Ceased activity in 2010
 italy Union for South Tyrol  South Tyrol Expelled in 2008 for opposition to the Bilbao declaration
 romania Transilvania-Banat League  Transylvania , Banat Ceased activity
 Slovakia Hungarian Federalist Party  ethnic Hungarians Banned in 2005 [32]
 spain Democratic Convergence of Catalonia  Catalonia nineteen eighty one Joined the LDR Group in 1987
 spain Canarian Coalition  Canary Islands 1994 Left in 1999 and joined the ELDR Group
 Spain / France Basque Nationalist Party  Basque Country 1999 Left in 2004 and joined the EDP
 spain Andalusian Party  Andalusia 1999 dissolved in 2015

See also

  • List of regional and minority parties in Europe
  • List of active separatist movements in Europe
  • Political parties of minorities
  • Regionalism (politics)


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