What's EFA and History

What is the European Free Alliance:

The European Free Alliance (EFA) works to make the idea of a “Europe of the Peoples” a political and cultural reality at the European and international level. It is an umbrella organisation that gathers 45 progressive nationalist, regionalist and autonomist parties throughout the European Union (EU), representing stateless nations, regions, and traditional minorities in Europe. It focuses its activity on the promotion of the right of self-determination of peoples, human, civil and political rights, democracy, internal enlargement, multi-level governance, devolution of powers, cultural and linguistic diversity; as well as on nationalism, regionalism, autonomy and independence. The right to self-determination is a cornerstone of the EFA’s program and ideology.

The European Free Alliance is a European Political Party recognized by the European Parliament since 2004. It is financed by the European Parliament and EFA Members. It is classified as a non-governmental organisation (asbl/vzw) under Belgian law.

The European Free Alliance is a pro-European party that endorses the European Union’s values, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Through its constituent member parties, the European Free Alliance represents peoples from over 18 EU Member States.

History :

For over 30 years, EFA has fought for freedom, democracy and peoples’ right to decide upon their own future. As an answer to the ongoing difficulties met by stateless nations, minorities and regions of Europe to have their own voice heard, a group of democratic nationalist and regionalist parties agreed in July 1981 to establish the European Free Alliance (EFA) symbolized by the signing of the “Declaration of the Brussels Convention”.

Photo of the declaration of the “Brussels Convention” (1981)This declaration marked EFA’s foundation and was the result of two previous meetings, held in the summer of 1979, that led to the signing of the “Charter of Brussels” and the “Declaration of Bastia”, in which some parties (that later on, in 1981, would found EFA) decided to cooperate in defence of the “Europe of the Peoples”.

EFA has been represented in the European Parliament (EP) since the first European elections in 1979. At that time Maurits Coppieters (member of the Flemish party “Volksunie” –VU-) took the lead in pushing forward the idea of the “Europe of the Peoples” within the parliamentary group of the TCDI (Group for Technical Coordination and Defence of Independent Groupings and Members). Since then EFA MEPs have developed Coppieters’ roadmap, initially through their membership of the “Rainbow” Group, followed by the “European Radical Alliance” Group and, and afterwards, the Greens/EFA Group.

2004 marks the transformation of the, up until then, EFA federation into a pan-European political party recognized by the EP. In that year the EP decided to create a separate structure for European parliamentary groups and European political parties a decision based on transparency and for democratic reasons. EFA fulfilled all the criterion to be recognized as a European political party by the EP, and has remained so ever since.

Since its foundation, EFA has undergone several enlargements. From eight members in 1981, to its current 45. These are political parties representing the different stateless nations, regions and national minorities of Europe.

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