This General Assembly was hosted by Bayernpartei, who has been a member party of EFA for more than 10 years, and represents the interests of the Bavarian nation. Bayernpartei will soon be starting its campaign towards the Bavarian Landtag elections of October 14th.
During its General Assembly, the EFA took stock of the progress of self-determination processes and defence of peoples, cultures and citizens and their rights within the European Union, in an era dominated by the Catalan independence process and Brexit. EFA is preparing for an electoral year in a Europe that changes at a fast pace.
The democratic, peaceful Catalan process, the Spanish repression and the non-response of the EU institutions to all events in the past 6 months, clearly shows that Spain and the EU feel too much threatened by democratic self-determination movements. In the 2015 elections in Catalonia, a joint campaign was run on an independence referendum. A majority was won for this. Two years of preparations and of refusal from Madrid to discuss this, a referendum was prepared and organised on October 1st 2017. Spain met the Catalan demands with growing repression and violence. The EU did not respond. The EU did not condemn the disproportionate police violence committed against citizens in voting stations. It supported Spain in its mantra "The Spanish law and only the Spanish law", when International law recognizes the right of all peoples to self-determination. Once again, leaders in EU institutions preferred to defend "national interests" of a Member State rather than standing up for fundamental rights and values. EFA wants a strong Europe but wants #AnotherEurope!
EFA wants a Europe where its political leaders, democratically elected and irreproachable in their public action, would NOT be arbitrarily imprisoned for months like Spain is currently doing. EFA calls upon all European democratic forces to mobilise for the liberation of all Catalan political prisoners and to put an end to the procedures that Madrid is currently pursuing against those Catalans in prison and those in exile.
Our EFA General Assembly addresses a particular message to Oriol Junqueras, who sat in our parlementary EFA group in the European parliament, and who, for over 6 months, has been in prison despite the fact that his political struggle, as that of the other 8 imprisoned Catalans, was always democratic and non-violent.
EFA wants a Europe where grass roots organisations like FUEN should not need to collect 1,2 million signatures to force the European Commission into protecting minorities and promoting real diversity.
EFA wants a Europe that speaks for all peoples, not just member states. This weak Juncker Commission allows the EU to further look inwards, increasingly retrenching back to the Member States and the capitals.
We need to campaign for an inclusion of all our peoples, regions and nations into a common Europe for all.
A crucial year starts for our member parties in the UK. The date set for the UK to leave the EU is in one year. EFA supports its 4 parties in their fight to protect the right of the citizens of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Yorkshire. EFA stands shoulder to shoulder with our parties to fight the Westminster power grab and denounces the attack on devolution. In France, whilst some had hopes for change, the Macron government continues the Jacobinist path of centralisation, disrespecting the cultural and linguistic diversity, and ignoring the Corsican reality.
1) Following the request and proposal of Bayernpartei, the European Free Alliance decided to hold the 2018 General Assembly in Bavaria for the first time to support their ambitions to re-enter the Landtag.
2) Two member parties PSd'Az and Prolombardia Indipendenza saw their membership suspended by the General Assembly.
3) After being registered and financed in 2017-2018 under a new EU regulation, EFA amended once more its Articles of Association and the Rules of Internal Order and hereby concludes a full modernisation of our internal legislation.
4) EFA adopts the closed budget 2017, the amended budget 2018 and the budget proposal 2019 and the connected activity plans. Higher budgetary possibilities and sound management have to go together with a higher sense of responsibility of all members to generate the required own resources. EFA has the ambition to connect many individuals in our new network Friends of EFA and amended for the first time in 15 years the contribution system of its members with the aim to be financially ready for a new mandate period after the 2019 elections.
5) Inseme Per a Corsica became full member of our organisation.
6) Our political family embraces 47 parties that are active in all corners of Europe promoting self-determination. The activity reports of our members also show how great the challenges are for all of us and united we can show that another Europe is possible.
7) The EFA Bureau issued a statement on the promotion of democracy and human rights and on the fight against discrimination and Xenophobia on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We ask all our parties to promote an inclusive and respectful vision towards new citizens in our communities.
8) Motions were approved asking the EU to acknowledge its responsibility for minority policy in Europe, linking biodiversity to the new CAP, to create a sustainable energy working group. Debates were held on Europe's role in future Self-determination processes and we expressed our support to the Kurdish people in Turkey and Syria.
9) Declarations were adopted to support a Legitimate representation of the Aland Island in the European Parliament, to include Galiza in the Atlantic Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network, to promote a fisheries agreement RASD-European Union, in support of The Turkish Muslim minority of Western Thrace (Greece) and condemning the discrimination of the Macedonian minorities in Bulgaria and Greece. We supported the right for governmental support and recognition of elections of the first parliament of the Wends and Sorbs in Lusatia and we all condemned the state violence and political and judicial repression in Spain.
10) Two urgency motions were voted demanding respect from Macron's governement in Paris and respect for language diversity in France and the other motion denouncing the efforts of the EU Council to implement an obligatory threshold for bigger member states for the upcoming European elections.
11) EFA adopted its electoral manifesto for the EP elections 2019. Over 10 chapters the EFA elaborates its vision on Europe, 10 strings of our DNA show what we stand for. We expect from all of our members to promote this manifesto on their website and encourage our member parties to develop a European campaign in addition to our common program with different spearheads in our different regions and nations across Europe.
12) EFA takes note of the EFAy activities 2017 and 2018. Apart from the political support, the EFAy needs to continue to make an extra financial effort to reach a better balance and EFA continues its support to EFAy.
13) EFA takes note of the activity plan 2017 of our foundation that has rebranded its name into COPPIETERS FOUNDATION. Several new publications were issued, a successful start of the Coppieters academy was made, a second successful Coppieters awards ceremony was organised. In 2017, the award was handed over to Carme Forcadell, with Alex Salmond having received the award in 2016. The CMC Scientific Advisory Council will soon make public the nominee(s) of the next Coppieters Award.
14) The past year marked a successful launch of our book imagiNATION with over 300 copies sold and an exhibition that was hosted in 7 different locations in Europe, among them Alsace, Flanders, Catalonia and Wales.
15) EFA awards the title of EFA honorary members to Oriol Junqueras and Tatyana Zdanok. Our thoughts are with Oriol who has already been in prison for more than half a year. In the upcoming elections in Latvia our member party will be lead by Tatyana who for this reason resigned from her seat in the European Parliament after 14 active years in Brussels and Strasbourg.
16) The next General Assembly will be organised in Brussels and will be framed in the electoral campaign of the EFA towards the European Elections. For the first time in almost 15 years we will again have our GA in Brussels, the capital of Europe.