Former Secretary-General of the European Free Alliance (EFA) and International Relations Secretary of Eusko Alkartasuna, Lorena López de Lacalle, has been appointed as the new EFA President for the next three years, on the framework of the party’s General Assembly (7-9 March) in Brussels, gathering more than a hundred delegates from its 45 EFA member parties from all corners of Europe.
EFA Member of the European Parliament and former President Jordi Solé (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – ERC) has been elected as the new Secretary-General, while Anke Spoorendonk from the Danish minority in northern Germany (Südschleswigscher Wählerverband) will continue her role as Treasurer.
The newly-elected Bureau has the highest participation of women in EFA’s history (6 women) and its 13 members* from Catalonia, Wales, Flanders, Valencia, the Basque Country, Corsica, Brittany, Occitania, Silesia, Frisland, Rijeka and the Alan Islands represent the full diversity of the party.
In the coming months the Bureau will focus on enhancing the visibility of the party’s common project to build a Europe of ALL peoples -EFA’s motto for the upcoming European elections- at a time when the party’s founding values and mission are at the core of the European political debate, due to Brexit and the Catalonia independence process.
In that sense, EFA has always been the only pro-European Political Party clearly standing up for the right to self-determination and will keep supporting the peoples, regions, minorities and stateless nations like Catalonia, Scotland and Wales, that seek recognition of their right to decide about their own future.
"We stand for a stronger, more social, open and democratic Europe. This is the core of our 2019 Manifesto for the European elections, that we have endorsed during our General Assembly", said EFA President, Lorena López de Lacalle.
Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras, unfairly imprisoned for organizing a referendum on self-determination, was elected during the party’s annual meeting in Brussels as the first-ever EFA Lead Candidate for the upcoming European Parliament elections, while some of the candidates from the 20 member parties taking part in the elections had the chance to participate in the launching of EFA’s European campaign, the 7th of March at Concert Noble, Brussels.
The party’s annual meeting was also the occasion for the EFA family to adopt a declaration on gender equality for the International Women’s Day (8th of March) reaffirming EFA’s commitment to address old and new forms of violence against women.
Other motions and declarations were also approved, calling for the liberation of the Catalan political leaders, the reform of the EU Treaties and the establishment of a European Agency for Multilinguism, and supporting a greater political participation of citizens in the EU policy-making process.
*New Vice-Presidents of EFA (member party, region/nation, name):
Alands Framtid, Åland Islands: Anders Eriksson
Fryske Nasjonale partij, Fryslan: Olrik Bouma
Plaid Cymru, Wales: Jill Evans
Nieuwe Vlaamse Alliantie, Flanders: Wouter Patho
Partit Occitan, Occitania: David Grosclaude
Ruch Autonomia Slask (RAS): Silesia: Marta Bainka
Partit di a Nazione Corsa (PNC), Corsica: Anne Tomasi
UDB from Brittany: Victor Gallou
Lista Za Rijeku, city area Rijeka in Croatia: Nelida Pogagcic
BLOC, Valencia: Fernando Fuente Cortina