EFA launched its 2014 European election manifesto at the General Assembly in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia. The manifesto, while building on EFA parties’ shared aspirations and overarching values, “underlines and underscores our diversity and respects all the differences between our member parties,” said Ana Miranda (BNG's EP election candidate) at the General Assembly.
The manifesto, developed by all the EFA member parties, illustrates how the party is a broad alliance gathering a diverse range of parties from across Europe each with their own unique approach on how to better the prospects for their people.
The manifesto focuses on these shared values with seven general policy proposals.
1. The right to self-determination, the internal enlargement, and EU recognition of this process; the EU must commit itself to the recognition of new member states arising from the self-determination process. In addition, democracy is a fundamental principle of the EU; it would be inconceivable that the EU block access to new states, comprising existing EU citizens, and that have achieved statehood via flawless democratic processes.
2. Improving democracy and transparency in the EU; following the enlargement and the worst financial crisis that the euro has faced, the EU needs to set new ambitious targets in order to be a leader in the drive towards a sustainable economy, a model of democracy, social cohesion and justice.
3. Overcoming the euro crisis; austerity measures have to be complemented by investment in future orientated policies while the EU budget has to be better managed including using fiscal consolidation.
4. The development of sustainable energy sources; EFA is committed to an energy strategy which maximises energy efficiency, prioritizes the development of renewable energy, and which makes the European gas and electricity markets more transparent with proactive supervision in order to protect consumers.
5. Developing sustainable agriculture and reforming the CAP; EFA call for the retention of the Single Farm Payment within an adequate budget, this payment provides an essential bulwark for farm finances and must be adequately financed from the EU budget. EFA also calls for the strengthening of support for ‘less favoured areas’ and the devolution of power over CAP decision-making to the local level.
6. Developing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; as with farming a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. The EFA calls for decision-making on fisheries to be decentralised. Problems are best solved by decisions being taken at a level appropriate to each fishery. In addition, the onshore industry must be protected and sustainable fishing and aquaculture be allowed to develop in a manner most appropriate to each region.
7. Facing the challenges to our languages and cultures and working towards linguistic equality; many of our ‘regional’ languages are facing endangerment because of hostile language policies implemented by states. The EU cannot ‘respect linguistic diversity’ and at the same time stand idle while European languages disappear. Furthermore, regional languages have a proven record of being a net contributor to the local economy. EFA is calling for direct funding for endangered language projects via existing EU programmes such as Erasmus Plus, and for the EU to establish a legal framework for the protection of our lesser-used languages.
EFA is therefore calling for meaningful and substantive changes in order to create the kind of Europe that an increasing number of people aspire to. The time has come for these aspirations to become a reality as we seek to build a Europe that truly works for and represents its many peoples.
The manifesto has been published in six languages and is available here on our website.
If you wish to receive a printed version please e-mail us at info(at)e-f-a(dot)org with your name and address.
We wish all of our member parties standing in the European Parliament elections every success.