Following a vote on the retirement of Eric Defoort as President, the European Free Alliance has elected with unanimity former MEP François Alfonsi (Partitu di a Nazione Corsa -PNC) as the new EFA President at its meeting on July 8th. Mr Defoort will continue to represent N-VA (Flanders) in the EFA Bureau.
On its 33rd Anniversary (9/7/1981) the EFA party welcomed for the first time ever* a Corsican to lead the only European political party working for self-determination. Lorena Lopez de Lacalle (EA-Basque Country) was elected as EFA Party Treasurer.
EFA thanked Mr. Defoort, who has been chairing the party since 2010, and congratulated François Alfonsi with his nomination stating: "As member of the EFA Bureau I will work together with François Alfonsi. I particularly valued his work in the past legislative period as the MEP who defended Corsica, the stateless nations in France, and the endangered languages in Europe."
Former colleagues in the EFA Group and EFA Group Vice-Presidents Ian Hudghton (SNP-Scotland) and Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru-Wales) described François Alfonsi as: "A bridge builder, a politician with a strong sense of strategy, François will have an important role in leading the EFA party to new success.”
EFA group President Josep-Maria Terricabras (ERC-Catalonia) underlined that: "The EFA Group in the European Parliament will work in a good synergy with the EFA party led by one of our most active MEP’s in the past mandate of the European Parliament."
The newly elected EFA President François Alfonsi declared: “I see it as my task to work with a good understanding and in full co-operation with all 40 member parties of the EFA party. Also a co-operation both inside and outside the European Parliament with other political actors favouring self-determination will prove to be important in order to build a better Europe, a Europe of the peoples. Thirty three years ago my party signed a declaration founding the European Free Alliance as did the N-VA (VU), who until today chaired EFA. I will be particularly proud to continue Eric Defoort’s work and the EFA tradition to represent those who are unrepresented in Europe."
* Former EFA PARTY Presidents
2010-2014 Eric Defoort (Flanders - VU - N-VA)
2000-2010 Nelly Maes (Flanders - VU - Spirit)
1997-2000: Winnie Ewing (Scotland - SNP)
1994-1997: Jaak Vandemeulebroucke (Flanders - VU)
1991-1994: Winnie Ewing (Scotland - SNP)
1990-1991: Carlos Garaikoetxea (Basque Country - EA)
1981-1990: Jaak Vandemeulebroucke (Flanders -VU)
EFA Honorary President Maurits Coppieters (Flanders- VU)
François ALFONSI (born 14-05-1953).
Member of the European Parliament from 2009-2014 for Corsica within the South-East of France constituency and Mayor of Osani. He made his name with the Alfonsi Report in support of endangered languages in 2013, which won overwhelming support (92%) in the European Parliament.
He was Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages, and an active member of the Basque Peace Process group. Alfonsi has been a Corsican nationalist since the 1970s, and was elected in 1987 to the Corsican Assembly. He has been Mayor of Osani since 2002.
He is currently a member of the Party of the Corsican Nation (PNC). In the 2009 European elections, he was the second candidate on the ‘Europe Écologie’ list in the South-East region, and was elected to the European Parliament. He was the second Corsican nationalist after Max Simeoni (Green, 1989–1994) to be elected to the European Parliament. Since 2005 he has been an active member in the EFA Party Bureau as Vice-President of the EFA Party and Treasurer.