EFA warns of "threat to the future of Europe" from "re-centralizing tendencies" in EU member states

Europen party "welcomes" Sep 27 Catalan plebiscite election, supports peace process in Basque Country, Breton re-unification, Sorbian autonomy · Five parties given EFA observer or associate membership in Lombardy, Transylvania, Western Thrace, Yorkshire, Nagorno Karabakh

The European Free Alliance (EFA) -a European party bringing together pro-autonomy and pro-independence parties from across Europe- said the continent "is moving backwards" because of "re-centralising tendencies of the [EU] member states", a fact that goes in parallel with a "political discourse in the European Institutions [that] is shifting from subsidiarity to empowering competences of the member states." This, according to EFA, poses "a threat to the future of Europe."

EFA concluded this from the analysis of political trends in EU member states, as the party held its 2015 General Assembly in Bautzen (Lusatia) from 16th to 18th April.

EFA believes these trends can be observed in Spain, whose government is blocking all initiatives from its stateless nations to hold referendums on independence, as well as because Basque pro-independence leader Arnaldo Otegi continues to be imprisoned.

EFA argues those trends can also be seen in other states, including France, where the government blocks "all institutional reforms voted with clear majorities in the Corsican Assemblies, dilutes the Occitan, Savoyan, Basque and Catalan regions, refuses to re-unify the 5 historical parts of Brittany and abolishes the Alsatian region," in Italy, which "continues to hollow out existing autonomy statutes," and in the UK, which has "broken" the "vows on devolution" made to Scotland.

The European party also criticized "the illegalisation in Poland of any organisation with the denomination Silesian in its name" and blamed Bulgaria and Greece for "continuing to ignore their minorities." Finland also received EFA criticism as the party believes the government there does not take "active measures [...] to secure the survival of the Swedish language." EFA further said it is "appalled about the Romanian state listing autonomy ambitions as a threat to national security."

Support to process towards Catalan sovereignty

General Assembly delegates approved a declaration introduced by pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) party in which EFA "welcomes" the next Catalan legislative election -to be held later this year on September 27th- as a "plebiscite to independence in Catalonia" from Spain.

The European party also passed declarations of support to Breton re-unification, to autonomy for Lusatian Sorbs, and to the peace process in the Basque Country.

Four new observer members in EFA

EFA lent status of observer members to four new parties, namely Pro Lombardia Indipendenza (Lombard pro-independence party), Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania (federalist party of Transylvanian Hungarians), Friendship Equality and Peace Party (Greece's Western Thrace Turkish community) and Yorkshire First (pro-autonomy party in Yorkshire, England).

Accordingly, Valencian pro-sovereingty party Valencian Nationalist Bloc upgraded its status to full membership. Furthermore, EFA created a new category -associate member, for parties from non-EU countries- to which Nagorno Karabakh's Democratic Party of Artsakh has been admitted.