Thursday, 24 November 2011

30 Years of the European Free Alliance

On Wednesday, November 9th a conference was held in Brussels entitled "From Nations to Member States, a new architecture for Europe." Mebyon Kernow was present on site, in the form of Cllr John Rowe and Davyth Hicks a long serving MK member who is based in Brussels working with Eurolang and the inter-parliamentary groups. With the presence of several European Free Alliance MEPs, former leaders of autonomous regions, representatives of various European parties. The day was divided into three themes:

• Rethinking the European Union: how to awaken the
nations in Europe in a crisis?

• The emergence of new member states: Scotland,
Catalonia, Basque Country, Flanders

• A multi-level governance, combining global and local

During this conference the idea emerged that the European Union seemed out of breath and taken aback by economic and institutional crises. This continued into how we need to breath a new life in the EU if it is to continue in a credible form. Thus the idea took shape that now the best and most appropriate solution is for a federal European Union. A Union with strong autonomous regions.

Several party officials were then able to intervene and explain how their independent nations would be beneficial. It goes without saying that the issue of Europeanism to Catalonia, the Basque Country, Flanders or Scotland is highly important. That's because they are pro-European, they demand their independence and they want to play an active contribution in the European authorities. At the end of the conference we celebrated the 30th anniversary of EFA, with the launch of a new publication detailing the party’s history through photographs including a good few of MK members (looking rather younger!)

On a more serious notes, EFA’s existence is more important now than ever in times of economic hardship. One of EFA’s most core tenants that sets it apart from other political institutions is how it has embedded its commitment to peace and diversity into its social and economic policy. In a Europe where the economic crisis is causing a rise in right-wing nationalism, racism and ill feeling towards migrants we need the humanising effect that EFA brings now more than ever.