EFA meeting with Central European parties: advancing autonomy for national minorities

The Bureau members of the European Free Alliance hold a working meeting on the 24 September in  Komárom/Komárno (Slovak Republic) with representatives of EFA member parties from Central Europe, in order to discuss ways of fostering cross-border and cross-party cooperation in the region, with a special focus on advancing autonomy and self-government for national minorities.

After World War I, many peoples and regions in Central and Eastern Europe were directly affected by the new arbitrary demarcations, which implied that, all of a sudden, they found themselves in a foreign State, thus becoming a minority in the country. These minorities, represented by several EFA member parties, have their own language and culture, different to the ones of the State they belong to. 

The European Free Alliance firmly supports the right to decide on their own future for these minorities and peoples, whose problems are still largely unresolved, including their recognition status within the country, as well as their demands for self-governance, and linguistic and cultural recognition.

EFA will work closely with the Central European group -formed by a dozen of EFA parties representing peoples with historical, geographical and cultural similarities and facing common challenges- in the promotion of cross-border and cross-party cooperation and in order to make EFA more visible at regional level.

Joint initiatives that involve political organizations, cultural associations and the civil society can make a decisive contribution to a Europe of self-governing peoples and regions, in which the protection and further promotion of local languages and culture, also in the education systems, is guaranteed at all levels.

The meeting took place in Komárom, a historical Hungarian town at the confluence of the Danube and the Váh rivers which was divided after World War I, its northern part currently being part of Slovakia while the south of it remains in Hungary. EFA member party Magyar Kereszténydemokrata Szövetség, a voice for the Hungarian community in the Slovak Republic, hosted the encounter, in the frame of the EFA Bureau meeting on 24-25 September.

EFA’s Central European Group consists of the following EFA member parties: Bayernpartei. Enotna Lista, Erdély Magyar Néppárt, Lausitzer Allianz, Liga Socijaldemokrata Vojvodine, Lista per Fiume, Magyar Kereszténydemokrata Szövetség. Moravské Zemské Hnutí, Oljka, Śląska Partia Regionalna, Süd-Tiroler Freiheit, Unser Land.