Success for National Regions Initiative
In a huge step for the protection of national regions, the Citizens’ Initative for National Regions has surpassed the required number of signatures and will be debated in the European Parliament. The European Free Alliance (EFA) congratulates the citizens committee of the successful citizens’ initiative.
The purpose of the initiative was to ensure a policy that allocates cohesion funds directly to national regions would be employed. Direct funds to national regions would help them develop their infrastructures and preserve their linguistic and cultural heritage. Currently, only national governments receive such payments, and activists have long campaigned for more subsidiarity for such regions.
The petition can only be discussed in the European Parliament if one million signatures are collected from seven-member countries and these amount to at least 750 times the number of MEPs from each country. This number was remarkably achieved on the last day of the campaign, with Belgium being the final country to exceed the threshold.
Co-leader of the campaign, and former EFA employee Attila Dabis, is extremely pleased with the result.
‘The EU finally needs to treat national regions equally, and address the problems of peoples, and stateless nations, residing within its borders given that many of these problems fall within the competencies of EU law,’ he notes.
‘The inhabitants of national regions are peoples, consequently, national regions are peoples’ homelands, just like the countries of Europe, and should be treated as such.’
EFA President Lorena Lopez de Lacalle stated ‘Over 1.4 million signatures, surpassing the national minimum threshold in 11 member states, shows that there is a clear appetite for greater direct democracy within the EU. EFA fully supports this endeavour.
In particular, we wish to congratulate the leaders of the campaign: Mr. Balázs Izsák, and former EFA employee Attila Dabis, for their endurance and fortitude throughout this long period.’
The initiative will now go through the process of signature verification, before being presented to the European Parliament for debate. For official updates on the campaign, follow: