EFA 2020/21: Achievements and Reflections

As we approach our General Assembly on 27th May 2021, we look back at our achievements and successes from the past year. While the past year has seen the world change with a series of lockdowns and isolation, our work has not stopped – we have simply adapted. 

In order to adapt to our new digital world, we produced an animation summarising EFA’s political viewpoint. You can watch it here – subtitled in 21 languages! 

We continue to offer our members relevant and politically important training. Our women’s day webinar brought together academics and political experts to examine how women can be better represented in political activities. Our food sovereignty and self-determination webinar focused on food sovereignty and the right of peoples to determine the agricultural and food policies that affect them. In December, EFA organised an internal training session on winning elections and the importance of research and polling. Our two-day training seminar on Citizen’s Assemblies – by Katie Galloghy-Swan – helped our members understand how to successful run CAs. You can read the report here.

We proactively work within the European Institutions, too. Following the Joint Declaration on the Conference of the Future of Europe, EFA held a meeting with Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission Dubravka Šuica’s cabinet to demonstrate its commitment to playing a positive role in the Conference and achieving a better European Union in the interests of all its nations and peoples. 

We continue to make a concerted effort to bring more equality to every EFA meeting, also. In November, the launch of the EFA women’s forum has given us a dedicated space for women to express their concerns and queries. We move forward with our plan every day: we are in the midst of creating a Gender Equality Action Plan that will ensure EFA – and our parties – have diverse representation at all political levels. 

We have also attended a number of conferences, congresses, and webinars ran by our members and friends. These include the RPS Summer University, the Nagorno-Karabakh International Support webinar, a joint EFA-ERC webinar on the role of the EU in the world, the SNP annual conference, and the Another Europe radio broadcast. 

Our reports throughout the year have provided in-depth research into the burning self-determination questions raised across Europe and beyond.  Our joint publication with EFA member party Bloc Nacionalista Valencià was dedicated to generating debates, spreading ideas, and proposals on current political issues carried out by the European Parliament. Our Vision for a Post-Covid Europe outlined the ways in which Europe can use the pandemic to rebuild a more equal society. Our most recent paper, available here, focuses on how Quebec’s right to self-determination can be a source of inspiration for the people of Europe.

In political representation, EFA is represented by a diverse range of politicians striving for self-determination for their regions. Our parties lead a number of governments: Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in Scotland, Gilles Simeoni and Fema a Corsica in Corsica, Pere Aragonès and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya in Catalonia, and Jan Jambon and the N-VA in Flanders. On every level, we have representation: whether local councillor or First Minister, we are grateful and thankful for every single voice for self-determination across Europe. 

2021 already proves to be a busy year for EFA – we’ll not only continue to represent our parties at a European level, but we’ll strive to reach further and deeper with our message.