EFA founding member FNP celebrates 60th anniversary in series of events in Fryslân

Dé Partij Foar de Regio Sûnt 1962

Last weekend in the cities of Ljouwert and It Hearrenfean an EFA delegation joined the FNP in celebrating its 60th anniversary. Since 1962 the Fryske Nasjonale Partij – Frisian National Party has been a strong voice for Frisians, Frisian autonomy, and the Frisian language. In 1981 the party was one of the founding members of the European Free Alliance and over the years has been an important contributor to EFA’s work.

A visit to the parliament

The weekend started with a visit to the parliament of Fryslân in Ljouwert, where the EFA delegation made up of EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle, EFA Vice-Presidents Anke Spoorendonk and Wouter Patho, EFA honorary member & former MEP Nelly Maes, and members of the EFA secretariat were met by FNP members for a tour of the parliament and seat of the Frisian government.

At the parliament, the delegation met with Arno Brok, the King’s Commissioner for Fryslân, who welcomed the delegation. In his address at the parliament and spoke of Fryslân’s long and proud history and its many links with the rest of Europe.

“I wish the FNP very well for its anniversary celebrations. It is very important for Fryslân that there is a regional party with such a history to be proud of and a strong local track record”.

Arno Brok, King’s Commissioner for Fryslân
Arno Brok – The King’s Commissioner for Fryslân addressing the EFA Delegation

Behind the Horizon

One of the weekend’s main events was the mini-symposium ‘Behind the Horizon’ in the impressive Thialf Ice Stadium in It Hearrenfean, an exciting event discussing the future of the FNP, Fryslân and regions in general. Starting with an address from FNP President Jan Arendz, the event also featured a speech from EFA president Lorena López de Lacalle, who compared good politics to the Frisian tradition of speed skating: “with one’s feet on the ground looking far ahead: that is the way to do politics, that is the Frisian way, the FNP way”.

Proud to work for a fairer Europe

In her speech the president paid tribute to the late Roel Falkena, an EFA founding member from the FNP:

“Roel was advocating for a Federal Union, a Union of the Peoples of Europe – for a truly democratic union which not only respects our diversity but cherishes our respective languages and cultures”.

Finishing her speech, the president spoke of her pride in EFA’s relationship with the FNP:

“We are proud to be a part of your project, proud to walk by your side behind the horizon. Proud to be Europeans, working for a fairer and better Europe for all the Peoples.”

EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle
EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle addressing the mini-symposium

A progressive electoral programme to move Fryslân forward

The weekend also featured the launch of the FNP’s candidates and electoral programme for this year’s regional elections by FNP leader Sijbe Knol, presenting the assembled delegates with the FNP’s diverse slate of candidates and a progressive and solid electoral programme based on Fryslân’s needs.

FNP Leader Sijbe Knol launches the FNP’s electoral programme & list of candidates

Strong results for the FNP will not only be a win for the people of Fryslân but for the cause of building a Europe of All Peoples, building politics with a ground-up approach and building a better, more progressive future.

In honour of Roel Falkena

Former MEP and former EFA President Nelly Maes addresses ceremony in honour of Roel Falkena

The weekend finished with a ceremony in honour of Roel Falkena (1936-2021), an important figure for both the FNP and EFA. He worked tirelessly for Fryslân, the Frisian cause and a Europe of All Peoples.

The ceremony was addressed by former MEP Nelly Maes who spoke of Falkena’s role aided by the FNP in advancing the cause for European Cooperation. During the ceremony, Roel Falkena was appointed as an honorary member of the FNP.

Congratulations to the FNP

EFA wishes to formally congratulate the FNP on their 60th anniversary and thank them for their continuous contribution to EFA’s work.

EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle meets with lead FNP candidates Sijbe Knol and Dinie Visser