The Central European Group of the European Free Alliance (EFA) held its constituent meeting in the divided city of Komárom in Upper Hungary (now part of Slovakia) at the end of September. The group, which is an affiliation of EFA member parties, advocate more autonomy for the respective autochthonous population as well as more regionalism and independence for their regions. On the basis of their historical, geographical and cultural similarities, the group focuses on ethnopolitical topics that they want to promote together within EFA. These include, amongst other things, the protection of native languages and cultures and, as such, the improvement of mother tongue tuition, the fight against dictatorial symbols and fictitious place names, as well as the right to dual citizenships.
The year 1919 marked a deep break for the peoples of Central Europe. The dismantling of Austria-Hungary and new arbitrary demarcations in Europe gave rise to numerous regions that all of a sudden found themselves in a foreign nation state. Many of the peoples living in these regions became thus a minority. The problems therefrom are still largely unresolved.
“Cross-border cooperation can make a decisive contribution to a Europe of regions and self-governing peoples, and our focus should always be put on self-determination,” says the Central European Group of EFA. The collaboration should not only take place with political organizations, but also with representatives of cultural associations of autochthonous ethnic minorities and, moreover, contribute to making the European Free Alliance more visible at the regional level.
The Central European Group of the European Free Alliance wants to meet twice a year in order to discuss the issues facing each region and to prepare for the annual General Assembly of EFA. The chair of the Central European Group is nominated for one year. The first chairman is Cristian Kollmann representing Süd-Tiroler Freiheit.
EFA’s Central European Group consists of the following EFA member parties:
Erdély Magyar Néppárt.
Liga Socijaldemokrata Vojvodine.
Lista per Fiume.
Magyar Kereszténydemokrata Szövetség.
Moravské Zemské Hnutí.
Śląska Partia Regionalna.
Attached a photo of EFA’s Central European Group. The photo is free of charge (© EFA).