Jump to content

Europe of Freedom and Democracy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Europe of Freedom and Democracy
European Parliament group
Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group logo
NameEurope of Freedom and Democracy[1][2]
English abbr.EFD[3]
French abbr.ELD
Formal nameEurope of Freedom and Democracy Group[3]
Political positionRight-wing to far-right
European partiesMovement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy
From1 July 2009 (de facto)[9]
To24 June 2014
Preceded byIndependence/Democracy
Succeeded byEurope of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Chaired byNigel Farage (UKIP)
Francesco Speroni (LN)

Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) was a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament.[10][11][12][13] The group was formed following the 2009 European parliamentary election, mostly composed of elements of the Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM) and Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN) groups that had existed during the 6th European Parliament. The group had a loose relationship with Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy (MELD), a European political party founded in 2011.

The EFD was a coalition of ten political parties – the largest being the UK Independence Party (UKIP) with eleven seats and the Italian Lega Nord, with nine seats – along with one independent. The EFD was strongly opposed to further European integration,[14] and was more nationalistic and anti-immigration than its main predecessor, IND/DEM.[15] The EFD was considered to belong on the right-wing[16][17][11] and the far-right[18][19][20][21] of the political spectrum.

On 24 June 2014 EFD group became Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) for the 8th European Parliament, with the continuing membership of just two of the eleven political parties that formed EFD.



Following the 2009 European parliament elections, the Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM) and Union for a Europe of Nations (UEN), two political groups of the European Parliament, were in trouble. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) component of IND/DEM had done well, but the other parties of this group fared very poorly.[9] UEN had also lost MEPs and both groups had fallen under the threshold required for a group to exist.[22][23] The remnants of both groups needed to find a new group before the constitutive session of the 7th European Parliament on 14 July 2009.

Speculation regarding the new group surfaced on 30 June 2009. The name of the group was originally speculated as A Europe of Free Peoples,[9][24] or A Europe of Peoples for Liberty,[9][24] or a phrase involving the word Independence[9] or Freedom[25] or Democracy[25] or People.[9] In the absence of an official name, the nascent group was given the placeholder name of Liberty.[9] On 1 July 2009 a press conference was held launching the group.[1][2][26] That press conference named the group Europe of Freedom and Democracy.[1][2]

Andreas Mölzer, the leader of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) European Parliament list, announced in July 2009 that FPÖ and EFD were in negotiations over FPÖ joining the group; each side had reservations about the other,[27] with UKIP, the Reformed Political Party (SGP) of the Netherlands, and the Slovak National Party (SNS) each uneasy about the inclusion of the FPÖ.[28] In June 2011, the FPÖ tried again to have its two MEPs join the faction, but was again denied, being opposed by five or six of the nine parties in the EFD.[29]


In March 2010 it was announced that MEP Nikki Sinclaire had had the UKIP whip withdrawn.[30] Sinclaire had refused to join the EFD on the grounds that it was a grouping with "extreme views" and consequently had not sat with her UKIP colleagues in the European parliament.[30] In June 2010 MEP Mike Nattrass also left the EFD, albeit on other grounds than Sinclaire, stating that "I don't share the same principles of some of the Group, on balance, the majority of the Group want to stay in the EU and I've always believed that we should leave." Nattrass later rejoined the group in December 2012.[31] In March 2011 MEP Trevor Colman left the EFD, allegedly due to an "unresolved dispute over financial and staffing issues." However Colman continued to represent UKIP as a Non-Attached MEP.[32][33] On 24 May 2011, British MEP David Campbell Bannerman defected to the Conservative Party, and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.[34]

In March 2011, Danish MEP Anna Rosbach left the EFD, and in turn joined the ECR group as an independent.[35]

The EFD was joined by Belgian MEP Frank Vanhecke in November 2011, after Vanhecke left Flemish Interest (VB).[36] It was joined by Magdi Allam in December 2011, when Allam defected from the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) in the EPP group.[37] The four MEPs from United Poland defected from the ECR group on 26 December 2011, taking the group's numbers to 33. In March 2012 Roger Helmer who was elected as a British Conservative Party MEP and previously sat with the ECR group, defected to UKIP and the EFD, raising the group's numbers to 34.[38]

In late 2012, Slavcho Binev MEP of People for Real, Open and United Democracy (PROUD) joined the group.

In February 2013 Marta Andreasen announced she was leaving UKIP and defected to the Conservative Party.[citation needed]

In late September 2013, National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NSFB) joined the group.[39]

Reformation for 8th European Parliament[edit]


EU states with one EFD MEP (shown in light orange), EU states with more than one EFD MEPs (shown in dark orange) during the 7th European Parliament.

Europe of Freedom and Democracy had 34 elected members between 2009 and 2014, they are as follows:

Country Name Ideology Previous membership MEPs[3]
 United Kingdom UK Independence Party UKIP Right-wing populism
British nationalism
10 / 736
 Italy Northern League Lega Nationalism
Right-wing populism
Union for Europe of the Nations
9 / 736
 Poland United Poland SP National conservatism
Catholic nationalism
European Conservatives and Reformists
4 / 736
 Lithuania Order and Justice TT National conservatism
Right-wing populism
Union for Europe of the Nations
2 / 736
 Greece Popular Orthodox Rally LAOS Religious conservatism
Right-wing populism
2 / 736
 Bulgaria National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria NFSB Ultranationalism
1 / 736
 Denmark Danish People's Party DF Danish nationalism
Right-wing populism
1 / 736
 Finland Finns Party National conservatism
Right-wing populism
1 / 736
 France Movement for France MPF Conservatism
Social conservatism
1 / 736
 Italy I Love Italy ALI Christian democracy
European People's Party
1 / 736
 Netherlands Reformed Political Party SGP Christian right
Social conservatism
1 / 736
 Slovakia Slovak National Party SNS Ultranationalism
Right-wing populism
1 / 736
 Belgium Frank Vanhecke (Ind.) Non-Inscrits
1 / 736



  1. ^ a b c Willis, Andrew (1 July 2009). "New eurosceptic group to campaign against EU treaty in Irish referendum". EU Observer. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "UKIP forms new Eurosceptic group". BBC. 1 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Members". EDF Group. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b Andreas Staab (2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1.
  5. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2013). "European Union". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013.
  6. ^ "[Investigation] Far-right MEPs least disciplined in following party line". EUobserver. 26 February 2024. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  7. ^ Alessi, Christopher (18 November 2013). "Populist Bloc Fails to Change Agenda in European Politics". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  8. ^ Müller, Manuel (27 May 2014). "After the European elections". Green European Journal. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Phillips, Leigh (30 June 2009). "Ukip, Lega Nord form hard-right bloc in EU Parliament". EU Observer. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  10. ^ John Peterson; Michael Shackleton (2012). The Institutions of the European Union. Oxford University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-19-957498-8. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b Marie-Claire Considère-Charon (2010). "Irish MEPs in an enlarged Europe". In Christophe Gillissen (ed.). Ireland: Looking East. Peter Lang. p. 158. ISBN 978-90-5201-652-8.
  12. ^ Paul T. Levin (2011). "Appendix". Turkey and the European Union: Christian and Secular Images of Islam. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-230-11957-4.
  13. ^ Nicholas Aylott; Magnus Blomgren; Torbjorn Bergman (2013). Political Parties in Multi-Level Polities: The Nordic Countries Compared. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-137-31554-0.
  14. ^ Giovanni Moro (2013). "Conclusions: the way forward". In Giovanni Moro (ed.). The Single Currency and European Citizenship: Unveiling the Other Side of The Coin. A&C Black. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-62356-095-9.
  15. ^ David Phinnemore; Lee McGowan (2013). A Dictionary of the European Union. Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 978-1-135-08127-0.
  16. ^ Gilles Ivaldi (2011), "The Populist Radical Right in European Elections 1979–2009", The Extreme Right in Europe: Current Trends and Perspectives, Vandenhoeck & Ruprect, p. 19
  17. ^ Thomas Jansen; Steven Van Hecke (2011), At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party, Springer, p. 229
  18. ^ Far-right MEPs form group in European Parliament, euractiv.com
  19. ^ Roy H. Ginsberg, Demystifying the European Union: The Enduring Logic of Regional Integration, p. 170, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, ISBN 0742566927
  20. ^ Rob Ford, Matthew J. Goodwin, Voting for Extremists, passim, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 041569051X
  21. ^ Kietz, Daniela; von Ondarza, Nicolai (February 2014), Eurosceptics in the European Parliament: Isolated and Divided in Brussels but Driving National Debates (PDF), SWP Comments, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, p. 2
  22. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 7th parliamentary term – July 2009, Rule 30: Formation of political groups". European Parliament. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament, 16th edition – March 2009, Rule 29: Formation of political groups". European Parliament. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  24. ^ a b ""UE/ Lega Nord nel nuovo gruppo di destra euroscettica"], 30 June 2009".[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ a b ""EU-kritisk grupp i EU"], 30 June 2009".[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "EU-Critical Group in European Parliament launches" Archived 7 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine, 1 July 2009, from http://indemgroup.eu Archived 2 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "EU-Rechtsaußen-Fraktion hat Vorbehalte gegen FPÖ". Der Standard. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  28. ^ "FPÖ dürfte nicht in Rechtsaußenfraktion landen". Der Standard. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  29. ^ "EFD-Fraktion: Veto gegen FPÖ-Aufnahme". Der Standard. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  30. ^ a b "Rebel Euro MP is expelled by UKIP". BBC News. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Colman Quits EFD". EU Reported. 30 March 2011. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  33. ^ "Mike NATTRASS". European Parliament. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  34. ^ "UKIP MEP Campbell Bannerman defects to Conservatives". BBC News. 24 May 2011.
  35. ^ Rosbach leaves Danish People's Party to become ECR MEP: theparliament.com Archived 13 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "Gewezen VB-voorzitter Vanhecke: "Stem op N-VA"". De Morgen. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  37. ^ Piras, Mara (15 December 2011). "Contrario alla libertà di coscienza sull'aborto, Magdi Allam esce dal PPE". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  38. ^ Hinton-Beales, Desmond (5 March 2012). "Conservative MEP defects to UKIP". TheParliament.com. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  39. ^ Национална телевизия СКАТ. "Национална телевизия СКАТ". skat.bg. Retrieved 2 March 2016.

External links[edit]