Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
|Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy|
|European parliamentary group|
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group logo
|Name||Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy|
|Formal name||Europe of freedom and direct democracy Group|
|European parties||Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe|
|From||24 June 2014 (1st)
20 October 2014 (2nd)
|To||17 October 2014 (1st)|
|Preceded by||Europe of Freedom and Democracy|
|Chaired by||Nigel Farage (UKIP)|
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Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD or EFD2) is a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. The EFDD group is a continuation for the Eighth European Parliament of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group that existed during the Seventh European Parliament, with significant changes to group membership.
7th European Parliament
Formation for the 8th European Parliament
Following the 2014 European parliament elections, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group faced difficulties reforming for the 8th European Parliament, with various member parties and MEPs of the previous term's EFD either defecting to different parliamentary groups or failing to be re-elected.
On 4 June 2014, the Danish People's Party (Denmark) and Finns Party (Finland) were admitted into the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and therefore were no longer attached to the EFD.
On 12 June 2014, the Five Star Movement (M5S) of Italy, having been rejected by the Greens/EFA and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe groups, offered its activists a limited-choice online referendum to choose a European Parliament group for the party, in which 78% of participating activists voted for the EFD.
The EFD group was reformed on 18 June 2014 with MEPs from existing member parties: the UK Independence Party (United Kingdom) and the Order and Justice (Lithuania), in addition to new affiliates: the Five Star Movement, the Sweden Democrats (Sweden), the Party of Free Citizens (Czech Republic), the Latvian Farmers Union (Latvia) and a French independent MEP, formerly of the National Front.
On 24 June 2014, the EFD group name was revised to Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), and David Borrelli of the Five Star Movement was chosen as the incoming group's new co-president.
Events during 8th European Parliament
On 16 October 2014, it was announced that Iveta Grigule MEP from the Latvian Farmers Union had defected from EFDD to,the ALDE group, resulting in the collapse of the group because it was no longer composed of representatives from at least a quarter of the EU's Member States. The criterion was restored on 20 October, with one Polish MEP, Robert Iwaszkiewicz from Congress of the New Right (KNP), joining the group, although the other party's MEPs remained Non-Inscrits. On 24 January 2015, Amjad Bashir was suspended from UKIP pending a party investigation into financial fraud: Bashir defected to the Conservative Party within an hour of his suspension. On 20 March 2015, Janice Atkinson was suspended from UKIP and later expelled on 23 March for alleged financial fraud. Atkinson joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group at its launch on 15 June 2015.
On 9 January 2017, the Five Star Movement voted in an online referendum to leave EFDD in order to join the ALDE group; however, they were rejected by ALDE later the same day.  In the aftermath, two MEPs left the group, with Marco Affronte defected to the Greens/EFA group, and Marco Zanni to the ENL group. Other Five Star Movement MEPs pulled out of switching parliamentary group after threatened by party leader Beppe Grillo with a fine of €250,000.
8th European Parliament, 2014
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy has 42 elected members as follows:
|Member state||Party||MEPs||Previous group||Additional notes|
|Czech Republic||Party of Free Citizens||
1 / 21
|France||Joëlle Bergeron (Independent MEP)||
1 / 74
|N/A||Former FN member|
|Germany||Alternative for Germany||
1 / 96
|ECR||Beatrix von Storch of AfD|
|Italy||Five Star Movement||
15 / 73
|Lithuania||Order and Justice||
1 / 11
1 / 51
|N/A||Only Robert Iwaszkiewicz|
2 / 20
|United Kingdom||UK Independence Party||
20 / 73
|Member state||Party||MEPs||Moved to|
|Italy||Former Five Star Movement; Now Independent||Marco Affronte||Greens-EFA|
|Italy||Former Five Star Movement; Now Independent||Marco Zanni||ENF|
|Latvia||Latvian Farmers' Union||Iveta Grigule||ALDE|
|Lithuania||Former Order and Justice; Now Labour Party||Valentinas Mazuronis||ALDE|
|United Kingdom||Former UKIP; Now Conservative Party||Amjad Bashir||ECR|
|United Kingdom||Former UKIP; Now Independent||Janice Atkinson||ENF|
|United Kingdom||Former UKIP; Now Independent||Steven Woolfe||Non-Inscrits|
|United Kingdom||Former UKIP; Now Independent||Diane James||Non-Inscrits|
- Chair: Nigel Farage
- Chair of the Bureau: Roger Helmer
- Vice-Chair: Joëlle Bergeron
- Vice-Chair: Piernicola Pedicini
- Vice-Chair: Peter Lundgren
- Vice-Chair: Petr Mach
- Vice-Chair: Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz
- Vice-Chair: Rolandas Paksas
- Vice-Chair: Beatrix von Storch
- Treasurer: Tiziana Beghin
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- "Internazionale » M5S » All’Europarlamento nasce gruppo Efd, "coppia aperta" per M5s-Ukip". Internazionale.it. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- "Opening: Schulz warns against attempts to disrupt Northern Ireland peace process". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
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- "UKIP suspends MEP Janice Atkinson over expenses claim". BBC News. 20 March 2015.
- "UKIP's Janice Atkinson expelled from party". BBC News. 23 March 2015.
- Rowena Mason Political correspondent (2015-06-16). "Ex-Ukip Janice Atkinson joins Le Pen-led EU group". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "Germany's anti-euro party which became two". Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "Right-wing German MEP quits EU parliament group". Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- Robert Iwaszkiewicz's biography, European Parliament, 30 November 2015