Regionalist Parties in Western Europe

By Lieven De Winter; Huri Türsan | Go to book overview

co-operation inside and outside the European Parliament and has given regionalist parties some voice in European integration. The EFA is evidence of the extent to which regionalist parties see themselves as a political family and are prepared to engage in political co-operation and European integration. The federation has provided a means for parties to co-operate to gain political and logistical support, publicity and financial resources. However, while the EFA has been a success in many areas it has failed in its main goal of creating a regionalist political group in the European Parliament and turning the regionalist family into a more serious electoral and organisational competitor in European political systems. The 1994 European elections demonstrated the difficulties of the regionalist family in gaining the levels of support necessary to make a greater impact in European politics. The European Free Alliance survived the demise of the Rainbow Group in 1994 and must pin its hopes on future regionalist electoral success in the 1999 European elections. In the meantime the European Free Alliance must continue to do the types of things it has always done in order to survive and grow: look for new members, help existing members to gain electoral success and produce common policies to guide the organisation.


Notes
1
Report of the conference of the European Free Alliance, 8-10 January 1981.
2
The EFA's basic principles called for equal status for the nations and regions of Europe; respect for linguistic and cultural difference and decentralized political institutions; the strengthening of EU regional policy; the development of a nuclear-free Europe; and increased aid from Europe to the Third World. Principles outlined at a meeting of the European Free Alliance, 6 April 1984.
3
The list comprised regionalist parties from Alsace, Brittany, Corsica and Occitania and polled reasonably well in Alsace, Brittany and Corsica in the 1989 European elections.
4
General assembly of the European Free Alliance, Eupen, 22-23 April 1983.
5
Constitution of the European Free Alliance, Brussels, 1991.
6
Statutes of the European Free Alliance-Democratic Party of the Peoples of Europe, Brussels, 1995.
7
General assembly of the European Free Alliance, Brussels, 4-5 May 1992.
8
The EFA and the VU compiled and distributed a report on the differences between democratic regionalism and extreme-right nationalist parties in 1992, comparing the Rainbow Group with the far-right group in the European Parliament.

References
Birch, A.H. (1977) Political Integration and Disintegration in the British Isles, London: Allen and Unwin.
De Winter, L. (1994) 'The Volksunie and the bitter-sweet dilemma between policy success

-202-

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Regionalist Parties in Western Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Editor's Preface xi
  • Preface xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • References 15
  • 2 - Ethnoregionalist Parties in Western Europe 17
  • 3 - The Volksunie and the Dilemma Between Policy Success and Electoral Survival in Flanders 28
  • 4 - Regionalist Parties in French-Speaking Belgium 51
  • 5 - Nationalist Parties in Catalonia 70
  • 6 - Moderate Nationalist Parties in the Basque Country 87
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - The Scottish National Party 105
  • 8 - Plaid Cymru 125
  • References 142
  • 9 - The Lega Nord 143
  • References 156
  • 10 - The Südtiroler Volkspartei 158
  • Notes 171
  • References 173
  • 11 - The Failure of Regionalist Party Formation in Corsica 174
  • 12 - Go-Operation Between Regionalist Parties at the Level of the European Union 190
  • Notes 202
  • 13 - Conclusion 204
  • References 246
  • Index 248
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