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22.6.09

EU elections for stateless nations

A full breakdown of the EU elections from the point of view of national minorities, lesser used languages and stateless nations can be found below.

Good luck to the Green / European Free Alliance in the European Parliament they deserve our support. The likes of Dr Csaba Tabajdi and the Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages will also be worth following from a Cornish perspective. The Intergroup provides a space where all MEPs concerned with national minority rights can come together regardless of their political party. It also aims to build relations with NGOs like the Federal Union of European Nationalities and Youth of European Nationalities in the Council of Europe.


Apart from a handful of ignored and ignorable UKIP and Tory MEPs the South West government zone has also re-elected Graham Watson (Liberal Democrat). I am assured he has been a supporter of Kernow in the past and I know he has backed the Cornwall Region of Culture project. OK that may not have convinced you of his pro-Cornish credentials but if you want to write to one of our MEPs then I really wouldn't bother with the others. Equally you can receive newsletter updates from Mr Watson by providing your e-mail address on his website.


Article taken from Eurolang

Below Eurolang focuses on some of the new and returning MEPs who will be active in supporting lesser used languages.

European Free Alliance



The EFA comprising nationalists and regionalists from across Europe stood on the most overtly pro-linguistic diversity manifesto. In the Parliament they sit with Greens.

The EFA gained a Corsican MEP, Francescu Alfonsi, who ran on a joint Greens-regionalist (Régions et Peuples Solidaire) platform. Mr Oriol Junqueras comes in from Catalonia for Esquerra Republica Catalunya, his term will be split with Ana Miranda from Bloque Nacionalista Galego (Galicia). He replaces Mikel Irujo.

Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) was successful in Wales, while the SNP just missed a third seat with Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smyth re-elected. It is anticipated that they will be joined by Bishop László Tokés who returns to represent the Transylvanian Hungarians in the EFA. The Cornish party Mebyon Kernow, while not gaining a seat, did well beating the Labour party and winning 7% of the vote in Cornwall.

Greens


The Greens/ regionalist alliance had a huge success in France, equalling the Socialist vote, gaining 8 seats, and winning 14 MEPs overall in France. Nicole Kiil-Nielsen joins from Brittany. Several new Finnish Greens are very supportive on Sami issues while Raul Romeva from the Catalan Greens kept his seat.

EPP


Strong supporters for the Hungarian national minorities are Kinga Gal and Csaba Sogor who will go to the centre-right EPP group. The conservative Fidesz party did well in Hungary returning language Intergroup members György Schöpflin and Pal Schmitt. Slovakia sees Edit Bauer return for the Hungarian party Magyar Koalíció Pártja, she will also sit with the EPP.

ALDE


The new Swedish Finn MEP, Carl Haglund, comes in to replace Henrik Lax. He will join Finnish MEP Hannu Takkula in the Liberal ALDE group. Ramon Tremosa comes in for the Catalan CiU party, and ex-speaker of the Basque Parliament, Izaskun Bilbao, won for the Basque party (PNV).

GUE


Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein) held on to her seat with an increased majority.

ASDE (PES)


The Socialists announced on Friday that they have formed alliance with the Italian Democratic Party to create the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe. Catalan Maria Badia i Cutchet, who helped overturn this spring’s multilingualism report, comes back along with Csaba Tabajdi from the Hungarian socialists.

Ones to watch

However, despite the success of many progressive candidates the elections also saw gains from the far right in central and eastern Europe, many of which are noted for their hostility to national minorities and lesser used languages.

Jobbik in Hungary campaign against the Roma and won 3 seats; the Slovak National Party (1 seat) and the Greater Romania Parties (3 seats) denounce the Hungarian national minority; and Ataka, (2 seats) Bulgaria’s ultra-nationalist party, attacks, verbally, that country’s ethnic Turks. The Freedom Party in Austria doubled its vote to win 2 seats.

In Spain the conservative PP won the most seats, one of their leading MEPs Mayor-Oreja stated before the election that Basque, Catalan and Galician should not have official status in the EU. In Brussels they sit with the EPP.

In England, UKIP, despite their own MEP’s expenses scandal, a policy to close down the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, as well as for the UK to leave Europe, gained one seat giving them 13 seats. The far right British National Party won two.

Meanwhile, Latvia saw the last head of the Latvian Communist Party Alfreds Rubiks win. Rubiks, who spent six years in prison for trying to overthrow the country's first democratic government since the Second World War, has made no secret of his dismay over the collapse of the Soviet Union. (Eurolang 2009)

European Parliament elections site

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