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The European Free Alliance would welcome PDC “to the nationalist family” in the European Parliament

European Free Alliance (EFA) director, Günther Dauwen, would approve if the Catalan Democratic Party (PDC), the new name for former liberal ‘Convergència’, were to leave the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and join the EFA in the European Parliament instead. “The family of regionalist nationalists would be more homogeneous and consistent and that could help to reinforce our message”, Dauwen told the CNA. Although he admitted that there hasn’t yet been any official request, if joining the EFA “could help to promote and make progress” for the Catalan cause “a positive decision could be expected”. Dauwen also noted that left wing pro-independence ERC, which together with other 44 groups belongs to the EFA, wouldn’t oppose welcoming the PDC to the family. PDC MEP, Ramon Tremosa has repeatedly said he was “not comfortable” within the ALDE because they voted “following instructions from Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, a private brand of the Conservative People’s Party”.

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11 October 2016 08:55 PM

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ACN

Brussels (CNA).- Former liberal ‘Convergència’, now renamed the Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) is considering leaving the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament and joining the European Free Alliance (EFA) instead. Although no formal petition has yet been made, EFA’s director, Günther Dauwen, told the CNA that if this move “could help to promote and make progress”for the Catalan cause “a positive decision could be expected”. “The family of regionalist nationalists would be more homogeneous and consistent and that could help to reinforce our message”, he stated. Dauwen also noted that it would be “for the statutory bodies, the executive of the EFA and the members of the General Assembly to take a decision”but forecast that left wing pro-independence ERC, which together with 44 other groups belongs to the EFA, wouldn’t oppose welcoming the PDC to the family. 


PDC MEP, Ramon Tremosa repeatedly has insisted that he wasn’t comfortable within the ALDE in the European Parliament. “I hope that the new party could give voice to its basis and make a clear statement soon regarding its continuity [within the ALDE]”, he stated last July. “It is not compatible that a party which defines itself as pro-independence and republican” belongs to a group which “votes following instructions from Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, a private brand of the Conservative People’s Party”.

Although EFA’s director, Günther Dauwen, told the CNA that there hasn’t yet been any official request by former ‘Convergència’, he admitted that “if they decide to do so” the EFA “will send an invitation to have formal talks”. “If such a request would be received it would be up to our statutory bodies, the executive of the EFA and the members of the general assembly to take a decision” he said and added that “if it is the general feeling” that welcoming the PDC in the EFA family “would help to promote and make progress” for the Catalan cause, then “a positive decision can be expected”. Dauwen insisted that accepting the PDC “would highly depend on the vision of the members of the EFA” and their perception of “former ‘Convergència’s role in the Catalan process”. In this vein, he emphasised that “current EFA member ERC would have an important say”.

The SNP, the Plaid Cymru, the New Flemish Alliance, the Galician Nationalist Bloc, the Aralar Party and the Valencian Nationalist Bloc are amongst the EFA’s members, which currently has 12 MEPs. Seven of them share a group in the European Parliament with the Green Party, led by left wing pro-independence ERC MEP, Josep Maria Terricabras.

ECR would also welcome PDC

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are also open to negotiating PDC’s joining. “I know Ramon and we have worked well together”, stated ECR’s leader, Syed Kamall, and added that Tremosa “is not the only liberal who is not comfortable with his group”. “I’m always open to discussing with MEPs from other parties; we are growing and we are already the third group in the European Parliament”, Kamall told the CNA and assured that MEPs from a wide range of political perspectives have asked to join the ECR.

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  • European Free Alliance (EFA) director, Günther Dauwen (by ACN)

  • European Free Alliance (EFA) director, Günther Dauwen (by ACN)
EFA would welcome the Catalan Democratic Party to the nationalist family