Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD or EFD2) is a populist 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.
|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 (dissolved)|
|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 (Brexit Party)|
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In 2017, it was one of the seven political groups of the parliament. This group is opposed to European integration. 24 out of its 47 MEPs were from the United Kingdom, representing the UK Independence Party.
Its president is British politician Nigel Farage, who was elected for the UK Independence Party, and then became an independent in 2018 before joining the Brexit Party in 2019. David Borrelli of the Italian Five Star Movement was co-president until January 2017, when he had to resign the co-presidency after a failed attempt by his party's MEPs to transfer to the ALDE group.
7th European ParliamentEdit
Formation for the 8th European ParliamentEdit
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 ParliamentEdit
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.
In October 2017, with change in the French Front National, Florian Philippot, president of the "Patriotes", Sophie Montel and Mireille d'Ornano join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group.
In April 2019, group leader Nigel Farage launched the Brexit Party, which he and ten of the other ex-UKIP MEPs in the group joined, along with one UKIP MEP from the Europe of Nations and Freedom group.
8th European Parliament, 2014Edit
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy has 40 members as follows:
|Member state||Party||MEPs||Moved to|
|France||Former The Patriots; Now Independent||Sophie Montel||Non-Inscrits|
|Italy||Former Five Star Movement; Now Independent||Marco Affronte||Greens-EFA|
|Italy||Former Five Star Movement; Now Independent||David Borrelli||Non-Inscrits|
|Italy||Former Five Star Movement; Now Northern League||Marco Zanni||ENF|
|Latvia||Latvian Farmers' Union||Iveta Grigule||ALDE|
|Lithuania||Former Order and Justice; Now Labour Party||Valentinas Mazuronis||ALDE|
|Sweden||Sweden Democrats||Kristina Winberg||ECR|
|Sweden||Sweden Democrats||Peter Lundgren||ECR|
|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||UKIP||Gerard Batten||ENF|
|United Kingdom||UKIP||Stuart Agnew||ENF|
|United Kingdom||UKIP||Mike Hookem||Non-Inscrits|
During the European Parliament debate about Catalan independence referendum in 2017, the EFDD, by the voice of Ray Finch considered that European Union should have made some intervention against Spain to protect Catalan independence. He considered that this referendum led to human rights abuses. According to him, people should have the right to vote even when the referendum is illegal.
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- Ross, Tim (24 January 2015). "Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir defects to Conservative Party". London: The Daily Telegraph.
- "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 (16 June 2015). "Ex-Ukip Janice Atkinson joins Le Pen-led EU group". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
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- "Right-wing German MEP quits EU parliament group". Retrieved 8 April 2016.
- Rankin, Jennifer (9 January 2017). "Ukip's EU funding at risk after M5S quits Nigel Farage's Brussels group" – via The Guardian.
- Fioretti, Gavin Jones and Julia. "EU's Liberals rebuff Italy's 5-Star bid to join parliamentary group".
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- "Grillo blocks further 5 Star defections". EURACTIV.com.
- "Au Parlement européen, Florian Philippot et ses alliés rejoignent le groupe du britannique Nigel Farage". www.europe1.fr.
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- Reformists, European Conservatives and. "ECR Group - European Conservatives and Reformists Group". ecrgroup.eu. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
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- Barnes, Joe (6 October 2017). "EU Collapse? Catalonia independence to rock Brussels' 'SHALLOW foundations', blasts UK MEP".