The Basque political conflict can be argued to have been present in the Basque Country for more than a century. However, the current Basque armed conflict started in the 1950s, with the creation of ETA and its fight against the fascist dictatorship in Spain. Since then the conflict has broadened, and after it reached its peak in the 1980s, both the Spanish and the French governments have fought ETA. In the last 30 years several peace processes were carried out, but none proved to be successful. Nevertheless, since the early 2000s dialogues were carried out between ETA, the Spanish government and Basque political parties. The internationally-backed 2011 Donostia-San Sebastián International Peace Conference (Aiete conference) called for both ETA and the governments to take action to advance in conflict resolution. Three days later ETA announced its “definitive cessation of its armed activity”. Since then ETA has carried no armed action, however the Spanish and French have not followed the advice given in the Aiete conference, and the Basque peace process has been in a situation of stalemate.
The European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Condemns the position of the Spanish and French governments of ignoring and denying the vital role of the International Contact Group (ICG), and other Basque and international organisations taking part in the process as mediators.
2. Urges French and Spanish governments to take action and to engage in dialogue with ETA, in order to fulfil ETA’s disarmament, which ETA itself has expressed to be willing to.
3. Condemns the Spanish and French states’ prisoners policy, which has not changed since ETA’s armed actions stopped, and continues to disperse prisoners throughout Spain and France, up to 1,000 kilometres away from their families, causing underserved suffering in prisoners’ families and hindering future peace talks.
4. Stresses that the end of the Basque armed conflict, does not imply an end to the Basque political conflict, and remembers that the only democratic solution is by means of exercising the right of self-determination and carrying out a referendum, in which Basques can decide freely upon their political status.
5. Welcomes Basque cross-party and civil society initiatives that, aside of the stalemate position of the Spanish and French governments, have carried out activities to promote coexistence and reconciliation within the Basque society.
The Spanish government has recently approved a hydrological plan which negatively affects the final part of Ebre river, due to the fact that it will cause a dramatic decrease of its flow. Hydrological plans are the legal figures which should guarantee public access to water for social and economic development, and at the same time, they should guarantee the environmental sustainability. However, this hydrological plan (Pla Hidrològic de la Conca de l’Ebre) is a danger for this important river, as it decreases its ecological flow and tries to implement a distribution model for irrigation based on water speculation. This plan also breaches the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.
With this plan, the last part of the river will receive an average volume about 3000hm3; while the previous regulation, lapsed in 2010, was establishing a larger river flow between 5880hm3 and 9900hm3. Thus, with this new hydrological plan, during the dry months, the river will only have a flow of about 70, 60 o 40 m3/s.
One of the main problems of this new regulation is that a lot of water that was meant to go down to the delta, will be retained at the high part of the river, because of the new 445000 irrigation hectares in the basin. Furthermore, the plan includes the construction of 44 dams, which if added to the 32 existing ones, will mean that there will be 76 dams, which will accelerate the delta degradation. This is due to the fact that dams impede the pass of sediments that help to the maintenance of the delta, and protect it from sea invasion.
This regulation, ratified by the CHE, and approved by the council of ministers the 8th of January 2016, threatens the region of Terres de l’Ebre (in southern Catalonia). The river and the delta are the main natural resource of the region, and they actually are classified as a Natural reserve of the biosphere by the UNESCO since 2014. This area is also considered a European biodiversity hotspot protected under the Habitats Directive 92/43/ECC. At the same time, it’s a key factor for development of the territory, as well as an identity sign of the zone.
The reduction of the flow and the construction of the new dams will add pressure on the other difficulties already accumulated to the Delta in order to obtain sediments, which will lead to an acceleration of the river salinization and the regression of delta plan by the sea action.
Thus, taking into account that:
A. The reduction of the flow and the construction of the new dams will join the other difficulties already accumulated to the Delta in order to obtain sediments, which will lead to an acceleration of the river salinization and the regression of delta plan by the sea action. As well as threating the principles of the EU Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.
B. Ebre’s delta is the second biggest delta of the Mediterranean Sea, and the biggest wetland of the Catalan Countries, as well as it is protected by Natura 2000, a network of core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and some rare natural habitat types.
C. Ebre’s delta is considered a European biodiversity hotspot protected under the Habitats Directive 92/43/ECC. More than 330 bird species can be found in the Delta, because it is used as an overwintering site during migrations.
D. It is crucial for human activity as the 75% of its surface is used for rice cultivation, and it has a population of 50.000 citizens, as well as it is a strategic tourist destination for the region’s economy.
The European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Rejects the Hydrological plant of Ebre basin (“Pla Hidrològic de la Conca de l’Ebre”) approved the 8th of January by the provisional Spanish government.
2. Supports the movements in defense of the Ebre River, as well as the campaign in support of the arrival of sediments to the delta.
3. Denounces the actuation of the Spanish government, as well as the little concern of the European institutions while violating the minimum “measures” in order to guarantee the security of the river, the continuity of this natural space, and the survival of its ecosystems.
4. Demands the members of the European Parliament of EFA to continue working in order to stop the implementation of this hydrological plan, and in order to guarantee the security of the delta and ensure the necessary flow of the river.
The European Free Alliance Youth states its total support with the Kurdish cause. Since the upraise of the Daesh (Islamic State), the Kurdish forces in South (Iraq) and West (Syria) Kurdistan, have heroically fought for their right to exist. Meanwhile, from the North Kurdistan (Turkey) the PKK forces, considered a terrorist organization according to the EU, have unconditionally supported its brothers in Rojava (West Kurdistan), while the ceasefire in Turkey allowed them to focus on the resistance and counter-offensive against the Daesh. And though less bloody, in Rojhilat the repression of the Iranian State over the Kurdish is also high. Despite different social and political contexts, the sub autonomous government of the Southern Kurdistan and Rojava, had fought together with other arab, yezedi or assyrian militias, to defend the difference against the integrist totalitarianism.
Meanwhile, the pro-Kurdish leftist party, HDP, overcome the electoral threshold and got representation in the Turkish parliament, threaten AKP parliamentary majority. Unfortunately, since last November, the self-considered “sultan” of Turkey, Receip Tayipp Erdoggan, unilaterally broke the ceasefire and the peace agreement in western Kurdistan, starting a ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish population and restarting the military operations against PKK. Tayip Erdogan has indirectly given support to the Daesh terrorists, allowing them to freely cross the border, receiving medical treatment in Turkish hospitals, and bombing PKK bases in Bashur (the southern Kurdistan).
The European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Expresses its solidarity with the Kurdish cause regarding the Rojava’s revolution, the self- determination struggle in southern Kurdistan, and the resistance against the Turkish oppression in western Kurdistan.
2. Asks EFAy member organizations to support the solidarity campaigns started by Kurdish support groups in their own countries.
3. Asks EFA MEP’s to lobby for the removal of PKK from the EU terrorist organizations list.
4. Asks the Turkish state to unconditionally release Abdullah Öcallan.
In February 2016, the declaration of independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) reached the 40 years anniversary, and the Sahrawi people are still effectively a stateless people, with the majority of its population in exile in Algeria or living under internationally recognized Moroccan illegal occupation. The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has proven useless, as since its establishment in 1991, there has been no referendum and human rights violations have inceased. In recent years, bills have been introduced in the Swedish and Danish parliaments asking for SADR recognition, but little action has been taken.
In the SADR’s 40th anniversary, The European Free Alliance Youth declares that:
1. European countries must recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as the legitimate state of the Sahrawi people, as other 84 countries have already done.
2. The UN Mission (MINURSO) must monitor Human Rights violations and organize the referendum that will determine the political future of the Sahrawi people.
3. Spain has to admit its role as, according to the UN, legal administrator state of the Western Saharan territory. Spain must provide for a democratic solution to the conflict and letting Sahrawi people choose their own future by means of a referendum.
4. European states must not yield to Moroccan blackmailing and must maintain, or increase, their economic development aid to the Sahrawian people and the SADR.
5. International treaties involving Morocco, which suppose the plundering of natural resources in the occupied territories must be rejected
For more than half a century, Colombia has liven submerged in a political and violent conflict which has seen the government, left-wing guerrillas, drug trafficking cartels and paramilitary right-wing groups fight each other. The casualty balance has been devastating for the ordinary citizens, with more than 160,000 civilians killed and more than 25,000 people abducted since the 1960s. After the failure of previous governments to end the conflict, Juan Manuel Santos’s government and the FARC-EP started in the early 2010s peace dialogues in Oslo and La Habana. In the 2015 it was announced that dialogues had been fruitful, and in 2016 a final peace treaty is expected to be signed between the two biggest parts of the Colombian armed conflict.
The European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Unequivocally supports all peace dialogues and welcomes the positive outcome of such negotiations.
2. Approves the bravery of both the Santos government and the FARC-EP guerrilla to conduct these peace dialogues. The outcome will benefit both parts and the Colombian ordinary citizens.
3. Condemns the hypocrisy of some countries, notably Spain and France, who have publicly supported the Colombian peace process and the steps taken by the Santos government. At the same time, French and Spanish governments continue to refuse to take action in their own conflict with ETA and engage in dialogue for the final disarmament of ETA and the solution of the Basque armed conflict.
EFAy is worried for the situation of crisis of refugees who are entering day by day in Europe looking for haven, and who are condemned to misery. Furthermore, we are worried for the recent events that have worsened their situation and which send to the world a message of rejection and discrimination to this collective, instead of promoting solidarity.
In the same sense, we are alarmed by the attitude of some European countries that until the moment were ones of the most receptive with refugee-welcoming, and now are changing their policies. It seems that the peak of far-right across Europe is eliminating solidarity among peoples, for example in Denmark, they are allowing police to take refugees’ valuable goods and money in order to “compensate the expenses that they will suppose for the county”; a totally unfair measure that infringes the most elemental human rights, as it is a robbery to those who are looking for haven escaping from wars and persecutions.
We are convinced that a change in Europe is needed in order to welcome refugees the way they deserve, as humans in search for a place to live in peace, like all of us.
A. Worried for the actual situation of refugees entering every day through the East of Europe, which are condemned to misery.
B. Alarmed by the message of rejection sent by many European institutions against this collective, instead of transmitting a message of solidarity, as well as the change in policies by many countries incentivized by the role of European far-right parties.
C. Concerned by the hard conditions refugees are suffering during their long journeys to Europe, as really low temperatures, and the dangers of mafias taking a role on them
D. Preoccupied for the lack of awareness and real information about this crisis among European citizens
The European Free Alliance Youth:
1. Condemns the inhuman measures and policies that are being applied by some European countries.
2. Is committed to Europe being a welcoming land, and eliminating all the discriminating and stigmatizing restrictions.
3. Defends a Europe which fights and pursues mafias that take profit of the highly risky situations of refugees.
4. Demands the revision and transformation of the new frontier policies, in order to open our doors for those who are in need, for those taking long and dangerous journeys looking for asylum and haven.
5. Requires the establishment of safe passages for these people escaping from war and misery.
6. Demands the adoption of measures in order to expand the number of people having access to European haven.
7. Both the European Parliament and the European Commission to take urgent measures to confront the racist and xenophobic actions that are happening across Europe.