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.