Speakers from Catalonia, Scotland, the Basque Country, Wales, Galicia, and Quebec took part in a conference hosted by the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament today on 'The Right to Decide'.
The event focussed on the distinctive and different constitutional developments around Europe and elsewhere towards greater autonomy or independence for stateless nations, and peoples' democratic, constitutional right to self-determination.
The event was opened by Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru - Wales), President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament:
"This is a very exciting time for all of us but especially for the European Free Alliance. Our existence is based on the promotion of this different kind of politics. We want a real Europe of the Peoples where there is real equality: equality of people, of cultures, of languages, of nations. We believe in a Europe which really does value its diversity in its widest sense.
"We believe in independence not dependence. I represent Wales. Wales is not a poor nation but it is an impoverished one because of successive London government policies.
"What is interesting about EFA is that we are a network of parties, moving in the same direction, travelling the same road but each making our own unique journey. We can support one another and share experiences, we can help one another along the way but we have to make the journey ourselves."
Former EFA MEP and current President of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) Oriol Junqueras addressed the conference:
"In Catalonia we are European, pro-European and we want to continue being part of the European Union.
"A large social movement has developed in Catalonia with over two million people mobilising in favour of the right to decide on our own future. It would be difficult to find that elsewhere in the EU.
"Mobilising civil society has had direct political implications across Catalan society including various political and non-political movements.
"A majority in the Catalan parliament supports a referendum in 2014. According to the polls, if a Catalan election were held today, Esquerra, which supports Catalan independence, would win.
"I believe that in Europe, we will find a way for Catalonia to achieve its independence."
Speakers also included Ian Hudghton MEP, Francois Alfonsi MEP, Mark Demesmaeker MEP, Inaki Irazabalbeitia MEP, Daniel Turp, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Xavier Vence, Patxi Zabaleta.
An archived version of the conference is available here: