Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
EFA Meeting with Barroso Successful

Rainbow/Vinozhito - Press Release

Just a few days after of the General Assembly of EFA in Rennes - France (26-27/5/05) where representatives of Rainbow have been participated presenting the situation of the Macedonian minority in Greece, a very important meeting took place in Brussels between the President of the European Commission Barroso and the President of EFA Nelly Maes.

The issue of the Macedonian minority in Greece was also on the agenda of the meeting.

The Press Office


More respect for regions, more Europe

(Brussels, 6 th of June 2005) The members of the European Free Alliance (EFA) delegation met today the President of the European Commission Barroso to ask for more respect and recognition of the regions. In the meeting president of EFA Nelly Maes focused on the regions and stateless nations and their essential role in the EU. More respect for regions will lead to more involvement of the EU citizens. This is the only way to achieve real and true subsidiarity, a corner stone value of the EU. It is the only way to bring Europe closer to the people.

What the EU needs most according to President of the European Free Alliance Nelly Maes "is a condense and clear Constitution in which citizens can recognize the soul of the EU project. The EU also needs a policy that really takes into account the diversity of regions and cultures.”

Another issue concerns our partners. They expressed their concerns about the social cohesion due to renegotiations on European Funds, from 2007 on. Less money will be available for the regions. This will affect Wales, Corsica, Galicia, Andalusia and Fryslan and others.

EFA focuses on the importance of minority rights and the Copenhagen criteria in candidate countries but also in the current 25 member states. Our partner in Greece EFA/Rainbow underlines the importance of the recognition of the Macedonian minority and language by the Greek authorities. The lack of this recognition is a clear breach of the basic rights of the Macedonians living there.

Finally the EFA delegation expressed its concerns on the blind alley the EU is driving in. After the results of the referendum on the EU Constitution in France and the Netherlands, it is imperative to replace arrogance with empathy but it is also essential to put more effort in explaining the advantages of peace and prosperity to all citizens of the EU.

The EFA delegation with Nelly Maes, President of the European Free Alliance (EFA), Begona Lasagabaster, Secretary General of the EFA (International Relations and deputy of EA, Basque Country, Spain), Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira, President of ERC and member of the Catalan Parliament (Catalunya, Spain). Ana Miranda, Spokesperson of BNG in Brussels (Galicia, Spain) and Jean-Christophe Angelini, Secretary General of the PNC (Corsica, France).

More info:

Nelly Maes, president of EFA
(Co-director EFA Gunther Dauwen 0032 474/53.35.61)