Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
European parliamentary group

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group logo
Name Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
English abbr. EFDD
French abbr. ELDD
Formal name Europe of freedom and direct democracy Group
Ideology Euroscepticism[1][2][3]
European parties Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe
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 (UKIP)
David Borrelli (M5S)
45 / 751

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD or EFD2) is a Eurosceptic[5] 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.


7th European Parliament

Formation for the 8th European Parliament

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.[6][7]

On 12 June 2014, the Five Star Movement (M5S) of Italy, having been rejected by The Greens/EFA[8] and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[9] 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.[10][11]

On 16 June 2014, Dutch MEP Bas Belder of the Reformed Political Party (SGP) moved from the EFD to the ECR group.[12]

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.[13][14]

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.[15][16]

On 16 October 2014, it was announced that Iveta Grigule MEP from the Latvian Farmers Union had defected from the EFDD, 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.[17][18] The criterion was restored on 20 October, with one Polish MEP, Robert Iwaszkiewicz from Congress of the New Right (KNP), joining the group,[19][20] 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.[21] On 20 March 2015, Janice Atkinson was suspended from UKIP and later expelled on 23 March for alleged financial fraud.[22][23] Atkinson joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group at its launch on 15 June 2015.[24]

On April 8, 2016, Alternative for Germany (AfD) MEP Beatrix von Storch left the ECR group to join EFDD.[25][26]

On October 24, 2016, Steven Woolfe left the group becoming Non-Inscrits.


8th European Parliament, 2014

EU states with more than one EFDD MEP (dark cyan), one EFDD MEP (light cyan), or no EFDD MEPs (dark grey) in the 8th European Parliament.

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy has 46 elected members as follows:

Member state Party MEPs Previous group Additional notes
 Czech Republic Party of Free Citizens
1 / 21
 France Joëlle Bergeron (Independent MEP)
1 / 74
N/A Former FN member
 Germany Alternative for Germany
1 / 96
ECR Beatrix von Storch of AfD
 Italy Five Star Movement
17 / 73
 Lithuania Order and Justice
1 / 11
 Poland KORWiN
1 / 51
N/A Only Robert Iwaszkiewicz[27]
 Sweden Sweden Democrats
2 / 20
 United Kingdom UK Independence Party
20 / 73

Former Members

Member state Party MEPs Moved to
 Latvia Latvian Farmers' Union Iveta Grigule ALDE
 Lithuania Former Order and Justice Now Labour Party Valentinas Mazuronis ALDE
 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 Former UKIP Now Independent Diane James Non-Inscrits



  1. Andreas Staab (24 June 2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67–. ISBN 0-253-00164-1.
  2. Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  3. Morris, Chris (1 July 2014). "Realpolitik: EU dominated by German power play". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  4. "After the elections – the European political groups | Counterpoint". 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  5. Michael Kaeding; Niko Switek (28 January 2015). Die Europawahl 2014: Spitzenkandidaten, Protestparteien, Nichtwähler. Springer-Verlag. p. 399. ISBN 978-3-658-05738-1.
  6. Keating, Dave. "ECR group takes two parties from Farage". European Voice. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  7. Henriette Jacobsen. "Eurosceptic Danes and Finns leave Farage's group". EurActiv. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  8. Nielsen, Nikolaj. "EUobserver / Greens reject Beppe Grillo's offer to team up". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  9. "Press Release". 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  10. Altri articoli dalla categoria ». "Alleanze in Europa, il M5S sceglie l'Ukip di Farage. Ma la base accusa: votazione pilotata". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  11. europe online publishing house gmbh - (2014-05-16). "1ST LEAD Italy protest party to form EU alliance with British eurosceptics UKIP By Alvise Armellini, dpa | EUROPE ONLINE". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  12. (2014-06-17). "Dutch MEP joins Conservatives, Farage in trouble". EurActiv. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  13. Euobserver. "EUobserver / Farage creates eurosceptic group in EP". Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  14. James Crisp (2014-06-18). "Le Pen candidate joins Farage's new EFD group". EurActiv. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  15. "Bruxelles, prima riunione gruppo Ukip-M5S. Farage e Borrelli presidenti – Video Il Fatto Quotidiano TV". 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  16. "Internazionale » M5S » All'Europarlamento nasce gruppo Efd, "coppia aperta" per M5s-Ukip". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  17. "Opening: Schulz warns against attempts to disrupt Northern Ireland peace process". Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  18. Keating, Dave. "Farage's EFDD group collapses – POLITICO". Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  19. "EFDD Group back with a bang. Normal transmission resumed". Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  20. UKIP's alliance in Europe rescued by Polish MEP, BBC News, 20 October 2014
  21. Ross, Tim (24 January 2015). "Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir defects to Conservative Party". London: The Daily Telegraph.
  22. "UKIP suspends MEP Janice Atkinson over expenses claim". BBC News. 20 March 2015.
  23. "UKIP's Janice Atkinson expelled from party". BBC News. 23 March 2015.
  24. Rowena Mason Political correspondent (2015-06-16). "Ex-Ukip Janice Atkinson joins Le Pen-led EU group". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  25. "Germany's anti-euro party which became two". Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  26. "Right-wing German MEP quits EU parliament group". Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  27. Robert Iwaszkiewicz's biography, European Parliament, 30 November 2015

External links

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