The Groep fan Auwerk is a movement which strives for an independent state of Friesland. Because of the current political and economic power concentration, Frisian regions don't have equal opportunities for growth and development. We want to bring political influence back to Friesland. For the inhabitants of Westlauwersk Fryslân, Eastlauwersk Friesland (the province Groningen with the city Groningen), Ost-Friesland, and Nord-Fraschlonj, their politics, socio-economics, and culture have been dominated by the Netherlands and Germany. This domination has lasted too long. It's time for Frisians to have self-determination. The Groep fan Auwerk uses a confederation of the four Frisian regions to strive for an independent state.
An “independent state” of Friesland is possible within the next 25 years. Since the European Union is increasingly considered a single political entity (the United States of Europe), the individual states are becoming more like the states in the U.S.A. In fact, 70% of legislation is already made in Brussels. And as the EU's power increases, it depends more on cooperation between its various regions. The Frisian regions, with their common history, culture, language, landscape, and socio-economic situation, could form a European region. Friesland would then be able to act as a state with its own voice in Europe.
A growing number of Frisians are disturbed by their bad economic position, and the dilution of their culture. They believe the Dutch state profits from Frisian gas, salt, and oil, but invests that money primarily in the west and south Netherlands. This practice has led to a brain drain among Frisian youngsters, and a loss of the region's knowledge and potential. The solution is more Frisian autonomy, and eventually an independent Frisian state. Friesland has made financial and socio-economic developments that could help its independence. For instance, it still has profitable soil-treasures, as well as income from recreation and tourism. The taxes from these areas will be invested to create more jobs in Friesland.
In terms of infrastructure, citizens of Friesland and Groningen contribute billions to the Dutch government, who later uses this money for projects elsewhere in the country. With road, tunnel, and railway projects, the government ignores the North outrageously. Waiting for the doubling of the Wâldwei (an important road in the province of Fryslân) is a clear example. Another example is taking profits from Frisian natural gas reserves, and using them for projects like the Betuwe line and Dutch-language education in the western Netherlands. Projects for Frisian children are left behind. The Dutch state, therefore, is creating its own poor regions.
We are also concerned about the unlimited salt mining, which has damaged both the country and the communities. We absolutely reject the plan to dump nuclear waste in these salt layers. We won't allow them to deprave our country.
We as the ' Groep fan Auwerk ' are thrilled with the positive responses from the community, such as the e-mails and the newspaper articles. Many Frisians feel increasingly committed to the other Frisian regions—the province Fryslân, the province and city of Groningen, Ost-Friesland, and Nord-Friesland.
The struggle for Frisian equality and autonomy must be done without violence. The advantages of an independent Friesland are clear—tax money goes to developing Friesland, instead of to somewhere else.
In this new Friesland, people will pay more attention to their own culture and language. Regions such as Flanders, Catalonia, and Scotland have made important strides, and in some cases even have their own governments. They are inspiring examples for the Groep fan Auwerk, and show that our ideas are realistic.
The city of Groningen will no longer be stagnant, but will have exciting opportunities for growth. Friesland's unique landscape—its waterways, sand dunes, clay fields, and coastline—will once again be its own. Historical villages and cities, medieval churches, elegant houses, and ancient towns will all contribute to this rich cultural heritage.
From land, the dike seems like the edge of Friesland. But beyond them are the windswept Frisian islands, pearls of the North Sea. Or, as they were known in centuries past, pearls of the Mare Frisicum.
The Groep fan Auwerk