CIVIL SOCIETY EUROPE[i]: CALL TO EU LEADERS FOR REFUGEES WELCOME
Europe is no stranger to conflict, war and famine and in the recent and distant past huge numbers of its inhabitants have had to flee their homes seeking safety. Today, hundreds of thousands of people see Europe as a refuge as they flee war and misery to avoid danger and death.
We are proud that many European citizens along with civil society organisations are currently active in all countries to welcome refugees.
The European Union and its Member States claim that Human rights are central to the European project. They have an obligation to make decisions about, and to put in place, a collective commitment to welcome these refugees so as to provide them with a future worthy of the sense of humanity of which we are all a part, as well as meeting legal obligations to provide asylum, which Europe once took the initiative in defining.
While some European governments have started to view the challenge facing us in this light, many others are giving in to the worst reactionary populism, flirting with racist sentiments and xenophobia, and sheltering behind identity politics.
Our politicians, governments, and the European institutions that will be meeting in the next few days have a duty to commit openly, directly and with practical measures, in order to assist the refugees seeking shelter in our midst.
We should be collectively responsible for the challenges that our society faces. Individual citizens, their associations and organisations and political leaders alike should all embrace the values of solidarity this situation requires. Solidarity is our strength!
[i]Civil Society Europe is the permanent coordination of European civil society organisations, a place for horizontal dialogue and a strong voice for effective advocacy in favour of policy changes that address the transversal issues of Equality, Solidarity, Inclusiveness & Democracy which should be atthe heart of the European project.
Association des Etats Généraux d'Etudiants d'Europe – AEGEE · Association Européenne de défense des Droits de l'Homme – AEDH · Association of Local Democracy Agencies – ALDA · ATD Quart Monde · Civicus · Concord · Culture Action Europe · Danubiana Network · Erasmus Student Network · European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities – EASPD · European Alternatives · European Citizens Action Service – ECAS · European Civic Forum · European Disability Forum · European Humanist Federation · European Intercultural Platform on Lifelong learning – EUCIS-LLL · European Movement International · European Network for Education and Training – EUNET · European Network of National Associations – ENNA · European Roma Information Office – ERIO · European Youth Forum · European Volunteer Centre – CEV · International Planned Parenthood Federation – IPPF · Network of Educational associations Mladiinfo · Santé Mentale & Exclusion Sociale · Social Platform · Solidar · Volonteurope · World Organisation of Scout Movement · Young European Federalists · International Federation for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus