“The European Union is founded on the indivisible and universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity,” reads the preamble to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
For years, however, we have witnessed the continuous and systematic violation of these principles. Undeniable examples of this are: the militarisation and externalisation of internal and external borders, brutal deportations, violence within Member States and in third countries with which Europe has concluded agreements to prevent asylum seekers from entering European territory. In Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, but also in Libya and Turkey, human rights have been ruthlessly suspended for some time now. Abuse and violence have become the dominant feature of European governance in dealing with migration.
Our status as European citizens requires us to act and demand from Europe to restore meaning to the solemn words signed in 2000 in Nice by the Heads of State and Government of our countries.
It is time to unite in a common political action for all those who are opposed to violations of fundamental rights, torture, abuse of defenceless people, guilty only of seeking a dignified life and hope for the future, far from their countries of origin.
We are asking the European Union first and foremost:
to undertake concrete action, aimed at ensuring full compliance by its members with Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which imposes an obligation not only to suppress but also to prevent torture, inhuman and degrading treatment against ALL persons.
We demand the protection of migrants or asylum seekers by:
- the establishment of monitoring mechanisms to detect and stop violations of fundamental rights and acts that violate human dignity, both at the borders and within the common European area;
- the withdrawal from international agreements on the control of migration flows with third countries guilty of serious human rights violations, and NOT to conclude such agreements in the future;
- the establishment of minimum standards of reception applicable to all Member States and for the entire period of residence of people in their territory;
- the possibility of specific sanctions in the event of a breach of EU rules.
Thanks to the ECI (European Citizens’ Initiative), one million citizens living in at least a quarter of the Member States will call on the EU Commission to take legislative action. We have focused our request on compliance with Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
As European citizens, we say: stop the denial by our governments of the values expressed in the founding Charter of the Union.
Let’s take Europe back!