2. april 2016
For et halvt år deltog Frans Timmermans i en konference om ‘fundamentale rettigheder’ i Bruxelles. Timmermans er 1. næstformand for Europa-Kommissionen, og EU-komissær for ‘Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights’.
Her lidt fra hans tale.
“… hundreds of thousands in need of refuge are arriving on our shores and the capacity of our society for tolerance and inclusion is put to the test like never before. There couldn’t be a more burning issue. Europe is going through a period of crisis and turmoil, which is challenging the very values on which it was built. It is challenging the very fabric of European society and therefore the very fabric of European cooperation. The rise of antisemitism, the rise of Islamophobia, each in their own way are symptoms.
I know very well, ladies and gentlemen, that our decision to address both issues in the context of this Colloquium was a controversial one… But what these phenomena do have in common is that they affect communities which are, each in their own way, seen as different from the majority, and which therefore risk being exposed and targeted when scapegoats are sought. But through their extreme nature and the difficult discussions they trigger, antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred are emblematic of other forms of hatred. …
Anti-Muslims incidents are multiplying across Europe. We’re seeing a huge spike of attacks. Verbal insinuations, closed-mindedness, prejudice, discrimination. The rise of islamophobia is the one of the biggest challenges in Europe. It is a challenge to our vital values, to the core of who we are. Never has our societies’ capacity for openness, for tolerance, for inclusion been more tested than it is today.
Diversity is now in some parts of Europe seen as a threat. Diversity comes with challenges. But diversity is humanity’s destiny. There is not going to be, even in the remotest places of this planet, a nation that will not see diversity in its future. That’s where humanity is heading. And those politicians trying to sell to their electorates a society that is exclusively composed of people from one culture, are trying to portray a future based on a past that never existed, therefore that future will never be.
Europe will be diverse, like all other parts of the world will be diverse. The only question is, how do we deal with that diversity? And my answer to that is, by ensuring that our values determine how we deal with diversity and not giving up our values to refuse diversity. That will bring us down as a society. If we don’t get this right… Europe will not remain a place of peace and freedom, for very long.
… I want to encourage you to share your experiences, but above all your ideas on very concrete ways in which we can fight back against hatred and intolerance in Europe. Think about the things we could do in education; create meeting places where people can come together. Look how we can tackle hate speech on the Internet and in other places.“
(EU-kommissær Frans Timmermans, Bruxelles, 1. oktober 2015; Foto: Youtube)
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