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The EEA joins other 160 civil society organisations in demanding “statesmanship that stands up for humanity and dignity and that addresses people’s fears, instead of fuelling them.”
The European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) is one of the 160 signatories of an appeal to “Heads of State and Government” made public on March, 8.
“With xenophobic populism on the rise across Europe and the globe, this is an appeal for leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been founding principles of the European Union for 60 years”, the document says. “Together, we need to prevent legitimate concerns about migration management from being hijacked and used to derail the European project.”
The European Evangelical Alliance unites the national Evangelical Alliances in the continent and represents 15 million evangelical Christians in 35 countries. The refugee crisis has been an issue that has been a priority for the organisation, which brought to launch “The Refugee Campaign.”
MANY CITIZENS “ARE WELCOMING MIGRANTS”
“Throughout Europe and the world, we see people welcome refugees and migrants into their communities, open up their homes and donate money, materials and time to help”, the appeal says. It metionsthe recent “Bring Them Here” initiative as an example of the solidarity of many European citizens.
The 160 organisations - which include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Caritas and World Vision - appeal to the “values” that forged European societies.
“When increasing numbers of people in need arrived in the summer of 2015, Europe failed to come together and respond with humanity, dignity, and solidarity (…) We hear you repeating your commitment to European values – respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights. But we expect to see them in your actions, too.”
The actions of politicians should be bold, the signtories demand. “You have the responsibility to manage migration in a fair manner that addresses the legitimate concerns of citizens. It must be principled and based on facts, not on populist rhetoric. Strength doesn't mean turning away those most in need. Strength is about showing a way forward that upholds values.”
“Your decisions have life and death consequences”, the text says.
“Our commitment to the European Union’s core values cannot falter. Only a Europe that really stands by its values can be a strong and credible leader in a world shaken by increasing populism and so-called alternative facts.”
“European history is full of people who were forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution. The work European nations have done to develop and protect the rights of people over the last 70 years cannot be lost. Only a Europe that defends the rights of everyone, without exception, is a Europe we can be proud of”, the appeal says.
Read and download the document and the full list of signatories here.