For peace. For human rights. For Europe.
Ahead of the European Elections in May 2019, 110 organisations as well as 23,191 European citizens have called on the Members of the European Parliament to invest more in Europe as a peace project.
The forumZFD had initiated the appeal, which received widespread support from all over Europe. The broad alliance demanded that the EU should advocate peace and human rights unconditionally. Following the elections, representatives of European peace organisations handed over the appeal to the new Members of Parliament.
The appeal points out that the European integration has reconciled enemies after the Second World War, making the European Union a model peace project all over the world. It states that now more than ever, we need a European Union that advocates peace and human rights – at home and beyond its borders.
The alliance criticizes the European Union’s plans to invest billions in arms research and military cooperation with third countries. The EU must not arm states that wage war or violate human rights. The promotion of peace and human rights must not fall victim to defence against flight and migration. The signatories demand that the EU should instead invest more in nonviolent conflict resolution.
Appeal receives widespread support
The appeal received widespread support from civil society: 110 organisations and institutions from 12 EU member states joined the alliance, including supporters from the peace movement, churches and religious institutions as well as relief organisations. 23.191 citizens signed the appeal and thereby supported the European peace project.
Representatives of European peace organisations handed over the campaign signatures to Ms Katarina Barley, Vice President of the European Parliament. Oliver Knabe, Chair of the forumZFD Executive Board, explained to Ms Barley what the supporters of the appeal expect from the newly elected European Parliament: “Make the most of the strong mandate given to you by the European electorate. We who have signed the appeal do not want Europe to become a military power. Instead, we demand a European Union who commits unconditionally to peace and human rights. Please speak up against armament and the export of arms to states who wage war and violate human rights.” Ms Barley was visibly impressed by the broad alliance of 110 organisations from 12 EU member states who support the appeal.
Members of Parliament discuss the appeal
On the same day, the alliance presented the appeal to Ms Hannah Neumann, Member of the European Parliament (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance), and to Ms Ota Jaksch, research officer for Ms Özlem Demirel MEP (Group of the European Left/Nordic Green Left). Approximately 40 signees of the appeal had followed the invitation to the European Parliament. Martina Fischer (Brot für die Welt) who introduced the appeal together with Dion van den Berg (PAX, Niederlande) emphasized: "We are observing a problematic trend towards the reallocation of development-related and civilian funding instruments for the equipment and training of police and armies in so-called third countries and for migration control."
The handover of the signatures to the European Parliament rounds up a highly successful campaign. The forumZFD will continue its efforts towards a civil peace policy in Germany as well as in Europe. For Peace. For Human Rights. For Europe.