29 November, 2015
Statement Following the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Venice on November 28-29,

in expressing deep sorrow for, and sharing in, the grief and pain following the dramatic attacks of 13 November in Paris,

recalls

that, in the face of terrorism, the greatest challenge for Europe is strengthening our continent’s model of democratic society based on rule of law, sharing common values and solidarity – the model that finds its highest expression in the process of European unification, started in 1950 in order to establish peace throughout our continent and overcome nationalism;

underlines

that the most effective way in which we Europeans can respond to the hate and violence of extremists is to strengthen our own capacity to stand united and act as one. Unity, also on the strategic level, is the indispensable condition for defeating terrorism and the so-called Islamic State.

Therefore, the UEF FC, in reiterating our political will to respect the commitment taken in the Geneva Convention and the need to clearly distinguish the present humanitarian crisis of refugees and forced displaced persons - who often are the first victims of terrorists - from the threat of terrorism, as the extremists would have us do,

states

that the present dramatic circumstances constitute an opportunity to make the quality leap to a truly European policy on migration, with the development of a European integrated management of European borders (including the establishment a European border and coastal guard), a single European asylum system and legal migration policy, and a common management of migratory flows governed and democratically controlled at European level;

that the Schengen system must in no way be called into question, as it is one of the pillars of our continent’s integration and weakening it would endanger both the existence of the single market and Europe’s growth and development prospects;

that to stand the pressure of refugee crisis, on the one hand, and terrorism, on the other hand, the Schengen system needs to be strengthened, through the joint control of external borders and the development of an effective European intelligence force to ensure that information on potential threats is exchanged promptly among member states and the agreements already in place are respected and to strengthen the European system, certainly not to dismantle it only to return to an anachronistic and ineffective system of independent national policies.

In this regard, the UEF FC urges

the Member states to adopt and implement all aspects of the European Agenda on Security presented by the Commission in April, in order to safeguard European internal security and to strengthen the fight against terrorism, ensuring at the same time full respect of Individual fundamental rights,

and the European Commission to present a proposal establishing a fully-fledged European Intelligence agency in order to overcome the mere coordination of national agencies and bodies;

and reiterates

that it is vital that, at the same time, the European Union – to show its credibility and provide a demonstration of its political will – proceeds, according to a clear and definite time frame, with efforts to resolve the key issue of the creation of a political union, in order to ensure economic stability, security and democracy for the citizens of Europe.

Failure to unite further would doom both the Eurozone and the Schengen area, and imperil the highest values of our society.


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