European Council meeting : more then 150 NGOs urge EU leaders to uphold the rights and values that have been founding principles of the European Union for 60 years

444On the occasion of the 9 and 10 March European Council meeting, the Consortium of Piedmont Ngos (COP), together with more than 150 non-governmental organizations adressed to the Heads of State and Government a joint statement to uphold the rights and values that have been founding principles of the European Union for 60 years.
To the Heads of State and Governement of the Member States of the European Union, We are civil society organisations, which are supported, collectively, by hundreds of thousands of people across Europe, working with those less fortunate to alleviate poverty, provide essential aid and defend people’s rights. 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.Together, we need to prevent legitimate concerns about migration management from being hijacked and used to derail the European project.

On a daily basis, we witness widespread solidarity with people who are fleeing brutal wars, persecution, human rights violations, instability, and extreme poverty. 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. Only this week, many of them travelled to Brussels to call on you to uphold your commitments to relocate asylum seekers from Greece and “Bring Them Here”. We also hear people expressing their concerns about the future, asking their governments to show leadership and respond to the arrival of large numbers of people.

We take pride in the European commitment to international law and human rights and we look to you to foster and promote this commitment at home and abroad. Yet 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. To this day, European nations are unwilling to respond in line with their obligations under international and European law, defaulting to responses that keep people far away and out of sight.

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.

Too many leaders have been preoccupied with stopping people from reaching Europe, at the risk of reducing access to protection for those who need it the most.

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.

Further, if the EU and its member states want to remain credible international actors, they cannot expect countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to host millions of refugees, while simultaneously pushing migrants and refugees back at EU borders, stranding thousands in inhumane living conditions on the Greek islands, or pushing them back into an uncontrolled conflict zone like Libya. Your decisions have life and death consequences, and if you continue to lower standards, countries around the globe will follow suit.

Instead of countering the rise of xenophobic populists, Europe’s response has too often been to copy their recipes. But an approach based on deterrence and border closures cannot override an effective long-term policy.

We expect statesmanship that stands up for humanity and dignity and that addresses people’s fears, instead of fuelling them. We expect sustainable, long-term migration policies that guarantee respect for people’s rights rather than pushing them into danger. These include expanding safe and regular pathways to Europe, such as humanitarian and other visas, increasing resettlement spaces and improving access to family reunification schemes, as well as improving worker mobility across skill levels. Other global concerns such as conflict and instability, poverty, inequality and climate change must remain at the top of the European agenda.

You and your governments must assess the impact of your policies on the human rights and living conditions of women, men and children on the move, as well as Europe’s long standing commitment to uphold these rights and improve the lives of people everywhere.

On the brink of the European Union’s 60th anniversary we ask you to show solidarity, respect for humanity and dignity, and responsibility. We ask you to be truly inspiring leaders for the future. 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.



1 A Proposito di Altri Mondi Onlus



4 ACT Alliance EU

5 Action Against Hunger

6 ActionAid Italy

7 ADP Amici dei Popoli

8 African Media Association Malta

9 Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme

10 AI.BI. Amici dei Bambini


12 Albanian Human Rights Group (AHRG)

13 AMERA International

14 Amnesty International

15 Anna Lindh National Network in Finland

16 AOI – Associazione Organizzazioni Italiane cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale



19 Arsis

20 ASGI – Associazione Studi Giuridici Immigrazione

21 Asociacion en Prevencion y Asistencia de la Violencia APAV

22 Asociación pro derechos humanos de España (APDHE)

23 ASPEm Onlus

24 Associació Salut i Família

25 Associaton for Integration and Migration (SIMI)

26 Associazione K_Alma

27 ASTI – Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés

28 Austrian Red Cross

29 CARE International

30 CARITAS – Luxembourg

31 Caritas Europa

32 CEFA Onlus



35 Centar za integraciju mladih

36 Centro per la Formazione alla Solidarietà Internazionale

37 Cercle de Coopération





42 CIRÉ (coordination et initiatives pour réfugiés et étrangers)

43 CISV Onlus

44 Civic Committee for Human Rights from Croatia (CCHR)


46 CODE – Coordination des ONG pour les droits de l’enfant


48 Comitato Collaborazione Medica CCM

49 Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ)

50 Concord Italia

51 CONCORD Sweden

52 Consejo de la Juventud de España

53 Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic

54 Consorzio Ong Piemontesi COP

55 Coordinadora de ONG para el Desarrollo – España

56 Coordinamento Italiano NGO Internazionali

57 Cordaid

58 COSPE Onlus

59 CrEA Onlus

60 CVM Comunità Volontari per il Mondo

61 Danish Refugee Council

62 Detention Action

63 Diaconia – Center of Relief and Development

64 DNK – German National Committee for International Youth Work

65 Doras

66 Dorcas Aid International

67 Dutch Council for Refugees

68 Dutch League for Human Rights (DLHR)



71 EuroMed Rights

72 European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH)

73 European Evangelical Alliance

74 European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation ENGSO Youth

75 European Youth Forum

76 Federación de Asociaciones para la Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos España

77 FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)

78 Finnish League for Human Rights (FLHR)

79 Finnish Lutheran Overseas Mission

80 Finnish Refugee Council


82 FOCSIV – Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario

83 Fondazione Fontana

84 Fundación Atabal

85 Generation 2.0 for Rights ,Equality and Diversity

86 GVC

87 Habitat for Humanity International, Europe, Middle East and Africa

88 Handicap International

89 Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR)

90 Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights – Poland

91 Human Rights Watch

92 ICMC Europe

93 International Aid Services

94 International Association For Refugees

95 International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

96 International Rescue Committee

97 International Young Naturefriends – IYNF



100 Islamic Relief UK

101 JRS

102 JRS Belgium

103 KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism

104 Kopin

105 La Strada International

106 Federació catalana

107 Latin American Wome’s Rights Service (LAWRS) – UK

108 Latvian Human Rights Committee (LHRC)

109 Le Monde des Possibles ASBL

110 Legambiente

111 LIDU – Lega italiana dei Diritti dell’Uomo

112 Ligue des Droits de l’homme en Belgique (LDH)

113 Ligue suisse des droits de l’homme (LSDH)

114 Link2007 – Cooperazione in rete

115 LVIA 116 Macedonian Young Lawyers Association


118 Marche solidali – coordinamento organizzazioni marchigiane di cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale

119 Médecins du Monde

120 Menedek – Hungarian Association for Migrants

121 Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

122 Migrant Voice – UK

123 Migrants’ Rights Network

124 Missing Children Europe

125 Movimento Shalom onlus

126 Naga

127 Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre

128 Norwegian Centre against Racism

129 One Third Sweden

130 ONG para el Desarrollo

131 Osservatorio AIDS

132 Overseas

133 Oxfam

134 Pax for Peace


136 Platform Kinderen op de vlucht – Plate-forme Mineurs en exil

137 Polish Migration Forum

138 Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law (PSAL)


140 PRO.DO.C.S.

141 ProgettoMondo Mlal

142 Rainbow for Africa

143 Red Acoge

144 Save the Children

145 Secours Islamique France

146 SKOP – The National Platform of Maltese Development NGOs

147 SONIA per un Mondo Nuovo e Giusto

148 SPARK15

149 stichting LOS (National Support Organisation for the Undocumented)

150 Stichting Vluchteling

151 Swedish Refugee Advice Centre

152 Terra Nuova

153 Terre des Hommes

154 The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys

155 The Migrants’ Rights Network

156 Trócaire


158 United Protestant Church in Belgium

159 Welthungerhilfe

160 WeWorld

161 with the support of CONCORD Europe

162 World Vision


Italian version:

Consiglio Europeo 9-10 marzo: appello di più di 150 organizzazioni ai leader europei affinché si facciano portavoce in Europa e nel mondo dei diritti e dei valori che caratterizzano l’Unione Europea da più di 60 anni

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