Stop Embarrassing and Endangering Us!
This petition had 1,211 supporters
We, citizens and residents of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (V4), are calling upon our governments to respect our dignity and the dignity of the people who knock at our doors as they flee from danger and seek better lives.
We are not the incapable, irresponsible and inhuman people that our politicians have made us look like. We are tired of watching the V4 ‘statesmen’ telling the world that our countries are unattractive, inhospitable places for people to move to and to live in. We are fed up with our politicians looking for reasons ‘why we can’t’ help instead of looking for what we can and should do. We are embarrassed by their cowardly and scandalous statements. We are horrified to see a fence erected at the region’s southern frontier and passport controls reintroduced at our borders.
This approach has to change! Refugees depend on that - and so do we.
Central Europeans know what its like to live behind fences and struggled to end that exclusion. We fought to join the EU and to gain the benefits of the Schengen system. Now we have to fight to defend the EU and the European values that we signed up to and which are endangered by the approach of our politicians. They risk our place in the world and all that we have gained in the last 25 years. We must defend refugees’ dignity to defend our own.
We belong to the world’s most prosperous and democratic countries and our governments have to stop behaving destructively and start acting like patriots, like Europeans. Instead of spreading fear and passing the buck, we need to take our share of the responsibilities that come with the benefits that we enjoy from being in the EU and Schengen. We need to take pride in the strength of our values, our societies and our capacity to help deal with the greatest European crisis in recent times
We therefore demand that V4 governments come up with a clear plan. This plan must commit to:
· protecting the rights of asylum seekers and upholding our responsibilities;
· protecting citizens who help migrants in distress;
· ending the fear mongering;
· starting a constructive dialogue grounded in facts and European values;
· becoming a part of a European solution, not an obstacle to it.
The challenge we are facing today is comparable to 1989. Like then, we need to be able to look ourselves in the eye in this defining moment in our history.
Lucia Najšlová, Editor-in-Chief, V4 Revue, Czech Republic.
Benjamin Tallis, Research Fellow & Editor-in-Chief, New Perspectives, IIR Prague, Czech Republic.
Adam Balcer, Policy Analyst, Poland
Adéla Dražanová, Reporter, Reporter Magazine, Czech Republic
Agnieszka Łada, Head of European Programme, Institute of Public Affairs, Poland
Andrej Findor, Sociologist, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia
Attila Mong, Journalist, Hungary
Béla Greskovits, Professor, Central European University, Hungary
Dániel Hegedüs, Visiting Lecturer, Free University, Berlin, Hungary
Dorothee Bohle, Professor, Central European University, Hungary
Elena Gallová Kriglerová, Director, Center for Research of Ethnicity and Culture, Slovakia
Emil Aslan Souleimanov, Faculty of Social Sciences, Czech Republic
Erich Mistrík, professor, Faculty of Pedagogics, Comenius University, Slovakia
Eva Mihočková, Journalist, Plus 7 Dni, Slovakia
Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, Director of Stefan Batory Foundation, Poland
Gábor Egry, Head of Research Department, Institute of Political History, Budapest, Hungary
Grzegorz Gromadzki, Expert, Stefan Batory Foundation, Poland
Hana Fábry, journalist and activist, Slovakia
Hayden Berry, Artist, Poland
Henry Majer, English Teacher & Cellist, Czech Republic
Jacek Kucharczyk, Director of Institute of Public Affairs, Poland
Jakub Patočka, Editor-in-Chief, Denik Referendum, Czech Republic
Jan Daniel, Research Fellow, IIR Prague, Czech Republic
Ján Orlovský, co-organiser of Plea for Humanity, Slovakia
Jana Smiggels Kavková, Director, Fórum 50 %, Czech Republic
Kateřina Procházková, Journalist, Czech Television, Czech Republic
Laszlo Bruszt, Professor, Central European University, Hungary
Lucia Štasselová, co-organiser of Plea for Humanity, Slovakia
Łukasz Stanek, Lecturer, University of Manchester, Poland
Marek Hojsík, policy analyst, program manager at Otevřená společnost, Czech Republic
Martin Dubéci, co-organiser of Plea for Humanity, Slovakia
Martin Michelot, Director of Global Europe Programme, EUROPEUM, Czech Republic
Michal Hvorecký, Novelist, Slovakia
Michal Kořan, Deputy Director, IIR Prague, Czech Republic
Mikuláš Křen, Filmmaker, Czech Republic
Miroslav Kollár, Mayor of Hlohovec, Slovakia
Nora Beňáková, Head of One World Film Festival, People in Peril, Slovakia
Oľga Gyárfášová, sociologist, Comenius University and Institute for Public Affairs, Slovakia
Pavel Barša, Professor, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Tomáš Bendl, Marketing & PR Specialist, Anglo-American University, Czech Republic
Tomáš Profant, Lecturer, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia
Tomáš Weiss, Chair of the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Czech Republic
Tonya Graves, Singer, Czech Republic
Václav Kříž, Chairman of Young Citizens, Czech Republic
Věra Řiháčková, Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Czech Republic
Vera Schulmann, Teacher, Slovakia
Vladimír Bartovic, Director, EUROPEUM, Czech Republic
William Eddlestone, Chair of History Dept, Anglo-American University, Czech Republic
Wojciech Przybylski, Editor-in-Chief of Res Publica Nowa and Visegrad Insight, Poland
Zsuzsanna Végh, Research Fellow, CEU, Budapest, Hungary
Zuzana Bargerová, Lawyer, Slovakia
Zuzana Stuchlíková, Deputy Chair, Young Citizens, Czech Republic
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