The outcome of the Council of Ministers meeting yesterday is ludicrous when it comes to finding a sustainable solution for the hundreds of thousands of people having to flee their homes and seeking refuge in Europe.
Citizens and civil society, amongst which many cultural players, demonstrated the true spirit of Europe: helping the refugees on their strenuous journey, welcoming them upon arrival in Austria and Germany, and supporting them in the refugee centres throughout Europe. We are proud of these people, many of them volunteers- just as we are ashamed for the national egoisms, sometimes bordering on xenophobia, used for partisan purposes that prevent a European solution and work against European solidarity.
Beyond the lack of a sustainable and upright solutions, we deplore that the mounting of national egoisms and short-sighted political considerations are condemning hundred of thousands to suffering and despair and creating mutual distrust between member States –thus threatening the foundation and fibre of the European project. These national leaders and their supporters are burying the lessons learnt in Europe, the legacy of the founders of Europe and the achievements reflected in the Declaration of Human Rights under hypocrisy and ignorance.
Culture Action Europe calls on national decision makers to come together in a spirit of solidarity and take courageous decisions to support the nation states struggling most with the refugee crisis via a fair quota system. We call on ourselves, on the culture sector and every citizen, to pressure our national governments to do so. We Europeans must help the women and men forced to fee their homes. We, people of Europe, must take on the responsibility not to destroy the very project of solidarity and peace that represents the beacon of safety and hope that Europe stands for. This would be dangerous for us all.