Thursday, 21 March 2013

21 March; International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination The charter for political parties for a non-racist society: a message for elections

Joint PRESS RELEASE European Network Against Racism and UNITED for Intercultural Action

On the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, ENAR and UNITED for Intercultural Action call upon political parties across Europe to re-affirm the principles of the Charter for political parties for a non-racist society and to speak clearly against racism and other forms of discrimination against minorities.

We call upon the EU Member State governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission to organize an event preceding the EU elections on what strategies and policies are needed to assure everyone’s rightful position in the EU. We have dreams to make true. We also have nightmares to prevent.

Indeed, although the apartheid system no longer exists today, racism has far from disappeared. And nationalist and populist tendencies have been increasing (again) in the last decade.

In light of the economic crisis we are facing, populist remarks may seem insignificant. But racism and open hostility towards minorities (of any kind) are assured companions of social tensions. We are in a time of great social tensions. Already we are seeing the effects in some EU Member States, where there is open violence by some political parties against migrants.

This is so strongly felt that only a few weeks ago, Mr Juncker, former chair of the Euro Group, warned against nationalistic tendencies, linking them to even greater dangers. He echoed the words of Mr Van Rompuy who issued the same message two years earlier.

Next year, elections campaigns will be launched for a new European Parliament. Some political parties and movements are already using anti-European feelings and nationalist feelings to gain support. This is why it is essential that all political parties take a strong and courageous stance against racism and discrimination and for equality for all people living in Europe.

Notes to the editor
On 21 March 1960, 69 demonstrators against apartheid were shot in South Africa. Six years later the UN declared this day as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Since then, on 21 March there are anti-racist activities all over the world.

During the European Action Week Against Racism more than 100.000 people take part in over 1.500 events in 48 European countries. More info: weekagainstracism.eu - facebook.com/UnitedActionWeek

As part of the 2013 campaign Mayors in European Cities such as Barcelona, Bern, Dublin, Warsaw, Bilbao, Toulouse, Lisbon, Patras, Örkelljunga, Reggio Emilia, Amsterdam, Pécs, Setúbal, Subotica and Botkyrka took a stand against racism.

For further information, contact:
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR aisbl) stands up against racism and discrimination and advocates for equality and solidarity for all in Europe. We connect local and national anti-racist NGOs throughout Europe and voice the concerns of ethnic and religious minorities in European and national policy debates.
Georgina Siklossy, Communication and Press Officer ENAR
Tel: +32 (0)2 229 35 77 - Mobile: +32 (0)473 490 531 - Email: georgina@enar-eu.org - Web: http://www.enar-eu.org

UNITED for Intercultural Action links more than 550 organisations from a wide variety of backgrounds in 48 European countries. They base their cooperation on common actions, shared activities and on mutual respect.
We believe that racism can only be combated by unity. Who says we don't fit together? Value Diversity!
Ralph du Long, Spokesperson UNITED - Mobile +31-6-39147976
Tel: +31-20-6834778 

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