© Alexander Briel
Letter |

In Defence of Democracy

Declaration from the S&D, RENEW, GREENS and THE LEFT European Parliament Political Group Leaders

The European Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail. 
Europe will celebrate its 75 years of  peace. It is a historic project of progress that has brought  shared prosperity to our continent over the past decades and that gives us common strength to shape our future together as Europeans.  
The European Union is the world’s most advanced project to build a transnational democracy with a strong parliament at its heart, the European Parliament. A series of recent attacks against politicians and political gatherings in our Member States show clearly however that we cannot take this for granted.  
We are facing a crucial moment in the history of our European project, where once more the far right is attempting to bring back the darkest pages of our history, challenging everything we built and poisoning our democracies. The European Union has always stood firm against the threats of extremism, from all sides of the political spectrum. 
The rise of the far-right and radical parties in Europe is a threat to our common project, its values and to the civil liberties and fundamental rights of its’ citizens.  
In clear contrast, we, leaders representing pro-European forces, share a history of fighting to bring people together, not set them against each other. We fight inequalities, division, and intolerance. 
We proudly stand for ensuring equal rights, for the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, for civil society and freedom of press, for women's rights and gender equality, and we stand firm against all forms of discrimination, hate speech and hate crime. 
Recently, millions of citizens have taken to the streets to protest against the far-right in Europe. We, European leaders of the different political Groups stand with them.  
Together we strongly condemn the recent brutal attack against MEP Matthias Ecke, MP Kai Gehring, and to other political families, the acts of violence by far right supporters in Stockholm, attacks against party headquarters in Spain and the targeting  of politicians’ homes in Belgium. We strongly condemn  the constantly growing cases of harassment, vandalism, spread of disinformation, defamation and hate speech by far right parties across all Member States to threaten politicians, activists, journalists and European citizens every day.  
This has no place in Europe and we will never be silenced. We will never allow for any citizen to be threatened in the exercise of their democratic rights.  
We also deplore the increasing reports of politicians, including MEP’s, being paid to disseminate the spread of Russian propaganda, and reiterates the European Parliament’s previous condemnation of past cases of political partnerships between far-right parties and radical parties in Europe and the Russian leadership.  
For our political families, there is no ambiguity: 
We will never cooperate nor form a coalition with the far right and radical parties at any level. 
We call on the President of the European Commission and all democratic European parties to firmly reject any normalisation, cooperation or alliance with the far-right and radical parties. We expect them to include this formally and unequivocally in their election manifestos and party declarations.  
As European leaders, we will remain vigilant and will fight for a democratic, inclusive, free, and equal society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. 
These values are the foundation of the European project and principles that we will always defend. 


Press release
Ilaria Salis
European Union
Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
Press release

Responsible MEPs

Philippe Lamberts
Philippe Lamberts
Terry Reintke
Terry Reintke

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