Budskapet till Europa

Strasbourg och World Day of Democracy. Toppmöte för alla europeiska parlament. Detta händer vartannat år och var senast i Oslo. Då fick inte Ryssland vara med på grund av Krimkrisen. Den här gången var de på plats och räckte enligt min mening ut en hand i det att Rysslands nummer två, dumans talman Valentina Matvienko, slog fast att det krävs dialog för att hantera Rysslands och Europas gemensamma utmaningar. Fru Matvienko hade jag senare på kvällen förmånen att byta några ord med.

I början av konferensen i går fick jag dessutom möjlighet att presentera BSPC:s position kring den stora flyktingkris som plågar Europa och resten av världen. I dag räknar man med att 65 miljoner människor befinner sig på flykt för att klara livhanken. Av dem kommer sex procent till Europa. Det finns alltså sådana som gör mycket mer än vi.

Så här sade jag, tyvärr bara på engelska:

Mr President,

On behalf of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, BSPC, I would like to emphasize the importance of international parliamentary cooperation – especially regarding the current tense situation in Europe, in particular because of the migration and refugee crisis.

At first, I want to thank our host, Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, for inviting us to this highly parliamentary conference here in Strasbourg.

The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference was founded in 1991 with the primary goal to create a platform for open parliamentary dialogue to overcome the cold war and to establish the Baltic Sea as a sea of freedom and cooperation. We Parliamentarians from around the Baltic Sea are convinced that cooperation and dialogue are indispensable to prevent conflict and promote joint progress.

This year we are celebrating BSPC:s Silver Jubilee. During the last 25 years our conviction has not changed. On the contrary, this year’s Silver Jubilee conference has once again proven that the cohesion within the BSPC is stronger than ever. Unanimously, we as Parliamentarians called in paragraph 2 of our Resolution 2 weeks ago in Riga on the governments in the Baltic Sea region to take further steps to re-establish mutual trust and dialogue in the Baltic Sea Region, in particular within the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

We also called on the governments to welcome mutual cooperation and peaceful solutions of international disputes, taking into account best practices for example in the Baltic Sea Region. My own homeland, the Åland Islands, is a great example of Crisis Management. Thanks to international agreements in 1921 we today are a neutralised and demilitarised autonomy in the Baltic Sea; in daily life referred to as “The islands of peace”.
Considering the current situation within Europe, it is important to remember such an approach. A fair solution that can be accepted by all involved sites can only be achieved by dialogue and cooperation, particularly in times of crises.

As we speak today fathers and mothers across Europe faces their worst living nightmares. They can not guarentee their childrens safety. They lack power to make decisions. They flee for their lives with their kids clinging to their parents. Thats not dignified. Its not human. Its not what our ancestors expected from us when they rebuilt Europe after the war. We do not only owe ourselves to act in a civilised manners. We are in debt to those who shaped our continent and we are in even greater debt to them who are not yet borned but have every right to grow up and shape their own future and their own happiness. We need action to make that happen.

Maybe, each country – as a reflex – feels the need to protect its people and fears the challenges that come along with a high number of refugees. But can we as Europeans actually refuse helping people that suffer from war? Aren’t we living on a continent that has suffered so much because of war in the past and has now achieved a Union of stability and peace? This Union could be installed, because of good cooperation and a vivid dialogue.

Within European crises, we therefore need to find European solutions.

Against the background of the current situation of migration and the high number of refugees coming to Europe, it is extremely important that all respective countries sit at one table being open minded to a comprehensive solution.

The number of refugees will remain a challenge within the next years, because there are no signs of deep going improvements in the origin countries of the refugees. So, the question is, how can we find a longlasting solution to help the people in need without overstretching our capabilities.

The solution is definitely not that every country only deals with its domestic problems and does not care about the neighbours. This crisis is not only a challenge for one or two single states but for all European states and Europe as one.

The answer of the BSPC and our common position facing migration and refugee crisis, to which we agreed 2 weeks ago is our call on the governments:

To closely work together in coping with the ongoing challenges connected with the refugees in the region and to continue to ensure the decent treatment of and the right to safe asylum for these refugees in the countries of the Baltic Sea Region and to foster closer cooperation and, as far as necessary, following EU respectively UN declarations in tackling illegal and irregular migration.

In the Background document (prepared on the instruction of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the council of Europe) to this Theme you also point out the impact of the recent terrorist attacks:

The parliamentarians of the 25th BSPC explicitly:

  • condemn terrorism in all its forms as a common threat for our citizens and our shared values and 
  • deplore the loss of innocent lives, express sympathy and solidarity with the victims of all terrorist attacks, their families and all those who suffered in these inhumane attacks. We also 
  • express the crucial need for the joint fight against this major threat to our societies and to uphold our democratic values, while stressing that this fight has to respect the rule of law and civil and human rights and we
  • are convinced that respecting the rights of minorities would provide a benefit for all regions in the Baltic Sea.
We should not take for granted that we parliamentarians can always find satisfactory solutions. But we have an obligation to our citizens to contribute to solve conflicts.

Further strengthening interparliamentary cooperation as well as the influence of parliaments and their common will is of crucial importance in order to look for answers to international challenges such as the refugee crisis and the threats posed by terrorism. We parliamentarians as representatives of the citizens in our countries need to continuously work on deepening dialogue, on compromise and on cooperation related to democratic values to face future international challenges.

Thank you for your attention.
Europas tyngsta politiska ledare på bild i det så kallade familjefotot. Och jag.
På plats i talarstolen.


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