8 November 2012

Appeal to the European Parliament

Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

Lancaster, November 4, 2012

The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU surprised us as it comes at a time when the rise of fascism and ever more explicit xenophobia and racism threaten the EU’s future. The Nobel Prize Committee lauded the role of the EU in bringing democracy and human rights to post-communist countries, but said nothing of how the politics of exclusion, i.e. anti-Semitism, antiziganism and xenophobia, have returned in Hungary and other parts of Europe.

We are concerned about the significant increase in the direct involvement of the state in fascist and totalitarian activities, as in Hungary, or, state support for violent police activities in favour of fascist groups, as in Greece. Racism is a social evil and a political and personal catastrophe. Europe’s failure to sufficiently protect minorities from egregious abuses of human rights, and the fact that some states fail to condemn racism on or off the pitch (as in the case of Serbia), is undermining the EU’s historic role in uniting the Continent.

Everyone who wants to resist the increasing rise of racism and fascism in Europe should sign and support our petition to the European Parliament to counter the rise of this most divisive and dangerous phenomenon. Specifically, we request that the European Parliament, as our elected representatives, commit itself to enforcing Europe’s legal prohibitions against racism, as embodied in European antidiscrimination law and the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights; and that the Parliament does more to help European nations counter a dangerous politics of exclusion by changing attitudes in different social groups, from the home to the workplace, from primary schools to universities, as a step towards transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace."

(All signatures in personal capacity)

2 November 2012

My articles for openDemocracy so far

My articles for openDemocracy so far -

Ukraine: the far-right in parliament for the first time
1 November 2012
The Parliamentary election in Ukraine has, as expected, returned President Yanukovych’s Party of Regions to power. It has also had one less predicted result: the first election to the country’s parliament of MPs from the ultra nationalist far-right. Anton Shekhovtsov looks at the rise of ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom).

Security threats and the Ukrainian far right
24 July 2012
The rise to political power of the Ukrainian far right party, Svoboda, was recently halted by a new electoral law. But there are further security issues connected to the far right's increasing support that have not been stopped in their tracks.

The West on Ukraine: when ‘anti-racism’ becomes xenophobia
8 June 2012
Condemnation in the British media of racist incidents in Ukraine has moved on from concern into hysteria, says Anton Shekhovtsov. Not only unfair, it does little to encourage those trying to push a progressive agenda within the country.