35.410 signatures handed over to the European Affairs Committee.
The signatures are not just about a referendum, but they also reflect the need for a broad discussion on the matter, said MEP Søren Søndergaard from the Danish People´s Movement against the EU, when the signatures were handed over to the Danish Parliament’s European Affairs Committee yesterday by a delegation of organizations, which have supported the petition actively.
In a short period a total of 35.410 signatures were collected online, in workplaces, on the streets and others places from Danes, who wants to vote on the new Euro Treaty, the so called Fiscal Treaty.
“We see it as symbolic that the Fiscal Treaty is being debated on the same day as the Irish referendum takes place. I have recently been in Ireland twice and I have been very impressed by the great debate they have had. We too have previously experienced a massive public debate during referenda,” said Søndergaard as he handing over the signatures.
“The purpose of the signatures was, of course, to underline what the opinion polls have shown: a desire for a referendum, but it has also been a desire to have a debate instead of a simple parliamentary resolution. Whether you are an EU supporter, sceptic or EU opponent, it is dangerous if people are being excluded from crucial decisions!”
On Thursday May 31th, at the same time as our Parliament is debating the Fiscal Treaty the Danish People’s Movement will have an event for a referendum between 11.00 and 12.00 in front of the Christiansborg Palace (The Danish Parliament).
For further information or comments, please contact: Søren Søndergaard, MEP on mobile +45 40 45 38 39 or Ib Roslund CIO on mobile + 45 20 16 65 67 or Lave K. Broch, campaign coordinator on mobile +45 28 92 21 27
The Danish People’s Movement against the EU secretariat at telephone + 45 35 36 37 40 or e-mail: email@example.com
Croatia will vote in a referendum on EU membership the 22nd of January
TEAM – The European alliance of EU critical movements believes that Croatia’s Accession Agreement with the EU is extremely problematic for the Croatian economy and for the welfare of the Croatian people.
The main reason for TEAM’s concern is that, this accession agreement contains a binding commitment by the Croatian government to join the euro and the EMU. To make such a promise - when the euro is in its worst crisis ever - is an incomprehensible step that defies logic.
The Croatian government ought to demand an EU treaty guaranteed opt-out from the euro – just like Denmark and UK have. Without such an opt-out TEAM advices the Croatian people to vote “NO” to EU membership in the forthcoming referendum.
For further information please contact:
Patricia McKenna, coordinator of TEAM (Ireland), phone number 00 353 87 242 70 49 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lave K. Broch, board member of TEAM (Denmark), phone number 00 45 – 28 92 21 27 or e-mail: email@example.com
Croatia will have a referendum concerning EU membership the 22nd of January.
The Danish People’s Movement against the EU’s believes that it is the worst time ever for Croatia to join the European Union.
First of all the EU is becoming a more and more centralized union and Croatia’s influence will be marginal.
Secondly the EU is in its worst crisis ever and Croatia does not have an opt out from the euro as e.g. Denmark. This means that Croatia will be bound to a currency union in great trouble. The welfare risks for the Croatian citizen are great.
The Danish People’s Movement suggests that Croatia should join the EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, instead of the European Union. Membership of EFTA will give the Croatian citizens possibilities to work, study, live and travel, trade in all EFTA and EU countries just like the citizens of the EU. However Croatians citizens will be able to have more democratic influence. And the Croatian economy does not have to be connected to the failing EU Monetary Union and the euro.
For further information please contact:
Jesper Morville, chairman of the international committee of the Danish People’s Movement against the EU phone: 0045-23633537 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Lave K. Broch, campaign coordinator of the Danish People’s Movement against the EU phone: 0045-28922127/0045-35363740 and e-mail: email@example.com
The Peoples’s Movement against the EU: www.folkebevaegelsen.dk
The Danish People’s Movement against the EU is a cross political movement working on a democratic and non-racist platform for democracy, the Nordic welfare system, sustainable environment and international solidarity. The main goal for the movement is Danish withdrawal from the EU. The People’s Movement has been represented in the EU parliament since the first direct election in 1979 and our current MEP is Søren Søndergaard. The People’s Movement has around 100 local branches across Denmark and around 3000 individual members.
A new poll published today (Nov. 17, 2011) in Iceland by the Icelandic polling company MMR for the local think tank Andriki.
50.5 percent of Icelanders want to withdraw the application, 35.3 percent want to carry on with it and 14.2 percent have not made up their minds.
Of those who favour withdrawal of the application 38.8 percent strongly favour withdrawal while 23.8 percent strongly oppose it.
The poll was produced November 10-14, 879 people were asked.
Sources: http://www.mbl.is/frettir/innlent/2011/11/16/fleiri_vilja_haetta_vid_umsokn/ http://andriki.is/post/12898554715
Hjörtur Jónas Guðmundsson”, firstname.lastname@example.org
A fresh poll reveals a clear majority for keeping the EU Opt-Outs. ”This shows how wrong it is to hand over power to the EU without asking the people,” according to Søren Søndergaard, MEP for the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU, calling for a referendum on the surrender of sovereignty in the area of finance.
Today (Nov. 15, 2011) Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish daily, is publishing a poll made by the Rambøll institute. This poll shows a clear majority for keeping not only the Euro Opt-Out, but also the Opt-Outs on Justice and Home Affairs and on Defence, which the Government are planning to abolish after referenda.
63.2 per cent of the respondents want to keep the Euro Opt-Out, while only 25.8 per cent want to abolish it. 47.5 per cent want to keep the Opt-Out on Defence, while 31.1 per cent want to abolish it. 45.1 per cent want to keep the Opt-Out on Justice and Home Affairs, while 33.7 want to abolish it.
”These figures mirror a deep and widespread anxiety about the entire EU project. They show how wrong it is to hand over power to the EU without asking the people. At the background of this poll it would in a democratic sense be irresponsible to hand over more power over financial policies,” according to Søren Søndergaard, MEP for the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU, calling for a referendum on the surrender of sovereignty in the area of finance (including the Euro Plus Pact and the six Directives on Financial Governance).
Further information from, and comments to: Søren Søndergaard, MEP, +45 40 45 38 49, e-mail: email@example.com or Ib Roslund, Information Officer, +45 33 36 37 40, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 11, a new opinion poll was published in Iceland, produced by Capacent Gallup for Heimssýn, the Icelandic No movement. According to it 64,5 percent oppose joining the European Union while 35,5 per cent favour it, measuring only those who either said yes or no.
In a similar poll, produced by Capacent Gallup for Heimssýn in June 57,3 percent rejected EU membership while 42,7 percent favoured it. According to that opposition to joining the EU has increased this summer while support for membership has declined.
For more than two years every single opinion poll in Iceland has shown a vast majority of Icelanders opposed to EU membership.
Just published, the NEW EUROPEAN, Vol. 20, no. 1, edited by Luise Hemmer Pihl:
EU-related article on Palestine, food security, local communities, the nation state and something as rare as an Italian EU-critical book.
You can order free PDF version from email@example.com or simply download it here.
Only one third of respondents believe EU membership has been positive for the United Kingdom.
The level of animosity towards the European Union (EU) in Britain remains high, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll, published July 12, 2011, has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,003 British adults, a majority of respondents (57%) believe that EU membership has been negative for the United Kingdom, while only one third (32%) think it has had a positive effect. The wording of the question was: ”Overall, do you think EU membership has been positive or negative for the United Kingdom?”
Respondents aged 18-to-34 are more likely to express positive feelings about the EU (45%) than those aged 35-to-54 (31%) and those over the age of 55 (22%). Half of Britons (49%) say they would vote against the United Kingdom remaining a member of the EU if a referendum took place, while only one-in-four (25%) would vote to stay. Older respondents favour the idea of abandoning the EU by a 3-to-1 margin (68% to 19%).
Finally, Britons oppose the notion of the UK adopting the euro as its national currency by a 10-to-1 margin, with 81 per cent of respondents saying they would reject this course of action in a referendum.
See more at Angus Reid Public Opinion.
64 percent of Norway’s voters would vote No to Norwegian EU membership, according to the latest Sentio poll from July. It is a slight decrease from the June record of 66,4 per cent.
Despite the fact that Iceland’s government has applied officially for EU membership, 57,3 per cent of the voters would vote NO in a referendum. 51 per cent would have the government retract the application for EU membership.
Tuesday 19 July 2011
“Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play? “
“The member states whose currency is the euro may establish a stability mechanism to be activated if indispensable to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole. The granting of any required financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality.”
The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
24 Crawford Avenue
50 per cent of the Danes would vote No to replacing the Danish Krone with the Euro, according to a poll published on February 11th, 2011. Only 41 per cent would vote Yes.
This result is particularly remarkable because it comes after Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s announcement that it is time to reconsider the Danish opt-out on the Euro.
The Prime Minister’s declaration was prompted by the Sarkozy-Merkel proposal for an Euro-compact for control over the member countries’ finances.
”The Danish people have realized that the Euro is a failure. The whole Euro system is a failed construction in which the German economy is almost all-dominating. Consequently it is an illusion that Denmark would gain any influence by entering the Euro Zone,” says Søren Søndergaard, MEP for the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU.
The Danes have already voted no to the Euro in three referendums, in 1992 on the Maastricht Treaty, in 1993 when the Danish opt-outs were annexed to the Edinburgh Decision, and in the 2000 referendum on the Euro opt-out.
Luise Hemmer Pihl
On January 11, 2011, Denmark’s Supreme Court ruled that 35 citizens shall be allowed to take the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to court on the issue of the way in which the Lisbon Treaty was ratified by the Danish Government.
The 35 citizens claimed that the Government had committed a breach of the Danish Constitution, §20,2, by ratifying the Lisbon Treaty without either having a five sixth majority in Folketinget, the Danish Parliament, or a majority in a referendum.
The Supreme Court only reached the decision that the 35 citizens should be allowed to have the issue tried, after 30 months of tug-of-war between the 35 and the Government, the latter insisting that the citizens had no such right as they had no personal legal interest in the issue.
The ruling means that the 35 citizens will now be able to take the issue to court. Also, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary will have to pay part of the legal expenses of the 35 citizens, while they themselves will still have to fund a considerable sum.
The lawyer representing the 35 citizens, professor dr. Ole Krarup, former MEP for the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU, comments: ”This is a very important signal to Folketinget that the Constitution should be respected, and it is a victory for democracy”.
On 1 January 2011, the Republic of Estonia will adopt the euro by abandoning its national currency, which has functioned successfully for 18 years. As the culmination of their “Save the Estonian Kroon” campaign, Estonia’s euro opponents will light candles across the country on december 31st in order to protest the liquidation of the Estonian kroon. The euro critics are also distributing their successful posters entitled, “Estonia! Welcome to the Titanic” and “Stop the Euro-rouble”. One poster depicts a sinking Titanic, with stacks emitting clouds of smoke that signify Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
Lawyer and historian Anti Poolamets, who is the leader of “Save the Estonian Kroon” campaign and designer of the poster, explains, “Estonia is like a passenger that got the last ticket for the Titanic. The party is continuing on the upper decks of the ship that was thought to be unsinkable, but the iceberg has already appeared on the horizon. Since the ship does not have sufficient watertight partitions and lifeboats, all the passengers will not be able to escape in case of a collision. I hope that Estonia will be among those that find a lifeboat.”
“Estonia has managed very well for 18 years with its national currency. The euro will not bring stability like the politicians have suggested. For years, Estonia has conducted a principled fiscal policy – do not live beyond your means. As a result our country has the lowest government debt in Europe – 7% of GDP. Bailout projects in the eurozone make Estonia’s no-debt policy absurd – Estonians will have to pay the bills of banking machinations in other countries” says Poolamets.
“I think that national currencies work better for the welfare of European countries because they better reflect the economic realities and differences therein. The “one-size-fits-all” ideology of the eurozone is more of a reflection of the dreams of the European bureaucracy for a federal Europe than based on economic reasons. When 23 non-elected officials at the European Central Bank Governing Council make uncontrollable decisions about the common interest rates of the eurozone countries with 330 million people, which can lead to the economic downfall of the member states – this is like the fulfillment of the dreams of the former Soviet hyper-centralist bureaucracy,” Poolamets believes.
Poolamets asks, “How can one trust a system where almost nobody follows their own rules that were set up by the Maastricht criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact?”
In October 2010, 1,524 people were surveyed by Estonia’s leading social and market research provider Saar Poll. In answer to the question, “Do you support the transition from the Estonian kroon to euro?” 53% of the respondents said no to euro, only 34% said yes, and 13% didn’t have an opinion. Little has changed in the last months, as only 25 percent of Estonians support their country’s adoption of the euro, a fresh survey (29.12.2010) by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research finds. The Estonian Institute of Economic Research is owned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business association.
Press release sent by: Peeter Proos
Press officer of the “Save the Estonian kroon” campaign
Further information: Anti Poolamets
Phone: +372-56 91 43 74
About public opinion polls:
Saar Poll OÜ
The Estonian Institute of Economic Research
TEAM, the umbrella organization for 32 EU critical organizations from different parts of Europe can not understand the logic behind the Estonian Government´s decision to replace the Estonian Kroon with the Euro.
Estonia will switch to the Euro during the worst crisis in the history of the Euro - and by joining the euro without a referendum, the Estonian government is not only gambling with the Baltic nation´s economy and welfare but also with its democracy and right to self-determination.
Opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of Estonians are not only against the Euro but also want a referendum on the issue. However, Estonia´s government has chosen not to follow the democratic example of its Nordic neighbour countries - Denmark and Sweden - who allowed their citizens to have a free and open vote and the final say on whether or not to join the euro.
Instead, the Estonian Government is following the example of those less democratic states in Europe that neglect the political will of the people and refuse to let them have a say on their own future destiny. The tragedy is that the Estonian Government is allowing itself to be used as a propaganda stunt to give credit to the Euro´s future.
The TEAM board believes that the 1st of January 2011 is a sad day not only for Estonia but for all of Europe. The voice of the people is a fundamental element of true democracy, and any power that suppressed the voice of its people does a disservice to all nations that have fought hard to promote and protect democracy.
For more information contact:
TEAM coordinator Patricia McKenna (Ireland) phone: 00353 87 2427049 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board member Lave K. Broch (Dennmark) phone 0045 2892 2127 and e-mail: email@example.com
We urge the Danish parliament to ask the people of Denmark before continuing to transfer sovereignty to the EU in the economic area, says The People’s Movement against the EU in Denmark
The AGM of The Peoples Movement against EU was held in Aarhus the 30th-31st October and gathered up to 200 participants from Denmark and abroad. The AGM was especially marked by dissatisfaction with the fact that a majority of the Danish parliament apparently will say yes to the Lisbon Treaty changes. This allows the EU to establish a fund for countries in financial difficulties. It comes just 11 months after the Treaty entered into force. This is one more step in the transfer of sovereignty in the economic area from the national parliament to the EU. The money for the fund can only come from the member countries with a further increase in Denmark’s net contribution. A contribution that is already more than 10 billion Danish Kroner (about 1,3 billion Euro) a year. We therefore call on the parliament to ask the Danish population, before continued transfer of sovereignty to the EU in the economic area, says the national board of The Peoples Movement at the AGM.
Reunion of the Danish opposition to the EU
The AGM was marked by the new situation for the cross-political opposition to the EU in Denmark after the former MEP Jens-Peter Bonde’s June Movement was closed last year after the defeat in the elections to the EU parliament. After the June Movement is closed forces must unite in the People’s Movement, says co-founder of the June Movement and former long-standing board member of the June Movement Niels I. Meyer. He was candidate in the elections to the national board of The People’s Movement and was elected. Several key members of the June Movement have also joined the People’s Movement lately.
Statements, prizes and greetings
The AGM demanded respect for the Danish euro opt out and urged the parliament to denounce the possibility for the French president to appoint members of the EU parliament. The AGM also adopted a statement saying that Denmark should give the UN peace work in Western Sahara higher priority than the EU’s interests by rejecting a fishery agreement with Morocco if it covers Western Sahara.
Max Andersson, spokesperson for the EU-committee in the Swedish Green Party, was handed over the international Clog Award (award for standing firm on the EU-issue) for his efforts against the EU and the euro. The Danish Clog Award went to two local trade unions for a many months long dispute in Brønderslev against underpayment of Polish workers.
The AGM received greetings from TEAM, EU Democrats, People’s Movement in Ireland, Heimssyn in Iceland, No to the EU, Norway, Folkrörelsen No to the EU in Sweden and Alternative to the EU in Finland.
Read more about The Peoples Movement against the EU in Denmark.
10 years ago - on September 2000 – a clear majority in Denmark voted against replacing the Danish krone with the euro, despite threats of economic ruin and people having to give up their homes.
Today we can see that the catastrophe never materialized. In fact the countries outside the euro zone have generally fared better financially than those that have adopted the euro. Consequently, we congratulate the Danish pdople on their wise decision.
Despite the NO to replace the krone with the euro the various Danish government have insisted on linking the krone to the euro. And lately the internal rules for eurozone countries have been used as an argument for cutting public spending in Denmark.
But the example of Sweden shows that a total independence from the euro and its severe rules offers opportunities for financial progress. For that reason the Danish People’s Movement Against the Euro appeals to the government to give up the ties to the euro completely to restore the freedom to act in the financial area.
The Danish People’s Movement Against the EU
By Søren Søndergaard, MEP for The Danish People’s Movement Against the EU
There is cause for anxiety as the Danish Government has already accepted the notion of the EU having new revenues from taxation.
The Government wants to use the Danish EU presidency during the first six months of 2012 to work for new EU taxes, it appears from a letter from Foreign Secretary Lene Espersen to Søren Søndergaard, MEP for the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU.
After having rejected direct EU taxation the foreign secretary’s letter says that Denmark will not reject ”the introduction of sources of income following from EU legislation”. And the letter ends with the following passage: ”As we are to hold the Presidency it will of course be our responsibility to further a compromise in the negotiations on the future financial perspectives, which will undoubtedly be very difficult, and in that connection we shall among other things have to consider various models for financing the EU budget.”
There is cause for anxiety as the Government has already accepted the notion of the EU having new revenues from taxation apart from what national parliaments approve. That will be yet another step towards making the EU system independent of the democratic decision making processes in the individual countries.
I shall urgently appeal to the Europe Committee of Folketinget, the Danish Parliament, to reject the Government’s plans for new taxes.
Søren Søndergaard, MEP, the Danish People’s Movement Against the EU
A copy of the letter (In Danish) from the Foreign Secretary to Søren Søndergaard can be order by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Polls in UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia show a clear No to the Euro
21st of July 2010
In at least five EU countries there is a majority against the Euro. In referendums you can’t vote “unsure” – only Yes or No count. Therefore below “unsure” has been taken out of results.
In June 2010 polls have been carried out in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Estonia all showing a clear No.
In Denmark, Danmarks Statistik made the poll for Danske Bank, showing that 56 per cent would vote No if there where a referendum today.
In Sweden, Statistiska centralbyrån SCB made it, showing that 68 per cent would vote No.
In Germany it was Ipsos who made it, showing that 63 per cent would vote No.
In Estonia, TNS Emor made it, showing that 56 per cent would vote No.
In the United Kingdom, the latest poll is from April 2010, made by YouGov, showed that 76 would vote No.
Out of these five EU countries only Germany has the Euro today. The German government has no intention of calling a referendum on the Euro. The EU has said finally Yes to admitting Estonia to the eurozone from January 2011, and the Estonian government has no intention of having any referendum. In Denmark, it is still the official goal of the government to call a referendum with the view of securing a Yes. The governments of the United Kingdom and Sweden have chosen the opposite position, shelving all plans of a referendum on this issue.
French think euro exacerbates crisis
So far we do not have any polls on Yes or No to the Euro from other EU countries. If anyone knows about recent polls, please send us a link about it to ib (at) folkebevaegelsen.dk. However we have found an interesting poll from France made in June 2010 by TNS Sofres for Europa 1, itélé and Le Monde. It shows that 68 per cent of the French think that euro will exacerbate the consequences of the crisis (read more in Le Figaro)
Source: Folkebevaegelsen mod EU, Denmark
The day when the Lisbon-Treaty enters into force:
A black day for Democracy in Europe
Statement by TEAM – The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements
(TEAM is an umbrella organization for 49 organizations from 18 European countries)
The undemocratic Treaty
On December 1st 2009 the Lisbon Treaty enters into force.
With the Lisbon Treaty the EU gets a President and a Minister of foreign Affairs (Articles 15 and 18).
In more than 50 areas powers are transferred from the member states to Brussels, and the Treaty states directly that EU-laws have precedence over national laws (Declaration 17).
The member states bind themselves to increase their military capacity permanently (Article 42,3), and the EU is recognized as a Legal Personality (Article 47).
On these and countless other areas the Lisbon Treaty is a huge step towards the United States of Europe, and undermines national sovereignty and the democratically elected national Parliaments of the individual member states.
The Alternative to this development is an extensive, open and democratic cooperation between sovereign states - in Europe and globally.
The undemocratic procedure
The procedure by which the Lisbon Treaty was finally carried through is as undemocratic as its content: The Lisbon Treaty is almost identical with the EU-Constitution that was rejected by the French and Dutch voters in 2005 – a fact emphasized by the former French President Giscard D´Estaing, the main architect behind the EU-Constitution. Ignoring the democratic decision of the French and Dutch voters, the renamed Constitution was signed by the EU-leaders in 2007, and then again rejected, now by the Irish voters, the Irish being the only people who were allowed a referendum this time. With yet another display of their arrogant contempt for Democracy, the EU-leaders forced the Irish to vote again, and only after a scare-mongering of unheard-of dimensions succeeded in obtaining a yes-majority. But the fact remains that the Lisbon Treaty has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever.
The undemocratic development
EU calls itself a “peace-project”; a postulate contradicted by the manifest demand for militarization in the Lisbon Treaty. EEC, the forerunner of the EU, was created in 1957 as a product and a part of the Cold War. In this situation it was accepted by the founding member countries that parts of their democratic rights were transferred to an unelected “High Authority”, outside democratic control. After the end of the Cold War in 1989 the EEC had the possibility to change this undemocratic structure and contribute to the establishment of a broad Europe-wide cooperation between sovereign states. But instead EEC went in the totally opposite direction: With the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 centralization took a huge leap forward and the EEC changed into the European Union. No wonder therefore that the Maastricht Treaty was rejected by the Danish voters.
Since then each new EU treaty has continued the development towards an ever more undemocratic and centralized Union – and the popular opposition has grown accordingly. EU has to use more and more undemocratic methods in order to continue its march towards a centralized and militarized United States of Europe. How long can this continue? What forms will the disregard for elementary democratic principles take next time?
TEAM works for Democracy
In this situation the debate about democratic alternatives to the present-day EU is more necessary than ever. TEAM is a network of democratic organizations from 18 European countries. With information, cooperation among our popular organizations and with visions, TEAM will further this vital debate. And expose the shortcomings of the EU. We shall continue to fight for the survival of democracy in Europe in spite of the set-back that it suffers on December 1st 2009.
For further information please contact:
TEAM Coordinator Mrs. Luise Hemmer Pihl, firstname.lastname@example.org or
TEAM Secretary General Mr. Blaž Babič, email@example.com
DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT PRESS RELEASE
OCTOBER 22 2009
WHO ARE THE REAL AUTHORITARIANS TODAY IN EUROPE, MR MILIBAND?
Foreign Secretary and opponents of a Lisbon Referendum accused of being the new, real authoritarians in British and European politics. As the imposition of ‘President Blair’ becomes ever more likely, David Miliband is challenged to debate in public ‘anti-democratic politics in the EU today’.
David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has launched a typically New Labour, McCarthyite attack on the Conservative party for teaming up with some east European political parties in the European parliament who are alleged to hold anti-semitic, homophobic and ‘neo-Nazi’ views. However, since the European Parliament is clearly not where significant power lies in Brussels, the decision of the Tories to team up with East European centre-right parties is of little legislative consequence, regardless of whether or not the claims made against their new allies have been spun in some typically New Labour way by the foreign secretary.
New Labour, throughout its Peter Mandelson-orchestrated history, has frequently employed a McCarthyite ‘xenophobes under the bed’ tactic against political opponents - whether of the traditional left or right - in order to distract attention from the actual substance of the inconvenient political position or claim being advanced. The foreign secretary in making the attacks he has is merely continuing a long, disreputable tradition, characterised in relation to the European issue principally by former Europe minister Denis MacShane. David Miliband’s intention now is to draw attention away from his government’s anti-democratic breaking of its promise at the 2005 general election to let the British people vote on the Lisbon treaty (the cynically re-named European Constitution rejected by a large majority of French and Dutch voters in 2005). Nor does he want us to focus on the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the system of EU governance that citizens from all the member countries are being increasingly placed under the control of without their consent.
Since Mr Miliband has attempted to create this McCarthyite smokescreen, he should perhaps reflect that, as Dr Laughland’s book The Tainted Source: The undemocratic origins of the European idea (Little Brown & Company, 2000) demonstrates, the original project of creating a Pan-European political system was actually enthusiastically supported by fascist movements. The National Alliance in Italy, the successors to Mussolini’s party and partners in the Berlusconi coalition government, are firm supporters of greater European political union today. The British fascist leader, Oswald Mosley, campaigned post-war on the slogan of ‘Europe a nation’. The original plans for a single currency were drawn up by the Nazis. Former French presidents and drivers for European centralisation, Francois Mitterand, Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Delors were all active for the Vichy government in various capacities. Mitterand even received the Francisc medal from Marshall Petain for his service to the fascist regime. Robert Schuman, one of the EU’s founding fathers, voted as a member of the French national assembly to give Petain dictatorial power, and then went on to serve as a Vichy minister. Paul-Henri Spaak, whose Spaak report laid the foundations for the creation of the European community, had been a member of the Belgium Nazi party. Fascists were attracted to the idea of a politically unified and regulated continent with a non-elected elite at its heart.
The Democracy Movement believes that the peoples of Europe today are confronted by a new and dangerous post-democratic elitism - Euro-Authoritarianism - of which New Labour and David Miliband are classic manifestations. Euro-Authoritarianism is self-evidently more subtle than Twentieth Century fascism, and it is not motivated by anti-semitism and racism. The Euro-Authoritarians do not seek to end multi-party elections, but rather to greatly restrict the parameters within which electorates can make meaningful collective choices by transferring ever more law-powers to appointed, non-accountable institutions in Brussels. The new Euro-Authoritarians are driven by a post-modernist, Third Way ideology. This represents a direct threat to the liberal, anti-colonialist legacy of the European Enlightenment and the idea that sovereignty should reside with national communities of people rather than unaccountable elites.
Mr Miliband and his associates in New Labour today are working to create a political system based in Brussels that does not accord with the rule of law and can by-pass parliamentary and public accountability. The Euro-Authoritarians fear the concept of popular democracy, hence their hysterical denunciations of the idea that voters should be allowed to directly determine important issues.
The New Euro-Authoritarians support…
…preventing the peoples of the EU member states having a direct democratic say regarding whether or not new law-making powers should be centralised in Brussels. When the French and Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected the Lisbon treaty (then named the European Constitution) their wishes were ignored. When the Irish rejected both the Nice and Lisbon treaties they were forced to vote again within a year in rigged referenda so that these treaties could be forced through.
…the centralisation of more law-making powers in Brussels. Once directives are passed, no national elected government or parliament can opt to reject or reverse them as the unelected Commission retains the monopoly right to initiate new legislation. Because of the volume of laws emanating from Brussels, most of the measures are passed in Britain through the use of statutory instruments. MPs do not even get the chance to debate them, let alone vote to block them.
…the introduction of a raft of measures designed to increase state surveillance and control. Lisbon will lead to the creation of the Committee on Internal Security (COSI) which will share DNA, fingerprint, CCTV footage and internet surveillance material between security organisations. In May, the EU Data Retention Directive was passed. This enables state agencies to find out what all citizens - not just those suspected of committing criminal offences - have been downloading and who they have been contacting electronically. The Commission is already funding Project Indect which is a mass surveillance project dedicated to identifying “abnormal behaviour” through CCTV footage and a “continuous monitoring of websites, discussion forums, usernet groups… and individual computer systems”. The EU now has an embryonic police force, Europol, whose officers, like senior EU officials, enjoy, revealingly, immunity from prosecution in member states (Statutory Instrument 1997 No.2973). This body will gain powers of “implementation”of operational powers within the member states as a consequence of Lisbon. EU citizens can now under the European Arrest Warrant be deported automatically to another member country without any hard evidence having been provided by prosecuting authorities. The Commission has been for many years financing various projects designed to result in the introduction of ID cards, though their formal implementation is still a matter of national law.
…the current undemocratic structure of the EU. In addition to the unelected Commission’s monopoly right to introduce new legislation, the Council of Ministers meets in secret and votes are not recorded. In reality, the vast majority of its decisions are taken by civil servants representing the ministers from the member states in COREPER. European voters cannot hold these bodies collectively responsible through the ballot box. The executive and the key legislative body, therefore, are beyond democratic account. It is illegal under article 108 of the current treaty for elected representatives from the member states to in any way try to influence the deliberations of the European Central Bank. Under Lisbon, the political leaders, meeting behind closed doors in the European Council, will be able to appoint a full-time president and foreign minister to represent the Union on the World stage.
… an elitist, corporatist system of politics. The mindset of the EU political class is to concentrate power in the hands of elite bodies representing big business and the major trades unions. Hence, the Committee of the Social Partners which affords elite access to the European Round Table of Industrialists. The EU model of corporatist politics cuts out ordinary voters and gives a massive advantage to lobbyists from big financial interests, as was seen in the decision to outlaw 300 alternative health treatments following extensive lobbying by Pfizer, Boots and other big companies. Democracy Movement director Stuart Coster has written to the foreign secretary to challenge him to publicly debate the question of ‘anti-democratic politics in the EU today’ in the wake of Mr Miliband’s accusations that William Hague and the Tory party have consorted with ‘neo-Nazis’. In addition to discussing this question, Stuart Coster wants to investigate to what extent Mr Miliband’s government is helping to advance a fundamentally illiberal, non-democratic politics through its adherence to the Euro-Authoritarian characteristics identified above.
Stuart Coster comments: “New Labour have shown themselves to be notoriously cowardly in terms of openly debating the EU issue, as well as virtually every other issue. They prefer, as good authoritarians, to speak only at controlled, all-ticket party events with no or only planted questions from the floor. Hopefully, Mr Miliband will take me and a lot of other people hugely by surprise and agree to debate Dr Laughland. I gather the foreign secretary claims to be an intellectual so it might just be that he will relish the opportunity to justify, in a contested environment, his European political stance and his recent comments”.
CONTACT: Stuart Coster 020 7603 7796 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hands off from the Czech President
German human rights activist condemns diplomatical and pseudo-journalist excesses
(Presseerklärung vom 15.10.2008)
On October, the 11th of 2009, the British Sunday Times has exposed, that the German and French diplomats have intervened towards the Czech government, in order to reach either the start of an impeachment procedure against the Czech President Vaclav Klaus, or a change of Czech Constitution in order to to take away his veto right against laws consenting to international treaties like the Lisbon Treaty.
According to the Sunday Times, however, under the Czech constitution a president can be impeached only if he commits high treason against the country’s independence or its territorial integrity and democratic order.
Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing, a German human rights activist, who had filed a de-facto in large parts successful constitutional complaint (file number 2 BvR 1958/08), against the German law consenting to the Lisbon Treaty, comments:
“The Czech President is doing exactly the opposite of what would allow an impeachment procedure. With the refusal to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, he preserves the independence of Czechya, because art. 2 of prot. 26 on services of general interest would oblige Czechya, to commission nearly all sovereign tasks to private corporations. With the Lisbon Treaty, europe-wide acting private corporations would subjugate the administration, most of the courts, the drafting of laws, and with erosion mechanism of art. 18 TFEU, even the national security (military, secret service, production of passports and banknotes) and law and order (police, jails). With this fast erosion mechanism, the organs especially of the small and medium-sized member states would be degraded to a façade. They would loose the control over the state, most of which would be run be private firms with private profit and power interests. Like the German company Arvato, which is already running the district administration at East Riding (Yorkshire, Great Britain), and which is interested to run much more municipal administrations all over Europe - possibly also at Prague. Behind Arvato stands the media giant Bertelsmann, which can strongly influence the public opinion. And the Bertelsmann Foundation is counselling countless politicians in Germany and Europe. Strangely enough, the above-mentioned diplomats are lobbying for their own privatization, possibly without knowing this.
The functional privatization of all EU member states, which the Lisbon Treaty would prescribe, would a change of the type of state toward the ‘Gewährleistungsstaat’ (guaranteeing state) - a mass experiment, the consent to which could only be achieved by giving massively incomplete information to the parliamentarians - a case of error or fraud (art. 48 resp. art. 49 Vienna Treaty Law Convention). Most of the theory the ‘Gewährleistungsstaat’ comes from German jurists and has found support, i. a., by the EU Commission, and by interested corporations.”
On the 10.10.2009, an even worse incident has happened at Prague. Mrs. Christina Janssen, a journalist, who is working at the Prague studio of the public German radio ARD, has published a comment on the Czech President.
In her comment, she has explicitly warned, that he should not lean too far through the window, because he might fall. She has mentioned three historical defenestrations in the history of Czechya, one of which had caused the Thirty Years’ War. She has warned: “Was die Tschechen daraus lernen könnten, wäre vielleicht, die Fenster lieber geschlossen zu halten.” (“What the Czechs possibly could learn from it, might be to keep the windows closed.”)
Her comment ends with the words: “Die Fenster stehen offen - und Klaus lehnt sich weit hinaus. Aber es müsste ja nicht gleich wieder ein Fenstersturz werden: Er könnte einfach zurücktreten.” (“The windows are open - and Klaus leans out far. But it does not have to become another defenestration: He could simply resign.”)
A clear threat, that the President of Czech Republic might be defenestrated - illustrated in violent fantasies of a German journalist.
The civic and human rights activist Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing comments:
“Mrs. Janssen acts in this way, because President Vaclav Klaus refuses to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. She uses many expressions, which might be regarded as a disparagement of the Czech President. If someone in Germany disparages the German President, the result can be a jail sentence between three months and five years (§90 of the German criminal code), if the German the German President agrees to the criminal prosecution. She has called the Czech President a ‘populist’, a ‘nationalist’, and an ‘egomaniac’. She regards him as “angezählt” (as having been given the count). She supposes, that the Czech President is leading a war in his mind against the EU and the EU Reform Treaty. She states, that Czechya is regarded as the ‘Tollhaus Europas’ (madhouse of Europe), just because the President refuses to sign the Lisbon Treaty.
The text of Mrs. Janssen contains many violations of the human dignity (art. 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR). This is especially grave, because it is directed against an elected President of a sovereign state, so that it might also touch the dignity of the Czech people, and shows a large amount of disrespect to the human right to vote (art. 25 UN Civil Pact).
Further, Mrs. Janssen’s text disregards the human right of the Czech people to self-determination (art. 1 UN Civil Pact, art. 1 UN Social Pact), because he has been elected into office, and she belongs to the German people, not to the Czech people.
The violent words in Mrs. Janssen’s text show a grave lack of consciousness with regard to the human right to safety (art. 9 par. 1 UN Civil Pact).
The freedom of speech certainly contains the right to tell one’s opinion about Presidents of other states, but it has limits, where the human rights and the reputation of other persons are at stake (ar. 19 par. 3 lit. a UN Civil Pact).
The aggressive formulations in Mrs. Janssen’s text look rather like intelligence service - like than news media - like. The ARD should, with respect to the international understanding (art. 9 par. 2 Basic Law (German constitution)), consider dismissing Mr. Janssen soon and should consider an excuse towards the President of Czechya.”
The human rights activist concludes with a further legal consideration: “I do not see a sound legal basis for the above-mentioned interventions of German diplomats and of a German journalist. Czechya is a sovereign state (art. 2 par. 1 UN Charter). The German Constitutional Court has, in the first Lisbon judgement prohibited the supra-nationalization (no. 255 + 342 of the judgement) of the common foreign and safety policy of the EU, so that the rank of the CSFP stays below the national constitutions of the member states and below the UN Charter. So also the CSFP can contain no sufficient legal basis to overrule sovereignty of a state.”
Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing
Thorner Str. 7, 42283 Wuppertal (Germany)
human rights activist under the protection of UN resolution 53/144
Lawyers Against Lisbon (Press Release)
We, the undersigned, have decided to vote “No” on Friday and recommend that our fellow voters do so as well.
The EU’s Constitution (for that is what the Treaties culminating in Lisbon amount to) has been developed, and continues to develop, without adequate democratic participation. Most regrettably, Lisbon was deliberately written to further preclude this. “The Economist”, whose Europhile credentials are impeccable, had the integrity to note this as drafting proceeded. The titles of the relevant articles - Hee-hee Voters Fooled Again and Journalists for a Cover-up - must make any genuine democrat’s blood run cold.
Public opinion in the EU states has not been able to arrive at an informed view on the merits of the Treaty because of the way in which it was written. Even to us, as lawyers accustomed to dealing with abstruse documents, the Treaty as signed is well-nigh unreadable.
We acknowledge some good things in the Treaty, but cannot support further extension of Union competences while the ethos of democratic exclusion continues to hold sway. The Union leadership has now developed the habit of discarding democratic methods reflexively, if they do not produce the right answer.
Indeed, we fear that the Union may already have gone further than is inherently possible while remaining politically legitimate. The choice now is either to go fully federal or to revert to a community of more or less equal states. Lisbon is an unsatisfactory mish-mash from this perspective.
Brendan Nix S.C.
Joe Noonan, Solicitor
Fergus O’Rourke B.L.
John McGuiggan B.L.
23rd Sept 2009
say Farmers for No in their Press statement
Speaking at the Ploughing Championships, Farmers for No spokesman, David Thompson today said:
‘THE IFA arguments in favour of Lisbon are totally bogus. If we vote No, Ireland remains a full and active member of the EU, with full access to the EU market and ECB credit etc. Padraig Walsh and Minister Brendan Smith know this of course, but try to hoodwink people with this because they know there are no benefits in the Lisbon Treaty for Ireland.‘
‘At the key Council of Ministers, under Lisbon our voting strength will half. We need more than goodwill or mercy when negotiating on behalf of Ireland; we need to keep our voting strength and get respect for our position.‘
‘Because we voted NO, at the moment, Ireland is at the political centre of Europe. However, if we vote Yes, eaten bread is quickly forgotten and we become an irrelevance overnight.‘
‘Article 207 of Lisbon is clear that we lose our World Trade Organisation veto if we vote Yes. This would be a terminal mistake for Ireland and something the Irish people could never forgive the Yes advocates for.‘
‘Oh yes, the IFA sponsored poll is completely bogus, it is popcorn and propaganda. According to the Millward Brown study after Lisbon, 48 per cent of farmers voted no, in our experience of talking to farmers, the percentage will be even higher this time. Why is it higher? Because farmers notice a bad deal for agriculture and rural Ireland when they see it.’
Human rights activists condemn interference of former soldier firm
(press declaration from the 27.09.2009)
On the occasion of the eight anniversary of the assassinations of the 11.09.2001, the former safety firm al-Qaeda has, in the form of a certain Aiman al-Sawahiri, threatened Germany in case, that the Germans do not use the elections to the Bundestag for a change (“Umkehr”). At the weekend before the 21.09.2009, Bekkay Harrach, who also is regarded as belonging to the management level of al-Qaeda, put this more precise, that, if Germany did not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, a rude awakening after the national elections would be imminent (1).
Now, at the first glance, it looks as if al-Qaeda interfered into the German election campaign for the Bundestag, in order to do an illegal kind of advertisement for parties or politicians, who demand the withdrawal of the German soldiers. This seems, however, psychologically regarded, absurd, because such threatening videos rather increase the willingness of the population to make sacrifices for military interventions in the name of the fight against the terror.
At the 25.09.2009, eventually, an audio message of a certain Osama Bin Laden has been published, who is regarded as the boss of al-Qaeda. In that message, he threatens even the whole of Europe, if the Europeans did not withdraw from Afghanistan (2).
For the investigation of the suspected motive, the time of the publishing seems to be even much more relevant than the content of the criminal and strange threatening messages. According to the point of view of German human rights activists, it looks like the mercenary network al-Qaeda wants to attract the public attention, in order to distract the attention from something else, which is happening at the same time, namely the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
Therefore, it is important to know, that al-Qaeda is former Saudi Arabian security firm, which has, in the 1980ies, supported the integration of mercenaries into the local Mujahideens in Afghanistan (3).
For the insurgence in the 1980ies in Afghanistan, at least 13.770 private soldiers have been deployed. They’ve been rather criminals, which have been disliked in their home countries, then they became islamists (4).
al-Qaeda has, at that time, operated in that milieu as an ally at least of the American and of the Pakistani secret services (3).
Already during the Afghanistan war in the 1980ies, a part of the mercenaries have gone into the drug business. As a result, the number of drug addicted persons at Pakistan has risen from 5.000 (1980) to 70.000 (1983) and finally to about 1.3 millions (1986) (5). These enormous numbers raise the question, if the al-Qaeda network itself is, besides in the mercenary business, also involved in the drug business. The former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has explained to the US Congress, that al-Qaeda is at 95% financed by drug money (6).
This thesis is supported by the fact, that al-Qaeda has trained and supported the UCK in Kosovo/Kosova (6), which is of immense importance for the distribution of drugs in Europe, which have been cultivated in Afghanistan (3).
al-Qaeda is a mercenary company, which has slipped into the organized crime.
The Islamic façade has, primarily, two functions. Firstly, they can recruit suicide assassins for less money this way, then if they had to motivate them with money alone. Secondly, this camouflage helps them, to veil the identities of changing clients. Security firms are fighting for nothing else than for economical profit. And, by far, not every of them adheres to law and order. Money determines for whom or against whom they fight. This is shown very clearly by the assassinations of the 11.09.2001, which give the impression, that possibly someone else has been able to pay better than the US government at that time. This seems not to have hindered the same firm al-Qaeda, to stay working in Kosovo/Kosova (3).
Already in 1994, al-Qaeda has been active in Albania and on the route (in the region, which is the main distribution centre for the selling of Afghan heroin to Europe) with a market value of 400 billion $ per year (3). A military commander of Bin Laden has fought in the Kosovo conflict on the side of the UCK, which is deeply involved into the drug traffic (3), (6).
According to a statement of John Kasich, a member of the US House of Representatives, from the 05.10.1999, Osama Bin Laden has also appeared, when the USA have built up their relations to the UCK in 1998 and 1999 (3).
Mercenary firms, western ones as well as islamist-camouflaged ones, have been under contract in the Bosnia war, in the Kosovo war, and even in 2001 in the attack of parts of the UCK against Macedonia (3).
On the 10.09.2001, the then US minister of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, has, in a speech of principles, tried to get support for partial functional
privatization (“transformation”) of the US troops (8). The crime of the
11.09.2001 has led to such a fear and confusion at the USA, that there has taken place no sufficient debate with regard to his speech of principles of the 10.09.2001, before in the time following the US army has been reduced by 15%, and before even so sensitive tasks like fighting services and interrogations have been commissioned to private companies (9). Completely in the interest of al-Qaeda, because this has made the market for mercenary firms in the USA and, according to their example, much further, increase dramatically. According to the US example, Great Britain has even privatized the guarding of embassies and even a part of its fighting services in Afghanistan (10).
If now an assassination by al-Qaeda or by whomsoever took place at Europe, the demand in Europe also for private security services would be immensely increased. Just in the interest of the mercenary sector.
The “Treaty of Lisbon” (11) would be the next step for the growth of the market for soldier firms of any couleur. So there is a motive for mercenary firms like al-Qaeda, and for their suspected clients, to covertly support the “Lisbon Treaty”. Because this treaty would basically oblige the member states to commission private companies with their non-sovereign tasks (“services of general economical interest”, art. 14 TFEU) and with their sovereign tasks (“non-economical services of general interest”, art. 2 of protocol no. 26 to the “Treaty of Lisbon” on “services of general interest”).
At the first glance, it looks, as if the “Lisbon Treaty” would at least omit inner and outer security and the most fundamental structures of the state from the commissioning (art. 4 TEU). There is, however, an erosion mechanism contained on the basis of the prohibition of economical discrimination (art. 18 TFEU), by means of which one could claim at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that any task, which has been commissioned to private companies in at least one member state, would have to be commissioned to private firms in all EU member states 12.
This way, already with the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty, an erosion mechanism would be started, that by means of law suits to the ECJ a part of the fighting services and the jails (like in Great Britain) would have to be commissioned EU-wide.
Very much in the interest of mercenary companies like al-Qaeda would be the solidarity clause (art. 222 TFEU) of the “Lisbon Treaty”, according to which the EU member states would have to deploy military in the interior for the prevention of terrorist attacks. al-Qaida could, already by threatening, cause an obligation for military interventions in the interior. And more and more of this military would have to be commissioned, because of the erosion mechanism described above, to private security firms.
A draft resolution of the Council of Europe (doc. 11787) shows the dangers of the growth of the mercenary sector world-wide (13). It depicts the danger of the violation of universal human rights, of the humanitarian international law, of civil law and criminal law, of increasing influence of private firms and political elites on governmental decisions with regard to foreign, safety, interior, and defence policy whilst violating democracy, and even of threatening the peaceful coexistence of the states. At 2008, the mercenary sector world-wide has already had about 1 million employed people in over 1.000 firms with a turnover of more than 200 billion $.
The time of the threats by al-Qaeda is of special importance. On the 17.09.2009 and on the 18.09. 2009, four new constitutional complaints against the laws accompanying the “Lisbon Treaty”, have been filed at the German Constitutional Court. Three of them (file number 2 BvR 2167/09) have had mainly the goal, to prevent the change of the type of state to the functionally privatized state mentioned above (14). On the 22.09.2009, the four constitutional complaints have not been admitted for decision by the Constitutional Court. On the 25.09.2009, the German President has ratified the Lisbon Treaty.
The atrocious threats of al-Qaeda against Germany have had the effect, that significant parts of the German population and of the German media have been distracted from the constitutional complaints, which are so uncomfortable for the mercenary sector.
The threat of the 25.09.2009 against Europe, however, seems to refer more to the Irish referendum, with the suspected motive to abuse, of all things, the need of the Irish people to more safety, in order to put through mercenary interests, which are threatening their safety.
The following questions need to be investigated urgently:
The sources referred to in the footnotes only serves the explanation of this press declaration. One cannot conclude from this, that the authors of those texts would share the conclusions of this press declaration or vice-versa.
- on al-Sawahiri TAZ article of the 24.09.2009 “Terrorvideo zum Jahrestag des 11. September Al-Qaida droht Deutschen und Obama”
- on Bekkay Harrach TAZ article of the 21.09.2009 “Al-Qaida gegen Deutschland neues Terrorvideo aufgetaucht” and TAZ article from the 22.09.2009 “Ein gefährlicher Mann”
(2) - on Osama Bin Laden TAZ article of the 26./27.09.2009 “Al-Qaida-Botschaft II Bin Laden droht Europäern”
(3) “Der inszenierte Terrorismus – die CIA und Al Quaida” (von Michel Chossudovsky)
(4) Dr. Andreas von Bülow, Im Namen des Staates , Piper publishing house, p. 418
(5) Dr. Andreas von Bülow, Im Namen des Staates, , Piper publishing house, p. 210-211
(6) “Amerikanische Tiefenereignisse und das weltweite Drogennetzwerk der CIA” (von Peter Dale Scott)
(9) “The Shock Doctrine. The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, Naomi Klein, Metropolitan Books (New York) and Knopf Canada (Toronto)
on the erosion mechanism, which is postulated already today by the EU Commission from sovereign to non-sovereign, see message from the 20.11.2007 (file number KOM (2007) 725)
(15) “Die Medien und ihre Fährtenleser des Terrors” (Ekkehard Sieker)
V.i.S.d.P. (authors of this press declaration):
Volker Reusing + Sarah Luzia Hassel-Reusing
Thorner Str. 7, 42283 Wuppertal (Germany)
human rights activists according to UN resolution 53/144