Kox: 'Those who recently slept, are waking up in fear’

18 September 2015

Kox: 'Those who recently slept, are waking up in fear’

'Politicians who are now crying that the whole world is fleeing to Europe and that we can’t cope, are causing panic instead of tackling problems. Although we’re elected to look ahead, they had their eyes closed when elsewhere the refugees flooded in as a result of war and other wrongs. In Jordan, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Kenya. They took no notice when these countries had too little money to guarantee decent accommodation, for water, food, shelter and schooling. As a result these people now trekked further in search of safety and security. A small minority of the sixty million refugees worldwide want to come to Europe. And those who have recently slept are waking up in fear and want to build a fence around Europe. What I say is “get on with your work for once instead of frightening people.”’ So said SP Senator Tiny Kox this week during the annual informal meeting of European Parliament and Council of Europe group presidents.

In addition to the group presidents the meeting in Brussels was attended by the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, and the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Anne Brasseur. Both stressed the importance of good relations between Europe’s biggest treaty-based organisation, and its most powerful. Every European Union member state is also a member of the Council of Europe, while the EU finances many of the Council of Europe’s programmes in non-EU countries on Europe’s periphery, with which the Council of Europe cooperates. These programmes are aimed at improving the rule of law, human rights and democracy in those countries.

It turned out that, for the moment, there was little to indicate much consensus regarding how to tackle the pressing problems of the moment. Conservative and right-wing groups put the emphasis on keeping refugees out, while others see the need for decent reception. Senator Kox, president of the left group in PACE, argued that far more attention must be given to stopping the wars from which people are fleeing. In relation to Syria, cooperation with Russia was essential, which went also for that other chaos which threatens Ukraine, where the rule of law is no longer functioning. ‘As long as we ignore Russia, we cannot exorcise the chaos. And the EU and Council of Europe must also pay more attention to the growing violence in Turkey, If things get out of hand there, still more refugees will be coming to us. That’s why I’m issuing my call: let’s stop kicking up panic and do what we were elected to do, foreseeing problems and tackling them in a timely fashion.’ 

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