FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 April 2009
Statement on the EU's Stockholm Programme:
authoritarian state practices and create a democratic Europe
The European Civil Liberties Network, a coalition of civil liberties,
activist and human rights groups across Europe, has published
a statement calling on civil society groups and individuals to
voice their opinions about the EU's Stockholm programme and work
towards a democratic Europe.
Civil liberties and democracy are under attack as never before
and the need for a collective response to counter these threats
has never been greater. The EU has created militarised border
controls, discriminatory immigration policies, mandatory and
proactive surveillance regimes and an increasingly aggressive
external security and defence policy. These policies, that in
themselves constitute an attack on civil liberties and human
rights, will be extended by the end of this year with the Stockholm
Programme, which sets the agenda for EU justice and home
affairs and internal security policy from 2010 to 2014.
The areas of concern are manifold.
Firstly, under national laws implementing EU legislation, state
agencies are implementing comprehensive surveillance regimes
and beginning to build up a previously unimaginably detailed
profile of the private and political lives of their citizens,
often in the absence of any data protection standards, judicial
or democratic controls.
Secondly, exclusionary immigration and asylum policies are leading
to thousands of deaths at Europe's borders as well as on EU territory.
Migrants suffer extreme levels of exploitation, racism and social
exclusion with the EU, whilst their economic contribution to
our economies is not recognised.
Thirdly, the EU is at the centre of a paradigm shift with regard
to the way that Europe and the world beyond will be policed.
There is a political securitisation of a whole host
of complex policy issues, from food and energy supply to social
and environmental phenomena such as climate change and migration.
The result is an increasingly security-militarist approach to
protracted social and economic problems.
Last but not least, all these policies are developed and implemented
in a highly unaccountable and undemocratic manner. The EU has
developed an internal and external security apparatus comprising
law enforcement and security agencies, EU databases and information
systems, para-military organisations, a growing military capability.
This apparatus is being continually extended by a thinly accountable
network of officials.
This situation is unacceptable - to anyone concerned about civil
liberties an human rights. The ECLN and other groups and individuals
have therefore taken the initiative to inform the public about
this assault on their democratic rights and the deterioration
of the human rights situation in Europe and beyond. The extent
of this threat, and the urgent need to act in defence of democracy,
is outlined in detail in the ECLN Statement Oppose the Stockholm
Programme, in which we call on civil society groups
and individuals to voice their opinions and concerns about the
Stockholm programme and work towards a democratic Europe. The
Statement is available on the ECLN and other websites: visit
www.ecln.org to find out more.
ECLN - European Civil Liberties Network
Tel: +44 (0)20 8802 1882
See also: http://stockholm.noblogs.org/