Comment: It is not only long-overdue but vital that Europe answers forcefully the threat posed by the rise of intolerance, racism and xenophobia. All of us as members of society can and must do our part to challenge these threats to our democratic institutions by right-wing populist parties.
I don’t have any doubts about placing the Perussuomalaiset (PS) as one of these parties in Europe that aim to undermine our values and democratic institutions. Even though they have the right to take part in elections, what is unacceptable is the racism and hostility of a large number of their MPs towards immigrants and minorities in Finland.
“Diversity is here to stay,” said the Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland. “We have to learn to live with it, manage it, and benefit from it.”
The Council of Europe Eminent Persons’ report identifies the following risks to our values: “rising intolerance; rising support for xenophobic and populist parties; discrimination; the presence of a population virtually without rights; parallel societies; Islamic extremism; loss of democratic freedoms; and a possible clash between “religious freedom” and freedom of expression. Behind these risks, it suggests, lie insecurity (stemming from Europe’s economic difficulties and sense of relative decline); the phenomenon of large-scale immigration (both as actually experienced and as perceived); distorted images and harmful stereotypes of minorities in the media and public opinion; and a shortage of leaders who can inspire confidence by articulating a clear vision of Europe’s destiny.”
Migrant Tales will never give up its passion for democracy and civil rights and identify those groups and individuals that want to breathe life to twenty-first century fascism. Migrant Tales does not fear identifying such groups and individuals who belong to the PS and associations like Suomen Sisu.
On behalf of the Council of Europe Group of Eminent Persons, Javier Solana Madariaga presented the report “Living Together:” Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe to the Committee of Ministers session meeting in Istanbul. Taking stock of the challenges arising from the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination in Europe, the report analyses “the threat” and proposes “the response” for “living together” in open European societies.