Defending Europe’s democracy

On the occasion of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in June, KOLPING Europe has called for more commitment to a “democratic, solidary and social Europe”.

The “EU peace project” is currently “under massive pressure from right-wing populist and extremist endeavours”, says a declaration by the board of KOLPING Europe adopted at the weekend in Timișoara (Timisoara), Romania. The declaration lists numerous points for strengthening democratic forces, solidarity and social rights in the European Union. It states that the EU must, “stand up for democracy, the rule of law and human rights both internally and externally”, represent an “asylum and migration policy based on human rights” and must not use “extremist, nationalist and misanthropic positions” in its policies. With regard to strengthening a “Europe of solidarity”, the “Timișoara Declaration” calls for close cooperation in the fight against climate change, united solidarity with the Ukrainian people and for solidarity not to end at Europe’s external border. “The EU must work towards a partnership of equals with the neighbouring continent of Africa,” it says. At the same time, KOLPING Europe’s paper advocates more social coexistence. Based on Catholic social teaching, the EU should not only be a common economic area, but also an area of social cohesion.

Wording of the decalarion

KOLPING Europa is a Catholic social organisation with more than 200,000 members in 20 European countries. As a democratic and intergenerational member organisation, KOLPING Europa unites national associations in EU member states, EU accession candidates (Albania, Serbia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine) and in an EU candidate country (Kosovo). The organisation’s commitment to European policy is also reflected in its 50-year participatory status with the Council of Europe.