Participants of the conference “Threats of Extremism and Xenophobia Among Youth: the Liberal Answer” adopted a resolution where they expressed their deep concern of noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth in almost all European countries.
Nevertheless, “liberal and democratic forces are capable of tackling these challenges basing their response on human rights, individual freedoms, respect for the individual, tolerance and civil and moral responsibility of each person”.
The resolution runs that the liberal answer should include the following measures:
— steady rejection by the society of all forms of xenophobia and extremism and revival of Nazism, Stalinism and fascism. Abolishment of the cult of superiority and crude force, as well as manipulations with public opinion by means of pseudo historical myths and conspiracy theories.
— broadening of possibilities for engaging people in social and political life. Development of institutes of democracy and civil society which allow each citizen to participate in the social and political life and feel that his or her beliefs, points of view and interests influence government’s politics.
— protection of human dignity protection, person immunity and freedom of individual choice. Strengthening of the secular state principles and freedom of conscience.
— conducting policies stimulating maximum integration and socialisation of people into economic, political and cultural life of Europe. Gradual liquidation of barriers either in the society or between the states. Creation of a pan-European visa-free area.
— observance of the principles of freedom of speech and open and respectful public debates on the most complicated and painful problems. Development of intercultural, interreligious, interethnic and inter-party dialogue spreading on the entire society, rather than an exclusive leaders’ club only. Creation of an atmosphere of trust in the society.
— development of contemporary art contributing to such a dialogue, initiation of people into different cultural traditions and reduction of aggression and intolerance in the society.
— provision of available and high quality education, political education and citizenly upbringing of children and young people inclusive, and social lifts for all society members.
After a discussion the participants of the conference also introduced the following amendments into the resolution: on rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism, liability of the states to conduct responsible national policies, importance of democratic elections, etc.
Marc Guerrero, ELDR Vice President, thanked all participants of the conference and called them to change policies of their states so that “Europe would become better”. “The world is for all of us,” he added.
“I welcome the adopted resolution. The key idea is that there is unity among liberals,” noted Emil Kirjas, General Secretary of Liberal International. Liberalism is not only about economy and free markets, it is also about social issues, he added.
Emil Kirjas also proposed to examine the adopted resolution at the forthcoming congress of Liberal International in October, “This will be instruction for the future, as this challenge we will be facing in the nearest perspective”.
Astrid Thors, MP from Finland and ELDR Vice President, thanked YABLOKO for the “courage the party had been demonstrating in the past years”.
“We know that YABLOKO is the party which has been always standing up for liberal principles and we are certain that you will stand up for these principles even in the most difficult situation. You are a very valuable member of our liberal family,” she said.