Federica Mogherini, EU "Parliament", 2017.02.01:


No one – no one – can be deprived of his or her own rights because of their place of birth, their religion, or their ethnicity.

This is written in our constitutions – both in Europe and in America. This is who we are, this is our identity, this is something we cannot forget.

Our European history has told us to celebrate when a wall is torn down and a bridge is built. We learnt from our own great - but also tragic - history that every human being is first and foremost a person with fundamental rights that cannot be put into question.

And let me add, from a personal point of view, I found it really sad to learn that this Executive Order was issued on 27 January, the Holocaust Remembrance Day. That is first and foremost a day to commemorate millions of Jews killed by Nazism, but also to reject any discrimination, and to reflect on our duty to host those who flee from persecution and protect them and their rights.

Many of them, most of them actually, are fleeing from terrorist groups such as Dae'sh; they are victims of terrorism. And beyond being refugees, they are men and women and children with personal stories, dreams and fears, and profound wounds. And most of all, they have a future to build, also for the sake of their own countries and our own security, because the social reconstruction of their countries depends on them.

So let me - actually I should say let us be very clear: the European Union will not turn back anyone who has the right to international protection. This is where we stand; this is where we will continue to stand. It would not be moral, it would not be just, it would not be legal and it would not be in our interest. Because this kind of measure has the potential to increase tensions and mistrust among people, among peoples, and nations. When I say among people, I also mean among people in our own societies, and I am worried by the trends we are seeing inside the American society in these days and that is why, with a lot of respect, I invited the President of the United States to pay attention to what is happening in his own country. 

Only respect and cooperation can make us more secure. Only respect and cooperation can help us manage the many crises around the world. This is the European way. We work together with the countries experiencing a crisis and with their neighbours. All of them. A travel ban can maybe, maybe, give a temporary illusion of addressing the issue – but it can only create more frustration, and anger. We need cooperation, not closures. We need to engage. We need to build common ground, not to ban.

The EU will continue to be a partner and a strong point of reference for all countries in the region, regardless of the religion of their citizens. They can count on us. And we will continue to be a partner and a strong point of reference for all those in the world who believe in international cooperation, human rights and the rule of law.

This is also why the European Union is the biggest donor in the world to the Syrian people and the neighbouring countries, with more than €9 billion invested since the start of the fighting in Syria.

And so far, the European Union and the US have worked closely together, including at the UN Summit on refugees in New York - because a global issue requires a global common work. Bold commitments were made, to protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, and to counter hate speech against refugees and migrants.


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