Protect freedom of speech in the EU # FreeSpeechEU

15 February 2014
Protect freedom of speech in the EU # FreeSpeechEU 13 February 2014
By Sandra Gellings

The non-governmental organization "European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation" has written a statute to be adopted by the European Parliament.


This statute, the "European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance”, aims to constrain free speech in the EU, criminalise noncompliance, create measures for re-education of EU citizens, to control the media and, ultimately, to create a climate of fear and repression within our society.

These plans conflict with many fundamental rights, such as freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of science, freedom of art and freedom of speech, which are guaranteed in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We, the citizens of Europe, do not want a totalitarian structure of states, where opinions are dictated and where we have to fear that our neighbors will report us to the government for making critical statements! We do not want a Europe where teenagers have to endure re-education measures after making a joke about feminism! We do not want a Europe where the media are supervised and censored! We do not want a Europe where people are convicted and punished for critical statements or satire!

The signatories of this petition call on the members of the European Parliament and on the members of the national governments and parliaments belonging to the EU:

1) Stop the "European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance", provided that you can vote on it!

2) Prevent national or EU authorities, from monitoring and re-educating EU citizens!

3) Protect freedom of speech, it is the basis of democracy and the rule of law!

Background information: ”European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance"

The essentially noble objective of the statute is to establish tolerance towards groups that are characterized by common racial or cultural roots, ethnic origin or descent, religious affiliation or linguistic links, gender identity, sexual orientation or comparable features.

However, the draft envisages that "concrete action" is taken to "eliminate” racism, colour bias, ethnic discrimination, religious intolerance, totalitarian ideologies, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and "anti-feminism" (section 2e).

"Libel" against one of the groups listed should be prosecuted and sanctioned. According to the statute, "group libel" already exists if you make fun of one of these groups. So, for example, jokes about feminists or cartoons including religious allusions would be prosecuted. Violations would not be handled as simple, but as aggravated crimes (section 7). (continue reading...)