We demand the Turkish authorities immediately and unconditionally release Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey
Co-chair Monica Frassoni comments on the Turkish authorities’ arrest of Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, and other human rights activists:
“A new red line has been crossed by President Erdogan’s government, which has a brutal history of violating human rights by jailing activists, journalists and opposition politicians. All this with the quiet complacency of the European Union, which still continues to finance his authoritarian aspirations through the EU-Turkey deal on refugees.
“The arrest of Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, comes less than a month after the arrest of Taner Kılıç, Chair of the same organisation. It is yet another violent blow against civil society and against anyone who opposes or criticises the government.
“We demand the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners who are currently being detained.
“We also support the call of the European Parliament to suspend all accession and trade talks with Turkey, to make it clear to President Erdogan that there can be no open door to a government that proceeds with the violent repression of dissent and opposition.
“We stand together with and support the civil society movements and parties who are struggling to bring Turkey back among the democracies of this world.”
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European Green Party
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By transforming the ISN into the new ACT network (ACT stands for “Act! Cooperate! Transform!) the EGP Committee intends to invest in building an online centered space of activism based on a database with grass-roots people who want to be actively and directly connected to Green politics at the European level. These people represent an important dimension of Green activism. The EGP would like to empower them to play an important role in our work.
The EGP Committee has discussed on these ideas over the last year, has agreed to this proposal unanimously and has found the support of the present ISN coordinators.
We now present these ideas to the Council in order to ask a green light for developing the proposal further.
What is the idea of ACT?
The ACT network play an active role in the EGP, informing and connecting individual people on European issues and above all involving them in European-wide campaigns, actions, petitions, European Citizens’ Initiatives, social media campaigns, and the like. ACTivists will be invited to take concrete online action on specific European issues and thus support Green goals. We want to do this in a way so that member parties would also benefit from it.
The Network is supposed to be a virtual platform, an online space. The platform will create a European sphere of activism. It gives European-minded people in the member parties the possibility to directly get involved with European issues at the EGP level. Where member parties would want to make use of it, it would offer an additional campaign tool.
The ACT network will not get involved in activities regarding issues of national or regional scope, nor will it get involved with activities in a member state unless the member party concerned explicitly welcomes that.
The biggest asset of the ACT network is the connection between Europe-wide political action and the EGP. The ACT network gives the EGP the opportunity to involve activists throughout Europe, and be able to multiply engagement for certain of these actions and campaigns. For European activists, ACT will be a connection channel where to share topics and interests and to network with other European activists.
The advantage of this is that the EGP will find out what topics and types of actions are interesting for the European public, and be able to use this information for campaigns in the future.
The EGP will not only benefit in the short term, but also in the long term, in view of the next European Parliament elections that are coming up in 2019. If the EGP starts to lay the basis for the creation of the ACT network soon, mobilization for the campaign for the European elections can start early.
Who would be involved?
People can sign up to become an ACTivist on a dedicated website. Basic information will be asked to register. Upon signing up, people will be asked if they are a member of an EGP member party. If so, they will be asked if they agree that their national party will keep them informed on EU-related activities and campaigns. EGP will guarantee the data security of the website in line with current EU legislation.
Once people are registered, they can take an active role in the forming of the network, in taking part in and sharing their actions, petitions, ECIs, photos and videos online. Monitoring and editing will be done by the EGP office.
The initial formation of the platform will be done and maintained by the EGP. People are asked to register, and provide the EGP with usable and shareable information.
To keep the threshold for participation low, registered people do not pay a participation fee. The network should not crowd out fundraising and other activities by member parties.
How do EGP and member parties cooperate?
The EGP committee asks for the member parties’ cooperation in the formation of the ACT network. Only together can this network be successful, both for specific as well as for election campaigns.
The EGP will develop a governance structure of the ACT network together with the member parties and the ISN coordinators.
The EGP committee asks the member parties to appoint one person in the party as a liaison for the ACT network development. This person should be from the executive level or able to communicate with it.
What are the next steps?
The EGP committee will come up with a detailed proposal by the next council in autumn 2017, in which there will be a new vote on the actual creation of the network. Until then, the EGP committee will keep the member parties updated on any relevant steps that will be taken concerning the ACT network.
The proposal will contain at least the following:
- A full technical overview for the creation and administration of the platform;
- A first list of possible actions and campaigns;
- The budget necessary for the creation and set up of the ACT network;
- All answers to questions that might arise from member parties concerning the ACT network;
- A list of feasible goals and how to reach those (number of people, number of campaigns, etc);
- A transparent structure of how the network is organised and how responsibilities are defined.
The EGP council in Glasgow mandates the EGP committee to start the work on the development of the ACT-network and go ahead with the steps outlined above.
The EGP committee proposes that, if a future Council supports the establishment of the ACT network, this authorization should be limited until the 2019 EU elections. We should treat this as a test period, and evaluate the functioning of the ACT Network after the European elections in 2019. If the EGP committee and member parties are then satisfied with the results, the EGP could continue with the network.
Resolution adopted as amended, Athens Council, November 2012 (.pdf version is attached)
Austerity measures imposed (or “proposed”) by the troika of the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB, on debtor countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and increasingly extending to others such as Spain, Italy and Cyprus, are producing a debilitating effect on the citizens of those countries who are being driven into poverty and social deprivation.
We are now witnessing further, less obvious results of the intolerable pressures being applied by the troika, with unforeseeable long-term consequences.
For example, the national Greek Asset Development Fund plans to grant 50 year leases on 40 uninhabited islands to private developers or corporations, and the Israeli government is reported to have discussed leasing one such island for the creation of a military training base. In Spain, the government has slashed the budget of its environment ministry by 70%, has passed a law on sea borders reducing the amount of areas enjoying environmental protection and has eliminated all subsidies to renewable energy.
The European Green Party Council in Athens,
- Recalls that structural adjustments of the type being imposed by the troika almost always have destructive consequences as the price for short-term financial gains.
- Declares our great concern and profound opposition against the plans of the Greek State regarding the long-term lease of uninhabited island to prospective investors.
- Draws the attention of the Greek State to the fact that the recently released list of forty (40) island includes twenty-four (24) NATURA 2000 sites hosting flora and fauna species of European importance.
- Declares that this particular case of disposal of invaluable natural habitat reflects a complete lack of environmental consideration and planning on behalf of the Greek State.
- Encourages the Greek authorities, however, to work with the European Commission and EU Member States on reforms in various fields, including tax collection, land registry, financial auditing, anti-corruption, protection of refugees and administrative capacity building, as well as on maximal absorption of EU funds with a stricter focus on sustainable investments and jobs.
- Affirms that we will actively support citizens and NGOs in their struggle for the safeguarding and conservation of these natural sanctuaries all over Europe, regardless of any kind of bailout programme.
- Emphasizes that, contrary to other natural ecosystems where human beings' presence may be compatible, uninhabited islands of importance for protection of biodiversity owe their value for rare and protected species chiefly to the absence of human beings and therefore, no human intervention, of any extent, is affordable.