Over 70 German intellectuals, leading trade union officers and prominent politicians of SPD, Green Party and The Left have published an appeal which takes the ongoing refugee crisis as a reason for the call for a radical change of course in European and German policies.
The signatories see the goal of friendly cooperation in a Europe of diversity as being crushed between national egoism and an inhumane closed door policy.
The refugee drama has suddenly dragged the political mistakes and failures of the past into the spotlight, and since the will and strength required to tackle these challenges is helping to buoy up backward-looking, xenophobic, ethno-racialist and nationalist parties in Germany and other European countries.
The declaration calls for “bridges not walls” and warns of erecting “bulwarks against people fleeing persecution and terror bombing”, as “Europe will founder, both politically and morally, if it does so.”
Important proposals made by the call include an immediate large-scale humanitarian action programme of the EU, the promotion of a “coalition of countries willing to accept refugees” by a special EU programme for housing, schools, hospitals and jobs, and the break out of the dead end of austerity at European level but also within Germany by massive investment into the social infrastructure in particular at the level of municipalities. The call concludes that, “by changing course in this way, Germany will help to rebuild confidence in the future of Europe, both at home and abroad: a solidaristic, democratic and social Europe is possible!”