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Joint Statement for EU Elections: Voices From the Margins

Joint Statement for the EU Elections: Voices from the margins

We are the voices from the margins

We are the poor, the refugees, the migrants, the sex workers, the disabled, the homeless, the undocumented and the detained. We are womxn, LGBA+, trans, intersex and feminists. We are Roma, Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Arabs, Asian, Indigenous and other racialised persons and groups. From the multiplicity of our lived realities, we raise our joint voices to formulate our dreams and hopes for Europe.

We oppose the continued design of the European Union (EU) as a means to increase the wealth and power of a few. We want an EU for and by all of us; an EU that strives to guarantee our human and communities’ rights to dignity, respect and freedom.

In today’s Europe, those pushed to the margins are the targets of (racial) profiling, repression and criminalisation. Essentially, we are punished for existing in a world that is hostile towards us. Criminalisation makes our exclusion, marginalisation and isolation worse. We demand an EU that shields us from oppression and violations of our human right to freedom and dignity. We demand an EU that ends the criminalisation and stigmatisation of marginalised individuals and groups, as well as migration enforcement policies which do not comply with the highest human rights standards.

In the EU, home to the world’s richest economies, communities and individuals are made to compete for limited means. Scarcity is artificially sustained by inequitable allocations of wealth and resources. We reject the neo-liberal rationale of austerity, privatisation and the erosion of social and labour rights. It is time for the elimination of structural inequality and institutionalised oppression. That is why we insist upon intersectional policies, laws and institutions. We demand an EU where every policy, institution and law puts the wellbeing, dignity and respect of all people before profits, and prevents the marginalisation of the most vulnerable groups.

The European way of life has a disproportionate impact on the world’s climate and biodiversity. The aggressive export of neo-liberal and neo-colonial free trade policies, and extractive capitalism, is hurting and destroying people’s lives and communities around the world. We urge the EU to replace its politics of greed and growth at all cost, with the commitment towards decolonization, international solidarity and reparative justice.

Human rights activists, journalists and critical thinkers in Europe are under an ever increasing threat of repression and suppression. Human rights activists are portrayed as a threat to the freedoms and the privileges of dominant groups. We insist upon an EU wherein the exercise of the freedom of speech, assembly and political action of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities are effectively and unconditionally protected. Our insights and perspective should inform policies and laws; and our experiences and needs should be central to EU policy- and lawmaking.In our EU, voices from the margins are heard and celebrated.

Signatories :

CIJ – Center for Intersectional Justice

EAPN – European Anti-Poverty Network

ENAR – European Network Against Racism

ICRSE – International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

PICUM – Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants

TAMPEP – European Network for the Promotion of Rights and Health among Migrant Sex Workers

TGEU – Transgender Europe