Public Statement - citizenship bonds beyond blood & European acquis
i-RED, 10 members of the RED Network combating racism and Xenophobia, the Greek Forum of Migrants, Asante, 12 migrant communities and the Refugee Forum in Greece, the European Network Against Racism, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), the Migrants’ Rights Network and the AEDH (Association Europeenne des Droits de l’Homme),
express their support to the Greek citizenship reform and to those migrants who wish to participate to the Greek and European societies as citizens with rights and obligations, pursuing their constitutional aims, by respecting and sharing human rights and civic values.
In times of unprecedented economic as well as socio-political crisis in Greece and in Europe, the respect and consolidation of notions such as ‘common good’ and ‘public interest’ cannot occur but by valorizing and building on the people and their wish to serve the collectivity by participating productively in their society of belonging.
Greece in 2010 has adopted a law which brought the country closer to the European family of nations and societies, which define their identity through sharing political, human and citizen rights’ values and principles. Through the law 3838/2010 Greece has combined even more efficiently and generously than the prior citizenship code, jus soli to jus sanguinis and by doing so, it reached the average of the European Union countries.
At the core of such reform lies what currently is of concern of policy making initiatives in Europe. The recognition of the bonds with the European nations of migrants who are most active and promising members of their citizenry: children and adults who were born in the country and/or lived for at least 3-5 years establishing the centre of their life projects in Europe.
A row of important interventions in Europe lately have encouraged ever improving citizenship reforms, such as the one that marked the positive step of Greece in this path.
In view of the legal challenging of the citizenship reform in Greece on the basis of arguments, such as the threat of altering the ethnic or racial composition of a nation and the undocumented status of migrant applicants in the past, the signatory organisations wish to note that:
- any controversy regarding the constitutionality of the law and the composition of a nation as based exclusively on blood/ancestor relations risks to inflame an already explosive landscape of intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination. The latter sadly emerges in times of heavy crisis as the European history narrates. The development and progress of European nations beyond race and ethnic origin is an important European acquis to be respected and valorized especially in difficult times like today.
- Persons may not be ‘illegal’ as such. What may oblige migrants to live under a status of illegality of residence are inefficient or problematic laws and their application. This is why all modern migrants’ receiving countries have at some point reasonably resorted to regularization programs. The very wide appeal of the latter to migrants reveals their deep wish to participate and contribute to the society they chose to belong to.
· RED Network combating racism and Xenophobia
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights(Austria)
Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) (Bulgaria)
Centre d'Etudes des Discriminations, du Racisme et de l'Antisémitisme (CEDRA)(France)
Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI)(Ireland)
Númena - Research center on human and social sciences(Portugal)
Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad- MPDL(Spain)
Mirovni inštitut – Inštitut za sodobne družbene in politične študije (Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies)(Slovenia)
Centre Against Racism (Centrum mot racism, CMR)(Sweden)
· European Network Against Racism
· Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
· Migrants’ Rights Network
· AEDH (Association Europeenne des Droits de l’Homme)
· Greek Forum of Migrants
· 12 migrant communities in Greece:
Communities of Mali, Guinea, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso , Kenya, Cameroun, Sudan, Nigeria, Union of African Women East Africa, United African Women Organization,
· Greek Forum of Refugees
· i-RED, Institute for |Rights Equality & Diversity