The Young European Movement of the United Kingdom stands with the rest of the world when we say that the news of the terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in France on Friday has shocked and appalled us. We offer our most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and we pay our respects to those who died in this tragedy.
Europe has witnessed a cowardly attack by a terrorist organisation. This is a type of organised violence unseen before – it is not fought between states, it is not confined to one area and it is not a battle between conventional armies.
This is a borderless threat, and Europe’s response must be borderless also.
YEM UK joins many other European organisations in a call for pan-European action. Reactions from nation-states alone is not enough. Co-ordination at a European level is what is needed to ensure that the terrorist danger is tackled. We have gone from being a continent torn apart by war and conflict to being a beacon of peace to the world, and this is the message we must spread.
As firm advocates of the European values of equality, justice and human rights, we hope that the world will join us in our call for citizens to be vigilant against the rise of Islamophobia. In the weeks and months that follow this cowardly attack on Paris, populism and xenophobia could flourish in an atmosphere of fear and intolerance. It is up to those of us willing to defend our values to ensure that the refugees in need of Europe’s help and the Muslim population are not associated with this terrorism and do not suffer as a result of the actions of a tiny minority.
For the citizens of Europe, we believe it is paramount that we continue with our daily lives. As with all terrorist attacks, the intended target was not the 128 innocent civilians who were so brutally murdered. It was the survivors. Terrorists aim to instil a sense of panic in a community; to cause confusion, mistrust and division. We must ensure that they do not succeed in their aims and that we make it clear to all: we are not afraid.
Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends, the people of Paris and the people of Europe. We are confident that we will stand in solidarity and together we can take on the problem and restore peace.
- YEM UK National Board