Participants of Rome Conference underline the need to respect human rights

Rome, 16 May 2009 – At the closing session of the 20th Annual Conference of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) delegates approved, by acclamation, a statement confirming their agreement with the sentiments expressed by Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic, at the opening session on 14 May, notably with regard to the growing dangers of xenophobia and intolerance.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

European Foundation Centre (EFC)

Conference Statement – Rome, 16 May 2009

We as participants at the Annual Conference of the European Foundation Centre are delighted to have met in Rome. Our conference addressed issues of poverty and social exclusion. We were very encouraged by the speech of the President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, at the opening session of our conference, during which he warned about the growing dangers of xenophobia and intolerance. However, it is with great regret that we witness the emergence of a climate in Italy, which is symptomatic of a general trend throughout Europe, which leads to measures relating to undocumented migrants that undermine people’s basic human rights.

We recognise that migration is a complex and challenging issue for all European member states. As members of Foundations, we are committed to a Europe which is inclusive and tolerant; we work for this alongside citizens and civil society organisations, as well as with governmental bodies. We strongly encourage the governments of all member states to work individually, together and with the institutions of the European Union to build a framework for addressing migration in ways that truly respect the dignity of all human beings as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

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