Posted by : SAFKA Saturday, May 10, 2014

Today, on Europe Day, the flags of the European Union and its member states are flying high all across Europe — from the rocks of Gibraltar and the Emerald Isle of Éire all the way to the easternmost parts of Finland's North Karelia and the port city of Larnaca in Cyprus. We celebrate the message of our union that was founded on the common values of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, and civilisation: "United in Diversity."

The first steps of a united Europe striving toward common values and economic prosperity were taken on 9 May 1950, when our continent was still recovering from a catastrophic conflagration, in a declaration by the then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman. The governments of European states were determined to prevent another war. This road has led EU member states and their citizens to prosperity, freedom, and peace. This is a time to celebrate — or is it?

As we celebrate, flags are flying throughout Russia all the way from Saint Petersburg to the shores of the Bering Strait. The great country is celebrating its victory over fascism in the Second World War that ended on 9 May 1945 with flying colours and military parades. At the same time, armoured divisions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's army are flouting international law and trampling down on the territory of several sovereign European states: Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine.

The Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee expresses its deep concern about the threat to peace on the European continent and calls on all European states, individual citizens, communities, and organisations to rise in common defence of European values against totalitarianism. We join in the words of the Schuman declaration: "World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it."

Antti-Pekka Mustonen

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