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Statement: EFA united with Ukraine

 

The European Forum Alpbach community stands united with Ukraine. We strongly condemn the war propagated by the current political regime in Russia against its peaceful European neighbour. This attack puts the lives of millions of people at risk, is a gross breach of international law and stands in contrast to our fundamental European values: freedom and peace, united in diversity.

Therefore, in reaction to Putin’s military action and to bolster European security and rule of law, the EFA community is asking responsible decision makers in Austria, Europe and around the world to increase their efforts to:

  • Strengthen European foreign policy and defence.
  • Embolden democracy at home and abroad.
  • Reduce our energy and raw material dependency.
  • Start a global campaign against corruption and inequality
  • Promote solidarity and sense of community among all Europeans.
  • Openly condemn Putin’s regime while actively showing support for innocent people within Russia.

 

For more than 75 years, at the European Forum Alpbach we want to be hosts to a critical and open dialogue where no one should shy away from the perspectives they hold. This effort – to provide a place for honest debate to build a better Europe – is now as important as it was during our foundation phase in the aftermath of the Second World War. Our common efforts are built on the ruins of dictatorship and war. We will never be silent.

This knowledge of our past, however, also demands of us to speak out when we see our fundamental values endangered. The European Forum Alpbach will always work towards inclusion and understanding, but we will never be neutral when it comes to the defence of freedom and peace.

In 2019 Agnes Heller stated in her opening address to the EFA that we are only secure when we work on our own democracy as well as on justice globally:

“there is a political system where contesting justice is possible for everyone. There is no absolute freedom, neither is there absolute security – for if there were, there would be nothing worth living for. Homo sapiens will not become perfect, good, rational. But, to repeat Immanuel Kant, one can establish institutions within the framework of which even the race of devils will behave decently. Voltaire’s suggestion to cultivate our garden remains valid. Modernity is our garden, and within it the place, the continent, the state, the city where we live.”

 

On behalf of the board members of the European Forum Alpbach and the Forum Alpbach Network.