Timmermans: ‘Nationalism is like alcoholism’

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis

Read-out of the College meeting by First Vice-President of European Commission in charge of Better regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights Frans Timmermans in Brussels, Belgium on Jul. 26, 2017

Timmermans: ‘Nationalism is like alcoholism’


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Brussels remember victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes: “Extremism, nationalism, xenophobia and hatred can still be heard in public speech in Europe. Keeping these memories alive is not only a tribute to the victims but also a way to ensure that these ideologies can be forcefully rejected and such atrocities never happen again.”

Using strong words, the First Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, joined by the European Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourova, “stand firm in our defence of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, in Europe and worldwide.”

“There is no place in the European Union for extremism, intolerance and oppression,” said Timmemrmans, uploading a video at his personal page, attacking nationalists. “Nationalists are unpatriotic. A true patriot is proud of his nation, wanting that strong, peaceful, prosperous and based on values. A patriot knows that unity is needed, openness, cooperation with others, and sees the benefits of agreements, debate and solidarity,” said the First Vice-president. “Nationalism is like alcoholism,” he adds.

‘Nationalism makes us weak’

“Today, on the European anniversary of victims of all forms of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, I want to convey a clear message: a patriot is a European, a European is a patriot,” said Timmermans, adding that it is European cooperation, patriotism and values that makes Europeans who they are. “Let us repel extreme nationalism, which makes our Member States individually and collectively weaker,” he concludes.

Black Ribbon anniversary

It was on August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, which marked the beginning of one of the darkest periods of the recent history of the continent. “Totalitarian regimes across Europe restricted people’s freedoms; violated their rights and made millions of ordinary citizens victims of their ideology,” add the Commissioners on Wednesday’s statement.

”Totalitarian regimes invaded freedoms and made millions of citizens victims of their ideology. We must keep the memory of the horrors of the past alive. That gives us the knowledge and power to reject those who wish to revive these ideologies,” adds the statement.

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