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5,500 actors call on the European Union to save refugees

Martin SCHULZ - EP President meets with European Filmmakers ' For a Thousand lives: Be human '

ROME, OCTOBER 22 – “For a Thousand Lives: Be Human” is the new initiative launched by 5,500 European actors and directors, among whom Italian Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, in favour of the thousands of refugees displaced in Europe.

The initiative was presented by a delegation of promoters to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and to the first Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans.

The group is calling on the EU to adopt “measures that will assure all member states to respond actively and in coordination to the migrants crisis, in line with European principles of solidarity and human compassion.”

The project was presented during a press conference at the EU Parliament by Bruni Tedeschi, movie director Michel Hazanavicius – director of the 5 Oscar winning film “The Artist”, director Laurent Cantet, German actress Hanna Schygulla, the Hungarian director Béla Tarr, Polish actor Andrzej Chyra, along with the Presidents of the European Commission for Culture, Silvia Costa (PD), and for Civil Freedom, Justice and Internal Affairs, the British Laburist Claude Moraes.

The actors urge the EU to come up with a new set of regulations that go beyond the Dublin System – which currently does not allow European countries to share the “burden” of assisting migrants, while putting in charge of assisting asylum seekers and refugees only the country of first arrival.

Additionally, European leaders and all citizens involved in public debates over migrants were urged to halt all forms of xenophobic discussions and argumentations generally used by many populist parties to attract consent and spread racism.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

Hanna Schygulla, who was born in Nazi occupied Poland during World War II, remarked how she is herself the daughter of refugee parents: “My mother managed to get on the last train directed from East to West Germany. When the train stopped in Bavaria, a woman came to give us food from a pot, a high quality product made in West Germany, which I still keep and use today. To me that pot became the symbol of kindness, openness and empathy. After that, however, we had problems, as people did not accepted us and insulted us on the streets because of our Polish origins. Then, later on, as an actress, I had to cover roles of German characters during that period of the country’s history.”

President Schulz welcomed the initiative. “The majority of Europeans” – he highlighted – “are ready to help refugees. With this initiative, and many others led by the civil society, we are showing that we will not stand still until we reach the right and most compassionate solution.”

On Tuesday, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, suggested for political leaders from the Balkans and Central Europe, to convene at a high level meeting, on Sunday, in Brussels, to discuss the “emergency status of countries who are along the route of migration flows coming from Western Balkans.”

A note from the EU commission said that “The emergency requires a more robust cooperation, major consultations and immediate action.”

For more info of the “For a Thousand Lives: Be Human” visit www.for-a-1000-lives.eu  (NS/VI, October 21, 2015)

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