Friday

20th Jul 2018

Filmmakers urge EU leaders to welcome refugees

  • Famous actors and directors handed a petition in favour of refugees to European Parliament president Martin Schulz. (Photo: European Parliament)

European filmmakers urged EU leaders to welcome refugees and resent xenophobic and populist urges on Tuesday (20 October) in Brussels.

Award-winning filmmakers presented a petition signed by over 5,500 people, mostly artists, to European Parliament president Martin Schulz and EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

They urged the EU to offer legal ways for refugees to travel to Europe, and scrap the Dublin regulation that puts a huge strain on frontline countries by having to register and deal with the asylum claims of all new migrants and refugees.

They are also calling on EU leaders not to give in to populism and uphold EU fundamental values and principles when dealing with the refugee crisis.

“Europe seems to be wanting to do crisis management, we want more than that, we want a Europe that shouts its values loud and clear,” Michel Hazanavicius, French director of 2011 Oscar-winning film, The Artist, said at the press conference.

Italian actress and director, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, German actress Hanna Schygulla, French director Laurent Cantet - who won the Palme d'Or in 2008 for his film, Entre les murs - and Polish actor Andrzej Chyra were also in Brussels to pass on the petition that was launched after 71 people, mostly Syrians, suffocated to death in a truck in Austria in August trying to make their way into Western Europe.

“It’s not a flow of refugees, it’s men and women, they are dying on the way here,” Hazanavicius said.

Find solutions

The filmmakers expressed concern over what they see as the EU’s lack of response, and its leaders failing to come up with solutions.

They urged leaders to make funds available, offer refugees a home, a job, allow their children to go to school, and put an end to the Dublin rule that says the country where the asylum seeker first set foot in the EU must deal with the asylum claim.

“Dublin is an obstacle to cooperation among member states,” Hazanavicius said.

The filmmakers also warned of the threat of populism, as some politicians are exploiting the atmosphere of uncertainty and fear to their advantage.

“We would like to hear Europe’s voice, a discourse we can identify with, we would like a banner we can march under,” Hazanavicius said, adding that populist and demagogue discourse attracts significantly more attention, as they are louder.

“Silence works for the populists,” he said.

Other signatories to the petition include British actor and James Bond star, Daniel Craig, Belgian directors, the Dardenne brothers, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, Czech director Jiri Menzel, Hungarian director Bela Tarr, Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras, Italian actress Isabella Rossellini, Austrian film director Michael Haneke, and Danish actress Susanne Bier.

Calais

In the meantime, 800 French and French-speaking artists and intellectuals have launched another petition

calling for an "emergency plan" in Calais, where more than 3,000 migrants live in camps with the aim of crossing the Channel to Britain.

In the petition, they denounce the conditions in which migrants live and the violence inflicted on migrants by far-right groups.

The situation in Calais "undermines the founding principles of France, our common humanity and prepares us for the worst," the petitioners wrote.

Belgian filmmaking brothers in search of a European moral conscience

If not all countries together regulate against abuse; in today's dog-eat-dog capitalist system, the abuser and the abused will just move from country to country. Europe is a fantastic chance to deal with this problem, two of the continent's most prominent filmmakers, have said.

EU unveils Turkey migration plan

The Commission has unveiled a plan on how to stem the flow of migrants from Turkey, including extra funds and a joint crackdown on smugglers.

Opinion

EU must create safe, legal pathways to Europe

As the rapporteur for the European Parliament on an EU regulation on resettlement, my colleagues and I have outlined an effective plan based on solidarity and humanitarian principles.

News in Brief

  1. Italy's Salvini to sue critical anti-mafia writer
  2. EU countries send aircraft to Sweden to help with wildfires
  3. British ex-commissioner's jobs called into question
  4. May to tell EU to drop Irish border 'backstop' idea
  5. Trump threatens EU over Google fine
  6. Spain withdraws arrest warrant for Catalan separatists
  7. EU readies counter-measures on possible US car tariffs
  8. EU Commission launches probe into Hungary's 'Stop Soros' law

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  2. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development
  4. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman Requests More Lending Transparency from European Investment Bank
  5. FIFARecycling at the FIFA World Cup in Russia
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  7. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and Reconciliation Is a Process That Takes Decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  8. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  10. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  12. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us