Youth on the streets, bringing down the wall Schengen visa has divided us with
PRESS RELEASE, 8th November 2006
JEF pan-European Visa Action
Today, right in front of the Council, JEF build up a huge symbolic visa/Berlin wall and demanded an immediate revision of the current visa regime dividing Europe. The action is part of a pan- European action organised by JEF on the day of the fall of the Berlin wall, where the same demands are made in front of the same visa/Berlin wall in over 15 cities across Europe.
“Youth across all of Europe are taking to the streets on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall to manifest against the current visa procedure that is costly, time consuming and clearly dividing Europe in two again. The European public must know about this unfair stupidity and European leaders must do something about it.”
“European people want to integrate. European youth wants to meet. Europe wants to be united again. This year the EU member states chose to almost double the visa fees – a step in the completely wrong direction!“, stated Jan Seifert, the President of the Young European Federalists, as being the main reasons for JEF activists across Europe to take to the streets.
“We want to point out that the visa fees and procedures touch especially upon the youth and make, civil society work, training, exchange, cultural integration or simply travelling a luxury, that only few can afford” Jan Seifert continued.
The actions started today in Brussels, where around 50 young Europeans, youth NGOs and MEPs gathered in front of the Council building Juste Lipse to symbolically bring down a huge visa/Berlin wall and state their demands for changing the current EU visa regime. JEF-Europe strongly demands revision of the visa procedures to make them fast, affordable and non-discriminatory. “High visa fees hardly keep the terrorist or criminal at home – it is the ordinary Europeans that are prevented from travelling. Let visa fees inside of Europe be costless to allow us Europeans to meet.”
The action continues on 9th November with demonstrations in over 15 cities across Europe, from Skopje to Edinburgh, including Berlin by Brandenburger Tour where the wall once stood. The main manifestation takes place in Vilnius where representatives from numerous youth NGOs from all over Europe, currently in Vilnius for the European Youth Forum General Assembly, will take part in a big manifestation in front of a huge visa/Berlin wall.
For info on time, place and contact details please see press contact below.
- JEFs visa action is taking place in Brussels, Bucharest, Skoje, Kumanovo (Macedonia) , Berlin, Chemnitz, Ljubljana, Vilnius, Riga, Sofia, Zagreb, Turin, Padova, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Paris, Bern, Luzern, Edinburgh, Nis (Serbia) and Helsinki
- Pictures from the action in Brussels at http://www.jef-europe.net/index.php?id=1639&tx_lzgallery_pi1[showUid]=74
- The major action in Vilnius is co organised by JEF-Europe, JEF-Lithuania, Lithuanian Liberal Youth and Lithuanian Liberal-center Youth and supported by the Lithuanian Youth Council and European Youth Forum
- The 10 x 2 meter artificial visa/Berlin wall that is used in the Brussels and Vilnius actions has been painted in cooperation with the artist workshop in AFID, a center for young handicapped people in Lisbon. More info www.afid.org.pt
- Pictures of the workshop at http://www.jef-europe.net/index.php?id=1639&tx_lzgallery_pi1[showUid]=73
- European Youth Forum is currently leading a campaign against current visa regimes, www.getvisable.org