Our sincerest condolences are with people of France at this difficult time.
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are essential elements of any democratic and open society, which are part of a system of rules based on respect for common values, democracy, the rule of law. On January 7 Twelve individuals, including ten of Charlie Hebdo’s staff and two French police officers, paid the ultimate price in defense of these values. The Representatives of the European Union and its Member States and the United States, condemn this attack in the strongest terms. The fight against terrorism in all its forms must continue unabated.
Most of us assume that the world and the people in it are typically benevolent. We also tend to see the world as a meaningful place, in terms of justice (people get what they deserve), controllability (if people try in a good way they can determine what happens to them), and chance (the world is not random). Most societies have successfully maintained standards of civility and respect while keeping open avenues for those who are funny, uncivil and offensive. Analogously, we maintain a sense of self-worth as good, moral, just people; as people who effectively control what happens to us.
In order to make individuals that are great citizens for the world, we probably need to start rethinking the intercultural communications in our schools (in order to motived groups, personality types and then their perception) and behavioral uncertainty associated with beliefs that we and others hold. Indeed, a number of scholars have noted that high ethnocentric levels, anti-Semitism, and anti-democratic personality are innately damaging for intercultural communication (Gudykunst and Kim, 2002, Martinand Nakayama, 2005, McCroskey and Neuliep, 2000). With the direction of today’s society there will be a greater call for such knowledge. In this context we will need more of organizations such as Raoul Wallenberg Academy for Young Leaders that provides a vision and directions of shared democratic and freedom values. After all, a country are and will be in the future defined by its possession of shared democratic values. Major tools that will become increasingly necessary to successfully deal with todays chalenging world.
In Paris, Charlie Hebdo has given form to the spirit of democratic freedom: the ability to write, draw, and publish anything – even extreme (and at times vulgar) provocations. But, most of us move toward more complicated views of reality and more forgiving views of others. The horrific and cowardly attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7th 2015 is an attack not only on over twenty innocent civilians, but also on two of the most fundamental values shared by the European Union and the United States.
These values are a central tenet of who we are as European citizens. Each is protected, on both sides of the Atlantic, by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, by the European Convention on Human Rights, and by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Our sincerest condolences are today with the victims, these individuals and their families and the people of France at this difficult time. And, as allies across the centuries, we stand united to ensure that justice is done.
Despite the major differences, the attacks in Paris and in New York share the same essence. French must face this terrorist attack the same way the Americans did after 9/11, but also with responsibility. There is a strong sense in Paris, as there was in New York, that the real target was Western civilization itself. That is why the attack in Paris 2015 looks more like a combination of two other attacks: the London Underground bombing in 2005 and the plot executed in Mumbai in 2008. The UK is particularly vulnerable to such attacks because of its open society with a high dependence of external connectivity and on foreign trade. Given the UK’s membership of the UN Security Council and its commitments of foreign and defence policy, the likelihood It might fall victim to a serious attacks is high. The fight against terrorism is key global security challenge, not least on European soil.
Sadly, this fight against terrorist is not a new phenomenon. Overall, part of the war on terror has been the United States doing things by themselves to fight against terrorists who operated in the shadows, feared no deterrent, and would use any weapon they could get their hands on to cause thousand of deaths in the heart of any powerful country. Now we in Europe must expect to be more actively engaged. All governmenents in Europé are taking action and there is a lot we are already doing together as European Union. But we need to do more on both internal and external European security and also in education for students in the classroom, related to democratic citzenship, tolerans and the ability to adapt cognitively to new culture, to find long-term solution.
The U.S. and European officials have expressed fears that the unprecedented flow of foreign fighters creates a serious threat that some of them will someday return and commit terrorist acts in their country of origin. The EU-US partnership is based on shared values including a commitment to uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens. The fight against terrorism, in all its forms, is regularly at the heart of the work of the foreign ministers. Following the horrific terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France’s Minister of Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, will host an International Ministerial Meeting in Paris to discuss counterterrorism and foreign fighters.
This meeting, which will take place this Sunday, 11 January, at the French Ministry of Interior, will bring together European Ministers of Interior and the United States Attorney General in order to discuss EU and international efforts to tackle challenges of common concern.