Letter of the Erased to the President of the European Commission

par les Effacés | publié le 1 May 2004 |

Letter of the Erased to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, on the occasion of the celebration of the enlargement of EU in Gorizia/Nova Gorica on 1st of May 2004

Honourable Mister Prodi, President of the European Commission

On May 1 Slovenia will enter European Union. On the 30 th of April you will be present on the border between Gorizia and Nova Gorica, on a Square that symbolises the wounds of past divisions. You will articulate hopes and dreams of millions and millions of European inhabitants. You will do this as one of the highest authorities of union that wrote in the second paragraph of its future constitution: « The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. These values are common to the Member States in a society of pluralism, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination« (In: Draft of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Article 2)

In Slovenia, one of the ten accessioning countries, exist so called erased. According to the official documents of the Interior Ministry we are 18.305. With the illegal and unconstitutional erasure from the registry of permanent residence that was committed by state officials on the 26 th of February 1992, we became illegal residents in our own country. As a result we were deprived of all social rights (right to work, to apartment, to pension, to social and health security). Our existence was pushed into shadows and we lived under constant threat of misuse and deportations. Twelve long years of individual and family tragedies began. But we did not give up. We started our struggle to obtain our rights back and democratic civil society and movements joined us. As the result of our defiance to the destiny the Slovenian Constitutional Court ruled twice that the erasure was unconstitutional and that the state administration must immediately return all our rights from the day of the erasure onwards. But these decisions did not end our suffering. After the recognition that we were treated in a discriminative way we have became the target of xenophobic political forces and hostages of a head-in-sand policy of the governmental parties that supposedly respect the rule of law. The consequence of this bargaining about things that can not be the object of bargaining was a humiliating referendum on April 4 this year, which decided about human rights and which encouraged people to massively express intolerance against us, the smallest among the small. One third of the voters participated on a referendum to erase us again.

Mister Prodi, our pain is as big as our hope. On the 1 st of May Slovenian erased will become European erased. We hope that not for long. Since Europeans wrote in their future constitution (if we understand the second Article correctly) that there will be no Erased in Europe, that all people will be equal members of a society, which is ruled by pluralism, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination. In our hope we are also thinking about all inhabitants of Europe, which are suffering any kind of discrimination. We stand for a Europe without erased of any kind.

Mister President of the European Commission, as future European erased, we are appealing on you, one of the highest authorities of European Union, to meet us on the 30 th of April in Nova Gorica so that we can personally inform you with our problematic. At the meeting we would also like to hand over to you the documents that explain what causes our tragedy in last twelve years.

President of the Association of the Erased of Slovenia, Aleksandar Todorovic

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