Your shengen freedom is our humiliation!

14-07-2008 10:33 // URL:
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We kindly ask you to spread out this information as widely as possible through your partner NGOs, networks and communities!

Your shengen freedom is our humiliation!

Virtual platforms:
Checkpoint East /
Ukraine Kompetenz Zentrum /

Appeal on European civil society about a humiliation of Eastern Europeans individuals near EU mark lines, in embassies and inside European Union.

Recently it turns out that invisible for the EU citizens war on erforcement of Shengen/Ukrainian markline has been started. Locations are borders, ports and airports areas near them and embassies, providing a visa regualation in reality. War, by definition, is accompanied by acts of injustice, violence, punishment, chaos and tears. Unfortunately, with each new law and changes to the way Shengen is enforced, the situation is getting worse, especially on the Ukrainian frontage line.

Euro news highlights it in:
"Ukraine Ukraines visa travails with the EU":,
Zerkalo Nedeli in "Third-rate people": <>

We are concerned about humiliation on eastern European frontier of Shengen border.
We make an appeal to the European civil society to help us stop it!
Human rights under threat!

With the current appeal we would like to attract the attention of the European civil society to the problems arising from the enforcement of the Shengen treaty on its Eastern European borders. This problem reached a critical point now. It should be brought to the attention of all people who want to make sure that the most basic human rights are not violated in the EU. The idea of Central and West European countries to create the borderless Shengen Zone was perhaps a good idea to simplify the movement of commodities and people inside the EU, but it has made life much more difficult for people outside the Shengen zone. The most powerful economic community on earth with nearly 500 million inhabitants closed itself from its neighbours. We do not accept the extreme restrictions imposed on citizens of New Independent States! We need Europe show her closeness instead of closed door.

* In 2000, the Ukraine established a visa-free regime and opened
itself to the world. This gesture of hospitality was symbolised by
the image of welcoming hands holding bread and salt. This was a
success story, and the neighbouring countries to the West, Poland,
the Czech Republic and Slovakia gave the same status to Ukrainian
citizens. By signing up to Shengen, the new Eastern European EU
members joined an area of border-free travel of 24 countries or
3.6 million square kilometres was opened up. Ukraine paid the
price and like other countries on the wrong side of the new Iron
Curtains were not allowed to the zone of free movement. Instead
the free zone for free movement of commodities is established.
* Long queues formed in front of EU embassies. Suddenly Eastern
Europeans were outsiders again tourists, students, artists,
sports- or businesspeople, family members married to EU citizens,
children being treated in EU hospitals or going to holiday camps
there. To get visa is a lottery for them: win or lose. The number
of failed cases has greatly increased recently.
* There are many of cases of humiliation of individuals from Newly
Independent States using the Shengen legislation as an excuse for
it. It has a little to do with normal checking procedure, but
looks more like an incident of hostage-taking where the hostages
need to surrender their money to be able to free themselves. It
happened each day and each hour!
* This is not to say that there are not plenty of special rules for
selected groups come in, but they make it difficult for ordinary
people to come in. The human right of free movement does not apply
We demand to stop filtration of Eastern European on useful and
not useful for the European economy!
* The appearing of new independent states on the territory of
ex-USSR is a difficult process, which needs to be taken rather
with understanding than with neglecting. The Soviet generation
went through bad of experience when idealistic aim to build a
society of justice and prosperity turned to misery by using
enemies discourse to reach the aim. Due to this fact
ex-Soviets in its majority react nowadays very sensitively to
similar simplifications. They look towards Europe for a fresh
impulse and assistance in building a fair society. Not in last
they look for job opportunities in the same way as EU citizens
look for a betetr paid job abroad. But their very attempt to
survive of eastern individuals is now considered a crime, and they
are subject to racist treatment of the worst kind. Not well
developt Eu migration policy just make people "illegal".
* In fact, the Shengen expansion to eastern border has led to a new
Iron Curtain. On the wrong side of it youll find the people of
Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Belarus and the Republic of
Moldova (and other countries further afield such as Georgia,
Armenia etc.). The former Iron Curtain and the Cold War already
left us with fifty years of isolation. Today we still carry that
inheritance with us: we are filled with prejudices and complexes.
Due to a past lack of communication and lack of practice in
discovering other mentalities and backgrounds, our cultural and
language abilities sometimes fail us. We dont understand each
others existential realities. We dont want it to be continued.
The division into a rich West and a poor East, a Mafia East
and politically correct West however does not correspond with
todays reality anymore. We are convinced that our societies need
each other as never before. Western Europe needs a fresh flow of
ideas, an exchange of values and historical experiences, of
cultures and knowledge as much as Eastern Europe.
* Shengen borderline provokes a lot of tension, and the question is:
do we really need this tension? We demand to abolish visa
restrictions towards Eastern Europeans independently from the
political relationship between Newly Independent States and
European Union!

We appeal to civil society in western Europe with its great experience on human rights issue raise its voice up to prevent establishment of new Iron Cartons on Eastern European frontier of European Union.

Recently the movie Goodbye Lenin ( reminded people that the age of Lenin has come and gone. Its simply old-fashioned now. Perhaps next movie with title Good-bye, Shengen! will produced one day. So far it not a case. If once again we lose the momentum of change and allow our countries to be isolated, we are on a downward spiral towards humiliation. Nobody would be able to stop hatemongers and those encouraged by humiliating laws; there would be no input possible from open-minded people, outsiders, intellectuals etc. Both of our societies, classified as East and West, are just two parts of a whole that reflect present day Europe. We need to heal the divisions of the past, stop reproducing the clichés and prejudices of each other due to past Cold War propaganda.

People must be able to travel freely and to conduct whatever form of intellectual exchange they need. We dont need another Iron Curtains! The human rights for free movement are everybody, as for Easterner Europeans as for their western counterparts not matter which political Union they belong to!
The people first, the commodities next!

/If we dont allow a fresh wind to blow freely across the continent, we will begin to stew in our own juices. Already, there is a nasty smell in the air. It would not be surprising if we fall apart through an act of slow decomposition.

/ We will be glad to get your feedback and proposotion for cooperation!
Checkpoint East /
Ukraine Kompetenz Zentrum /

Contact: Olha Samborska, <>

14-07-2008 10:33 // URL:
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