European Parliament resolution and European Civic Forum Appeal

In October 1993 the European Parliament adopted a landmark "Resolution on Deserters from the Armed Forces of States in Former Yugoslavia." In one of its points, the document, which was proposed by four political groups —the Socialists, the Christian-Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens— "calls on [EC] Member States to provide deserters and draft evaders form the former Yugoslavia with a legal status, instead of allowing them to be deported back." Since the resolution has no legal force, but depends for its enforcement on the continued pressure exerted by campaigners for asylum, the European Civic Forum has launched a European petition calling on national governments to follow the recommendations made by the European Parliament.

The ECF appeal criticises "the double language of European countries which, while condemning the war, have made no gesture of support for (...) deserters and draft resisters (...)" and joins the European Parliament in calling for better standards of protection, sanctuary arrangements, legal status, and training and education opportunities for deserters and draft evaders from former Yugoslavia. The organisers aim to gather one million signatures throughout 16 countries (European Union + Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, and Norway).

To obtain a copy of the petition in different languages, contact the European Civic Forum, BP 42, 04300 Forcalquier, France (Tel: +33 92 73 05 98; fax: +33 92 73 18 18) or get in touch with one of the WRI-affiliated groups in your country.