A joint declaration made by Austrian authors in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.
The attacks in Paris impact us all. Europe must not allow itself to be divided in the face of terror. Europe must not return to the days of nationalism and dictatorships. Fundamental European values such as freedom, respect for life and for one another, and willingness to offer humanitarian support to those in need of protection are more vital than ever.
Erecting barriers along borders with the aim of creating symbolic and physical isolation is not the right course of action. The fence being built in Spielfeld along the southern Austrian border is not the right approach. Right now, peace and mutual understanding in Europe are of the utmost importance. Our right to equality and equal treatment were fought for and won over hundreds of years.
Freedom of expression, artistic freedom, freedom of science and freedom of religion are rights of immeasurable value. Only if and when Europe abandons its fundamental values will the terrorists and their backers have achieved their aims.
Franz Josef Czernin