February 2022 | Ukraine, Portuguese Court Ruling and more
Statement on Ukraine
Naturally, the breakout of war in Ukraine is a major cause of alarm and concern for all Europeans, not just to Volt. Although a continuously changing situation, Volt Europa released the following statement:
“We are deeply troubled by President Putin’s decision to declare war on Ukraine and we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
The European Union must respond swiftly and rigorously to this breach of international law and of the Minsk Agreements. Uncoordinated responses and lack of unity among the member states not only hurt the European project but also harm the results we want to achieve.
The European Union and especially its member states have to prove that the citizens of Ukraine and Ukraine’s sovereignty are worth more than financial and trade concerns. This is why we reiterate our demands and we urge the EU and its allies to hit the Russian government with massive and targeted sanctions:
sanction Russian banks, companies, military personnel, and other Kremlin-linked individuals, their families, and their business partners;
stop all business deals with the Russian state, Kremlin-associated individuals, and companies;
freeze all assets of state-owned companies or companies and individuals associated with the Kremlin.
While we still hope for a quick end to this conflict and for a diplomatic solution, this seems improbable for the time being. European countries must prepare to welcome and care for Ukrainian refugees in coordination with the European Agency for Asylum.
If there was ever a test for the European Union to show strength and unity, this is it. We must not leave Ukraine and the Ukrainian people to fend for themselves.”
For more context on Volt Europa’s position: Volt Europa.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, has also confirmed Ireland’s alignment with the international community in condemning the invasion and stating that Ireland is not taking a neutral stance on this aggression. Ireland is also waiving visa requirements for Ukrainian citizens.
Earlier this month, Volt Ireland also published a statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, calling upon Minister Coveney to ensure Ireland’s position in the UN Security Council, as well as its voice in Europe, is heard loudly on this matter. To see the full statement, visit Volt Ireland Website.
Portugal: Constitutional Court Decision
In other news, the influence of small parties on the status quo was demonstrated strongly earlier this month, when the Constitutional Court agreed with Volt Portugal that counting the ballot papers without clear identification of the voter is illegal.
For voters residing abroad, they are now legally required to include all necessary documentation such as photocopies of their voter identification, as those within Portugal must. Other political parties had informally agreed, in a meeting, to not enforce the requirement for postal votes, which Volt Portugal argued in its court appeal to be against the law.
This will mean that counting the votes at the roundtables will need to be repeated, and removes the possibility of political parties that are competing for votes to determine the requirements of which votes are valid or not.
Volt Participates in Swiss Elections
On February 14, Volt participated in elections in Switzerland for the first time. The Swiss chapter of Volt, with assistance from members in Germany, forwarded candidates in Zurich, Kreis (districts) 7+8, and 10. Overall, candidates Danilo Lo Pumo, Nicola Giuliani, and Steffen Lemmerzahl netted over one thousand votes!
We (Still) Need Your Voice!
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