Tibet Intergroup and the Dalai Lama

Meeting between members of the Tibet Intergroup and the Dalai Lama, Brussels, 3 December 2008.

The new 2009-2014 European Parliament, composed of 736 MEPS, half of whom are newcomers, convened for the year ahead this week. One of the first committees of the year, the Human Rights Committee headed by Heidi Hautala (Green Party, Finland), invited Rebiya Kadeer to speak on the crisis in Xinjiang (September 1).

Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director in Brussels, said today: “We welcome back to the Parliament many loyal Tibet supporters who have done so much over the years to help us. We also welcome the many newcomers who join the European Parliament this week and look forward to working with them. Support for Tibet has been particularly strong among European Parliamentarians since the crackdown began last year following a wave of protests, and we hope to build that support still further.” A new brochure to all elected MEPs produced by ICT: The European Parliament and Tibet »

ICT is calling upon European deputies to:

  • Re-establish the Tibet Intergroup, first created in 1989, which has been an important forum for promoting the Tibet issue;
  • Pressure member states to invite the Dalai Lama to address the EU Foreign Affairs ministers (GAERC);
  • Support the nomination an EU Special Representative for Tibet;
  • Support the organization of hearings in relevant committees (Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, and Development);
  • Support programs that address chronic needs inside Tibet through assistance to education, work force development, environmental protection and sustainable development;
  • Participate in European and World Parliamentary meetings on Tibet.

In an address to the European Parliament in Brussels on December 4, 2008, the Dalai Lama said: “The European parliament for the consistent display of concern and support for the just and non-violent Tibetan struggle. Your sympathy, support and solidarity have always been a great source of inspiration and encouragement to the Tibetan people, both in and outside China”.