July 16, 2014 — Brussels, Belgium
AJC sent the congratulatory letter below to Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker upon his recent election as President of the European Council.
Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker President-elect of the European Commission B-1049
President-elect Juncker: On behalf of the American Jewish Committee, please accept my congratulations on your confirmation as the next President of the European Commission. The clear majority that voted for you in the European Parliament indicated the breadth of support for your mandate and vision to achieve a stronger and more unified Europe. AJC stands with you in this critical effort. Our commitment to Europe is clear: founded in 1906, we have offices in Berlin, Paris, Rome and Brussels, where our Transatlantic Institute has just marked its tenth anniversary. We have long advocated NATO and EU membership for former Warsaw Pact states, encouraging them to make necessary democratic reforms. And we proudly proclaim that America’s greatest ally in the world will always be Europe. On Tuesday, while appearing before the European Parliament, you outlined your impressive plan for tackling some of Europe’s pressing challenges. AJC commends your attention to one additional, urgent issue – the fight against antisemitism – that we hope you will address as a high priority early in your mandate. Threats to the safety of European Jewish communities – and to European society in general – posed by antisemitism are regrettably not new, but recent events have underscored the growing severity of the danger. Brussels was brought to a standstill a few weeks ago by the horrific shooting at the Jewish Museum, which left four persons dead. Violent and hateful protests targeting Jewish communities took place over the weekend in a number of European capitals, including a firebomb attack on a synagogue near Paris. And on a political level, neo-Nazis from three member states now sit in the very legislature that just confirmed you as President. The time has come for attention and action at the highest levels. It is our hope that, as President, you will play a central role in raising the European voice against antisemitism. We urge you to state clearly and forcefully that antisemitism is our common enemy – that it is an existential threat to Europe, a negation of the common and shared values of this noble Union. AJC recognizes that this scourge will not be vanquished easily. But please know that, with our offices and historic ties across Europe, AJC will stand with you as a partner in this effort. To further introduce ourselves and discuss this and other common concerns, we hope to have the opportunity to meet with you at your earliest convenience; our colleagues in Brussels will follow up with your staff. With the assurance of my profound esteem and best wishes, and my appreciation of your consideration of AJC’s views on this critical matter, I remain, Respectfully, David Harris AJC Executive Director Edward and Sandra Meyer Office of the Executive Director