Statement following the terrorist attacks in Belgium.
We are shocked by the horrific terrorist attacks in Brussels and in the National Airport of Zaventem that took many innocent lives on the 22nd of March. These barbaric and inhumane acts cannot be justified by any cause or any ideology.
Our hearts and minds are with the families of the victims and with all those who lost a loved one.
We acknowledge and support the efforts and devotion of the Belgian emergency services – health services, police, the fire department, the municipality and the people working at the airport and city transport during these difficult moments.
The recent attacks in Brussels and Paris, but also in Turkey, Tunisia, the Ivory Coast and others are sad evidence that we are living in a changing world. A world facing constant threats and challenges. We condemn ISIS and terrorist activities of all groups. The responsible for these attacks must be brought to justice. We must fight terrorism together because no country can handle this alone.
What happened in Brussels on 22 March is not only an attack on Belgium, it is an attack against Europe and against our shared founding values. It is an attempt to instigate fear, to alter our lifestyle and to challenge the peaceful coexistence in our society. It is an attempt to divide people and countries, to push each government and each state to fight on its own. We will not let this happen.
We, the Leaders of the major European political parties, call for unity against terrorism and a joint action to ensure the safety of our citizens. Our answer must be strong and united. Our answer will be based on our values of freedom and democracy, on open and tolerant societies, and on the rule of law and respect of fundamental rights.
We stand united in our trust for a common future. This is the European Union and the world we want and we will strive for.
Hans van Baalen