Alexandru Popescu's message in front of the European Parliament

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Alexandru Popescu's message in front of the European Parliament

3. December 2014

Dear members of the European Parliament

My name is  Alexandru Popescu and I am from Romania. I come from a part  of Europe where values like respect for nature and  citizens are terribly suffering these last years.  I witnessed powerlessly the destruction of local communities, mountains, waters along with the future of our children. My helplessness as a humble  citizen of an European Union from which I awaited everything has recently reached a limit that pushed me to use precisely my rights as a citizen to fight – within  the borders of my helplessness – for everything that for others might seem a sum of lost causes.

As recommended in the Romanian Constitution, I have the wright and the obligation to defend my country. So often happened that we were pushed to do this precisely against the ones ruling. I protested last autumn together with tens and hundreds of thousands of people against the decisions of a corrupt government to sacrifice through cyanide mining a piece of Romania. The voice of those I had the honor to join last autumn in the streets was heard in hundreds of cities in Europe and around the world. Their voice  did not turn quiet! Their voice is still shouting not only against cyanide but also against that corrupt system that planned for that private project to become law in Romania. In this very moment, the same corrupt authorities hide from the public opinion the permitting documents of a cyanide mine in Certej, Romania. They give thus free rein to the construction of the mine which is totally against the law and disregards citizens opinion expressed unequivocally and by a large majority.

Their voices shout against shale gas, a plague that overwhelmed Romania and which came to trample people and their rights and liberties. Romania is under siege of prospecting companies and law forces that received the order to defend these companies against ordinary citizens. These citizens never agreed for their properties to be explored for shale gas. One year ago, on the 2nd of December 2013 in Pungesti, Vaslui County, an army of riot police was deployed against villagers because they had the courage to protest against the building of an exploration well. The siege took several months and the aggressive repression against its own citizens it’s not being investigated in spite of numerous requests from civil society and of the international community.

How can one defend itself from such an attack, such a disregard of the citizen and of the European values? I have always thought that one’s own rights as a citizen are sufficient. This is why armed with my right to petition the European Parliament along with the right to move freely within the borders of the EU, I started a journey  on foot, from Ploiesti - my home town, to reach the European Parliament. I demand from this Parliament to reinstall the respect for law and for fundamental rights. I walked more than 3000 km; I met hundreds of people that found out that: ” Romanians do not want cyanide and shale gas!” - this being the motto of this whole journey.

You might understand my initiative as a bit extreme. I dare you to take it as a metaphor, but one shouted with all my conviction. I dare you to listen to what the EU citizens have to say, because they will build the future of Europe.  I ask you, dear members of the European Parliament, recipients of this letter and of my whole action, to make all efforts so that cyanide mining and shale gas exploitation through hydraulic fracking should not represent a huge cleavage between what citizens want and what authorities are stubbornly promoting anymore. This can only be done one way: hear the voice of the many - ban cyanide mining and shale gas exploitation through hydraulic fracking! This is the only strategy that can hold the basis of a sustainable future in Europe!


Alexandru Popescu, citizen of the European Union.