With the terrorist acts of past weeks we have been experiencing repeated attacks on our fundamental democratic rights these days. We should, however, be careful not to call precisely these fundamental rights into question when reacting to these attacks. Until now, most politicians have issued cautious statements in their response to these events. At the same time, though, maintaining a balance between counterterrorism and the defence of our fundamental rights appears to have become more difficult. In Great Britain, Prime Minister May has now started a discussion over the idea of curbing human rights legislation as a means of protecting the public. Similar considerations can also be found in Germany in the area of monitoring children.
As understandable as these demands might be, they are, in my opinion, still wrong. If we were to pursue this path in our societies, we would be adding further fuel to the assault on our democratic system. We would be robbing ourselves of part of our freedom and self-determination. Security is crucial, but it can only be guaranteed to a certain degree in a free society. It takes courage to defend freedom.
The European economic system and, by extension, our prosperity are based on the fundamental notions of freedom and participation. Incidentally, these principles are also being increasingly called into question by the president of the United States. We should treat these principles with extreme care. Otherwise the social and economic capacity of our societies could be undermined and doubts raised over our values.