The 19th Congress of the FIR in Barcelona calls for Peace and a better EU

2. November 2023

On Oct. 27, 28 and 29, Barcelona hosted the 19th Congress of the International Federation of Resistance Fighters, with the participation of nearly 100 delegates and guests from all over Europe and Morocco.

After the opening in the prestigious Saló de les Cròniques of the Barcelona City Hall, with the “Michel Vanderborght” awards ceremony, that this year honored several distinguished European citizens for their civil and antifascist engagement, such as the Italian Senator – and Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor – Liliana Segre; Mrs. Teresa Alonso – a child of the Spanish Civil War evacuated to the USSR who survived the Leningrad’s siege and fought in the Komsomol brigades – and Mrs. Delfina Tomás – who escaped as a child from the Francoist Spain and lately cooperated with the International Federation of Resistance Fighters and the World Peace Council.

Hosted by the CCOO of Catalonia (Comisiones Obreras, the most important trade union of Catalonia), the Congress saw, among others, the interventions of Javier Pacheco (Secretary General of the CCOO of Catalonia), Fernando Martínez (Secretary of State for Remembrance), Gemma Ubasart (Councilor for Justice, Rights and Remembrance) as well as the President of the World Federation of Veterans (WVF/FMAC), Dr El Mostafa El Ktiri, who greeted the delegates. during the different steps of the Congress which led to the partial renewal of the leading bodies and the approval of several statements. The delegates have confirmed Mr. Vimos Hanti for Hungary as President as well as Dr Ulrich Schneider as Secretary General and Dr Filippo Giuffrida as Vice-President, electing Dr Regina Girod as Vice-President. The Congress has also decided to enlarge the Executive Committee, welcoming new representatives from Belgium, Greece, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.

Among the various documents approved by the 19th Congress, a call on “all parties in all ongoing conflicts for an immediate ceasefire and the start of international negotiations” and a call for a “European Union of the people”, at the occasion of the incoming EU elections, where the delegates have stressed the importance of an EU “opposing any form of nationalism, separatist attempts, racial discrimination, or xenophobia, working for the rights of the refugees and minorities”, as well as “advocating a peace policy based not on domination in matter of foreign policy but on non-military conflict solutions.”

On Sunday 29, the delegates participated in several commemorative events in memory of the International Brigades and the victims of Franco’s dictatorship, with the intervention of FIR Secretary General at the ceremony at the Rambla del Carmel, in front of the Lincoln Brigade monument and of FIR Vice-President at the gathering at Les Masies de l’Espluga de Francolí, near Tarragona, to remember the farewell to the International Brigades by Juan Negrín and Luigi Longo,