Open letter to the Prime Minister, His Excellency Silvio Berlusconi, regarding the decision to accept the Chinese invitation to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games


Open letter to the Prime Minister, His Excellency Silvio Berlusconi, regarding the decision to accept the Chinese invitation to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing on the occasion of the European Council session, scheduled for 19th and 20th June.


Rome, 18th June 2008

Honorable Prime Minister,

We are writing to you today in light of an important decision – initiated by French President, His Excellency Nicholas Sarkozy – that will be on the agenda of the European Council session to be held in Brussels on 19th and 20th June, 2008. The decision pertains to the definition of a common position by EU Member States regarding their participation in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing on 8th August, 2008.

On numerous past occasions, the European Parliament, through a resolution adopted last April, and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Massimo D'Alema, in addition to the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Franco Frattini, and other European politicians have called for the establishment of a common position on this issue.

Since last March, Beijing’s political authorities have persisted in their refusal to open the Tibetan region to independent international observers, such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Moreover, with regard to relations between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government in Exile, there has been no significant progress in defining a political solution that guarantees the autonomy – not independence – for the region of Tibet, a position clearly declared and reaffirmed by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. Furthermore, it should be noted that during his recent visit in Italy, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Jechi, once again accused the Dalai Lama of supporting secessionist positions and of fomenting violence in the region of Tibet.

For these reasons, we ask you now, and at the European Council’s upcoming session, to take a clear position against the participation of the main political representatives of EU Member States in the Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony. We believe that this position should only be reviewed if and when effective changes with regard to human rights issues in China and the Tibetan region have taken place, and once positive steps towards the definition of a political solution between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government in Exile have been implemented.

We would like to reiterate, however, that we share your opposition to an outright boycott of the Olympic Games themselves, as we consider them an important opportunity for the promotion of solidarity and friendship among peoples. However, we believe that it would be regrettable to honour, with the presence of our main political leaders, a Government that, until now, has not shown the spirit of brotherhood and peace that has underscored the Olympic Games since its inception.


With our best regards,


Mario Barbi, PD
Emerenzio Barbieri, PDL
Marco Beltrandi, Radicali-PD
Rita Bernardini, Radicali-PD
Gino Bucchino, PD
Annamaria Carloni, PD
Lucia Codurelli, PD
Furio Colombo, PD
Anna Paola Concia, PD
Paolo Corsini, PD
Maria Antonietta Coscioni, Radicali-PD
Olga D’Antona, PD
Sabrina De Camillis, PDL
Roberto Della Seta, PD
Benedetto Della Vedova, PDL
Mauro Del Vecchio, PD
Roberto Di Giovan Paolo, PD
Marco Fedi, PD
Emanuele Fiano, PD
Roberto Giachetti, PD
Giuseppe Giulietti, IDV
Francesco Laratta, PD
Lucio Malan PDL
Gennaro Malgieri, PDL
Marco Marsilio, PDL
Alessandro Maran, PD
Matteo Mecacci, Radicali-PD
Giovanna Melandri, PD
Riccardo Migliori, PDL
Carmen Motta, PD
Enrico Musso, PDL
Franco Narducci, PD
Fiamma Nirenstein, PDL
Leoluca Orlando, IDV
Marco Perduca, Radicali-PD
Oskar Peterlini, UDC-SVP- Aut
Savino Pezzotta, UDC
Lapo Pistelli, PD
Barbara Pollastrini, PD
Donatella Poretti, Radicali-PD
Fabio Porta, PD
Antonio Razzi, IDV
Andrea Sarubbi, PD
Amalia Schirru, PD
Giuseppina Servodio, PD
Alessandra Siragusa, PD
Ivano Strizzolo PD
Maurizio Turco, Radicali-PD
Marco Zacchera, PDL
Elisabetta Zamparutti, Radicali-PD