ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Representative Val Demings (FL-10) has returned from a trip to Europe as part of a Congressional Delegation in support of America’s NATO alliance and democratic values. The Members visited Denmark, Hungary, and Luxembourg.
Said Rep. Demings, “When the United States makes a promise, we have an obligation to keep our word. NATO is one of the most successful defensive alliances in history, forming a shield against Russian aggression and helping to safeguard the freedoms which keep us safe. It is vital to our national security to maintain bonds of trust and mutual self-defense with our European allies.
“In Hungary, Prime Minister Orbán’s government retains the symbols of a democracy, but we know that no democratic society can exist without a free press and open and fair elections.
“It is our responsibility to learn from the past and the present, to re-forge our alliances, protect our values, and to avoid the dangers of nationalism and hatred. Any denial of basic human rights and dignity in any part of the world is wrong and we should never overlook or tolerate such action.
“In Luxembourg, we visited the American Military Cemetery to pay respect to the 5,000 Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice to stop the murderous Nazi regime. We will continue to work with our allies to promote democracy around the world and build a better future than the previous generations were able to build for themselves.”
Beginning in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Members attended the Copenhagen Democracy Summit on the threats and challenges facing democracies in the twenty-first century. This was followed by a panel discussion with other Members of Congress on the importance of defending democratic values. The delegation also met with key leaders attending the Summit.
The delegation then traveled to Budapest, Hungary to meet with government officials, opposition leaders, and civil society activists. Serious concerns have been raised with the democratic backsliding taking place in Hungary, and the delegation raised these issues during their meetings.
Finally, the delegation went to Luxembourg for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. The delegation then participated in working group meetings on security, economic issues, gender issues, human rights, and countering terrorism. The delegation laid a wreath at the American Luxembourg Military Cemetery, where more than 5,000 Americans who served during WWII were laid to rest.
The other Members of the Congressional Delegation were: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Reps. Tom Cole (OK-04), Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Garret Graves (LA-06).