Monday, May 10, 2010


By Kevin Stoda, Germany

Dear Ombudsman of the European Union,
In the “CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION”, Article 20 clearly states, “Everyone is equal before the law.”
This code or statement seems rather clear. Therefore, I, as an American living and working in Germany for over a year should be seen as equal (and have as equal access to rights and laws in the European Union) as anyone else.
However, this if far from the case.
As an American, I have little or no access to European Union Courts or public services, i.e. as I noted in a letter to the Oberbuergermeister (Mayor) of Wiesbaden recently. This situation would be equivalent to a visa-holding foreigner in America not being allowed access to federal courts (and state or city services) that he as a taxpayer had already been taxed for.
Likewise, Article 21 in the Charter of the European Union states in its first paragraph “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.” However, this same article has an unfair caveat that leads to an over-5-year-delay in justice before the European Union courts for non-Europeans living and working in Europe. This is because the second part of Article 21 states that part one of the article is to be within “the scope of application of the Treaty establishing the European Community and of the Treaty on European Union, and without prejudice to the special provisions of those Treaties, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.”
Using clearly biased decision-making codes and rules, local German officials in Wiesbaden in Hessen began immediately upon my wife’s making of her spousal visa application in April 2009 to deny her the right to join me living and working in Europe. The decisions were imaginative and clearly against the rubric above in Article 21: ““Everyone is equal before the law.” Obviously, if my wife was American (and not Filipino) she would have come with me to Germany three months earlier. This charade of supposedly illegal due-process continued for over 9 months before I gave up on bringing my wife to live and work in Germany in January of this year.
Moreover, since my wife--as a woman and as a mother--was forced for the past two years to live without health coverage in Germany, I think it is clear that this is a gender issue, too.
That is, whenever these sorts of "civil servant" and ministry tricks are used to keep foreigners from being united with their families and having social or health care in Germany, the European Union officials are not protecting peoples according to Article 20. Nor is the EU court overseeing the enforcement of Article 23 in Germany and neighbouring countries in any way that truly means “due process”.
Article 23 is the “Equality between Men and Women” proviso and states: “Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex.”
German officials in the family and health ministries in Germany have written me stating that my wife’s inability to access health care in Wiesbaden sounds to be very much against even German laws, which are supposedly set up to support women and families these days.

Personally since autumn 2009, when my former firm began to be liquidated, I have come to discover that (particularly) the thousands of Americans recruited to Hessen and neighbouring states to work each year in language teaching and in military or government contracts have had no (or next to no) access to job-hunting- nor job-procurement-services through the state or local agencies—unlike thousands of other foreigners living and working in Germany—including non-EU nationals who had paid less taxes than I paid in 2009.
This means that German law and job services are functioning contrary to Article 29, which states, “Everyone has the right of access to a free placement service.”
Recently, I was in Berlin and spoke to a representative for the EU, and he admitted that the EU does not step in to help until someone has resided in Europe for 5 years. Concerning the EU Charter of Rights, I firmly believe that this lackadaisical approach to injustice and lawlessness damages Europe in the sight of most courts on the globe. In terms of labour law and labour rights, though, Germany is further severely lacking in the area of non-EU rights. Labour. The Charter Articles 30 and 31 focus on labour rights.
Article 30 says “Every worker has the right to protection against unjustified dismissal, in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices.”
Well, just last week, I lost 6 teaching hours at a local—but nationally franchised business—simply because there was a rumour that I was leaving the country in a month or so. Similarly, in January, my former boss said he would not continue to employ me if I filed for my 12,000 Euros in back pay from 2009. In short, firing and dismissing on rumour and as consequence of unfair threats have created a general lawlessness on the job market in Germany. This general lawlessness has led to the states of Hessen and Rhineland- Palatinate to support numerous bully-bosses during the past decade—i.e. as Germany has slowly been getting rid of its social net.
Article 31.1 says: “Every worker has the right to working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and dignity.” As noted in the paragraph above, this EU supported code for human rights is being ignored rampantly in the courts and daily practices in Wiesbaden-Mainz these days. For example, I have received no legal nor private assistance for my healthcare—even though I have not missed a teaching day in the past year and a half. Nonetheless, based on rumours or fears about my health care needs, I have been denied health coverage in Germany by healthcare institutions and by the City of Wiesbaden as well.
"Am I not a man?"—one who needs to support his family while living and working in Europe? I.e. a man who needs the supposed health care coverage that millions of others in Germany receive? Shouldn’t businesses that hire me—regardless of race or nationality--be directed to support me according to Article 31.1 of the Charter?

Article 33 of the EU Charter on Rights says “1. The family shall enjoy legal, economic and social protection. 2. To reconcile family and professional life, everyone shall have the right to protection from dismissal for a reason connected with maternity and the right to paid maternity leave and to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.”
This is an article that Americans really need in their constitution, don’t you think?
Germany, as mentioned above, also has such guarantees in its constitution and in its family law. Nonetheless, if you are an American or non-European, the German visa offices, the immigration offices, several unfair ministries, and the various social welfare and labour offices in this wealthiest of Europe, your rights can be ignored as though you are not human.
Such a state is simply ignoring both EU laws and local legislation and codes. We are told by both courts and bureaucrats: “You are not covered and we will use every trick in the book to keep you from gaining welfare.”
Worse still, even private agencies and some German lawyers tell me to go find my own rights with the help of U.S. lawyers. Likewise, some German physicians have told me here in Wiesbaden to go to the gates of the US American military base nearby to beg for health care support. (There are really very few US lawyers here in the area of human rights and no American military base allow Americans or other visitors to come on base without a permit or invitation.)
As noted above, one of my recent part-time employers had evidentially heard rumours of the birth of my child and decided to lay me off—just two weeks ago.
Where is the support for families evident in all this mistreatment? Moreover, as noted above, my wife and child have not been permitted to come to Germany and gain their right to health care, either since early 2009. This is just as bad as inviting immigrants to Europe for permanent celibacy and in order to promote bad health in families and children—around the globe.
Meanwhile, Article 34 says, “1. The Union recognises and respects the entitlement to social security benefits and social services providing protection in cases such as maternity, illness, industrial accidents, dependency or old age, and in the case of loss of employment, in accordance with the rules laid down by Community law and national laws and practices. 2. Everyone residing and moving legally within the European Union is entitled to social security benefits and social advantages in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices. 3. In order to combat social exclusion and poverty, the Union recognises and respects the right to social and housing assistance so as to ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources, in accordance with the rules laid down by Community law and national laws and practices.”
Today, I just received a letter from the 23rd Social Court in Wiesbaden, Hessen in Germany. The Wiesbaden court determined to not grant me any of the three sets of EU rights noted in Article 34 above. It did so because the local immigration office had given me a super-restricted visa, despite my many skills and employability as an educator in primary, secondary and tertiary levels. In short the courts are colluding with visa-tricksters.
If I could survive another 3 ½ years, I could take my claims to the EU courts of justice—but I can’t Wiesbaden judges and civil servants no this. They are just wishing me away—as they do thousands of others each year.

HEALTH CARE FOR ALL???? and the Courts!
Article 35 states: “Everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities.”
Well, the Wiesbaden court (above) claims I have no such right in Europe. Similarly, the City of Wiesbaden claims the same for me—and for thousands of homeless Germans and non-Germans who pass through the city and regions in Germany each year. Even doctors at charities are quite whimsical about treating and not-treating non-EU homeless, especially from Eastern Europe or travelling gypsies. Even I—as an American—have been refused health care by certain doctors volunteering at benevolent institutions.
What has the EU tried to do in creating this Charter of EU Rights if no one is held accountable?
What kind of example to the world is this document and its lack of enforcement in EU 2010?
Article 41 speaks directly to both the courts themselves and to the bureaucrats in Germany who fail to uphold EU laws. The article states, “1. Every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union. 2. This right includes:. the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken; . the right of every person to have access to his or her file, while respecting the legitimate interests of confidentiality and of professional and business secrecy; the obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions.”
I have not seen due process at many levels and speed has been an issue for me most of the past year and a half.. I say this because I have been unfairly separated from my wife due to arbitrary and non-EU-compliant decisions and due to intentionally vague, overarching and contradictory civil servant processes and codes at the communal level in Germany.
Even when out of work the Social Division of the City of Wiesbaden government has often worked at a snails pace, for example, until I was forced to become homeless last week. Moreover government officials have kept key documents and pieces of information from me throughout the ongoing processes of the past 17 months (since I legally came to work in Germany.) Not once have I been invited to inspect any of the files held by administrators on me, my wife, or on fraudulently operating firms who withhold pay checks—and such due process is certainly clearly required by both German and EU law.

During my recent visit to Berlin I was finally told by a worker for the EU that I had the right to contact and get support from the European Union Ombudsman. I will try to do that. However, this is a sort of very long-shot as generally the EU lets every case snake through german courts before they will even look at it.
Article 44 says, “Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has the right to refer to the Ombudsman of the Union cases of maladministration in the activities of the Community institutions or bodies, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role.”
This article is why I turn to the EU Ombudsman after the 23rd Social Court in Wiesbaden turned down my claim today. You see I am interested in making the world a better place wherever I live. Unlike many civil servants, I am not afraid to whistle blow on a system that is failing people. I hope the Ombudsman serves people in Europe better.
I appeal to the EU Ombudsman who works for the peoples in Hessen and Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany. I am doing so because of Article 47, which says, “Everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal in compliance with the conditions laid down in this Article. Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal previously established by law. Everyone shall have the possibility of being advised, defended and represented. Legal aid shall be made available to those who lack sufficient resources in so far as such aid is necessary to ensure effective access to justice.”
At this moment, in my bank in Germany I have a negative balance. I need help from the EU to proceed with this case against the injustices in Germany and Europe, which my documented experiences over the past 17 months represent.
Please serve fairly Mr. Ombudsman. Make the EU CHARTER more real than it is to date. Make it a document that lives and guides Europe.
Keivn Stoda
%Rheinstr. 65
65185 Wiesbaden
Wer kann zu welchen Themen eine Petition einreichen?
Wer kann eine Petition einreichen?
Zur Einreichung einer Petition befugt sind:
• alle Bürger der Europäischen Union,
• alle Personen mit Wohnort in einem Mitgliedstaat der Europäischen Union,
• alle Angehörigen von Vereinigungen, Unternehmen und Organisationen (natürliche und juristische Personen) mit Sitz in einem Mitgliedstaat der Europäischen Union.
Zu welchen Themen können Sie eine Petition einreichen?
Der Gegenstand der Petition muss Angelegenheiten betreffen, die für die Europäische Union von Interesse sind oder in ihren Tätigkeitsbereich fallen, zum Beispiel:
• Ihre Rechte als Unionsbürger gemäß den Verträgen,
• Umweltfragen,
• Verbraucherschutz,
• freier Personen-, Waren- und Dienstleistungsverkehr, Binnenmarkt,
• Beschäftigungs- und Sozialpolitik,
• Anerkennung von beruflichen Qualifikationen,
• sonstige Probleme im Zusammenhang mit der Umsetzung des EU-Rechts.
Wichtiger Hinweis:
Einfache Auskunftsersuchen werden vom Petitionsausschuss nicht bearbeitet, das Gleiche gilt für allgemeine Kommentare zur EU-Politik.
In welcher Sprache können Sie eine Petition einreichen?
Die Petition muss in einer Amtssprache der Europäischen Union abgefasst sein.
Siehe auch:
Artikel 227 des EG-Vertrags

Geschäftsordnung: Artikel 202



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