The so-called “New Pact on Migration and Asylum” presented by the EU Commission in September comes as a slap in the face of asylum seekers and refugees still suffering violence and injustice along our borders. It furthermore comes as a slap in the face of those tens of thousands who took to the streets in the past weeks to call for the evacuation of the Greek islands’ camps and for radical change to European migration and asylum policies.
The pact puts returns (i.e. deportations) before the rights of refugees and favours exclusion over protection. There is no plan for a robust solidarity mechanism for the fair relocation of refugees and asylum seekers between European states, while this would be an essential prerequisite for achieving a sustainable decongestion of the Greek islands. The newly proposed „border procedures“ will continue to put the responsibility for people seeking protection on countries of first arrival. The pact promotes the creation of new camps in the style of Moria along the borders, which we firmly oppose.
At the same time, there is no even remotely humane and dignified solution for those refugees currently forced to live in camps on the Aegean islands, in Maltese detention centres or anywhere else at the EU’s external borders.
This is why civil society movements and organisations from several European countries call for renewed protests on 15th/16th November. Our wave of solidarity will continue to grow.
Together we are calling on European leaders and the European Commission to act now:
- Evacuate “Moria 2.0” and all refugee camps on the Aegean islands. Establish a relocation scheme for all protection seekers arriving at the EU’s external borders.
- Stop pretending to wait for a pan-European solution, that never comes. Relocate refugees to other EU member states and provide proper housing, in accordance with the European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
- Put an end to illegal pushbacks at the external borders of the European Union. The EU must not turn away people seeking protection, but must provide safe routes to Europe instead.
- Establish an EU-run search and rescue operation in all regions of the Mediterranean.
- End the criminalisation of solidarity and humanitarian aid.
- Ensure fair asylum procedures for everyone. No decisions based on shady safe third country concepts or average protection rates. No detention of protection seekers.
- Implement human rights-based asylum policies that ensure protection, as opposed to exclusion. This requires increased solidarity and responsibility sharing between European countries, and an end to systematic human rights abuses at the borders.
Because We Carry
Europeans For Humanity
Europe Must Act
Interkerkelijk Vluchtelingenwerk Den Haag
No More Morias
Rethinking Refugees – Knowledge and Action
Vera Magali Keller
Walk of Shame EU
We Gaan Ze Halen / Let’s Bring Them Here
Wir packen’s an