Brussels, 22 April 2015
The signatory organisations are dismayed to learn of the decisions adopted on Monday 20 April by the EU Council of Ministers.
Other than restating a commitment to facilitate the resettlement of refugees and develop relocation initiatives, the Council confines itself to a rhetoric that has not only demonstrated its ineffectiveness, but has led to growing human tragedies at Europes maritime borders.
As migrants strive valiantly to save both their lives and their freedom by attempting to reach Europe, because it is the land of refuge closest to them, we expected the ministers of the Member States to take emergency measures. The only worthy goal in these circumstances is to ensure the safe transit of these exiles.
But, in a display of blind obstinacy, the Council of Ministers has decided otherwise. Not only will Frontex be given even more powers, but third countries Libyas neighbours shall be mobilised. In short, there will be no room for refugees from Eritrea, Sudan, and Syria, in particular, on our territory.
Our organisations consider that in doing so, the European Union would explicitly assume responsibility for the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean sea. For this reason, we are appealing to the European Council as it meets on 23 April.
We ask the European Council to reestablish the commitment that, a little over fifteen years ago, paved the way for an open and secure European Union, fully committed to the obligations of the Geneva Refugee Convention and other relevant human rights instruments, and able to respond to humanitarian needs on the basis of solidarity.
The European Union has no other choice but to face reality: thousands of exiles absolutely need to find shelter. By virtue of its history, in application of the principles upon which it based its construction, to honour its international commitments, the EU must welcome them and, furthermore, introduce the necessary measures to secure their voyage towards our borders. This implies not just the essential duty of rescuing those who take incredible risks to cross the Mediterranean, but to open up legal means of migration so that they need not place their lives at stake.
It is up to the European Council to make such decisions. The signatory organisations are explicitly calling upon the Council to do so.
- Action Luxembourg Ouvert et Solidaire Ligue des Droits de lHomme (ALOS – LDH)
- Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA)
- Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés – Luxembourg (ASTI)
- Association Européenne pour la défense des Droits de lHomme (AEDH)
- Associazione Ricreativa e Cultutale Italiana (ARCI)
- Borderline Europe
- Centre de Recherche et dInformation pour le développement (CRID)
- Emmaus Europe
- Enda Europe
- European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People (FEANTASA)
- Fédération des Associations de Solidarité avec Tou-te-s les Immigré-e-s (FASTI)
- FIDH (Fédération Internationale des Droits de lHomme)
- Fondation France-Libertés
- Forum des Organisations de Solidarité Internationale issues des Migrations (FORIM)
- France Amérique Latine (FAL)
- Groupe dInformation et de Soutien des Immigré.e.s France (GISTI)
- Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya (IDHC)
- International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
- KISA Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism
- Le Mouvement de la Paix France
- Le Syndicat de la magistrature France
- Lega Italiana Dei Diritti Dell Uomo (LIDU)
- Liga Voor de Rechten van de Mens (LVRM)
- Liga voor Mensenrechten (LVM)
- Ligue des droits de lHomme Belgique (LDH)
- Ligue des droits de lHomme France (LDH)
- Ligue Hellénique des droits de lhomme (LHDH)
- Ligue Suisse des droits de lHomme section Genève (LSDH)
- Malta Association of Human Rights (MAHR)
- Österreichische Liga Für Menschenrechte – OLFM
- Réseau euro-méditerranéen des droits de lhomme (REMDH)