• Migration

Denouncing EU ministers’ proposed de facto abolition of the right to asylum in the EU, Left MEP Cornelia Ernst says the EU has “become an accomplice to the dangerous far-right agenda in Europe. This is a historical setback, a shameful betrayal of European history.”

“Interior ministers have launched an attack on the right to asylum. Capitulating to right-wing governments, their deal aims to eliminate all traces of the principles of human rights, solidarity, and compassion from EU migration policy. We will fight it!” Ernst said.

“EU ministers have aligned with a toxic narrative being driven by right-wing forces across the continent. This betrays the EU’s much-vaunted commitment to human rights, endangering the lives and safety of people seeking protection. Obsessed with imprisoning, returning, and criminalizing ever more people seeking protection, the EU is jeopardizing the lives of the vulnerable,” she said.

The proposed changes by the Council have nothing to do with solidarity, those very few who will make it to the EU, including families and their children, will be put into detention camps at the EU’s borders. Instead of a fair distribution and reception of asylum seekers among all member states, countries will return them to so-called “safe” non-EU countries deeming their applications “inadmissible”. A new European fund will be created with funding from member states refusing to relocate asylum-seekers going instead to, for example, non-EU countries so that they stop those seeking protection before they even come to Europe.

“Europe’s failed migration policy is to be cemented in law and even worsened, all at the expense of the rights of those seeking protection. The extent of this vilifying and dehumanizing of asylum seekers is a new low in Europe’s migration policy. The individual right to asylum was the consequence of two world wars in which millions of people found almost nowhere to seek safety. This new EU migration policy is a fundamental break with the principles of democracy and the rule of law. Perpetuating racist sentiments and enshrining them into law is unacceptable and will foster an intensified environment of hostility and discrimination that will further erode the values upon which the EU claims to be built,” Ernst concludes.

The Left stands alongside those seeking protection and those who defend human rights against these draconian measures. We call on the EU and its member states to respect international law, to build a fair, rights-based approach to asylum procedures focused on those seeking protection.

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