This week marks a historic juncture, signaling the potential demise of the right to asylum across the continent, as the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum enters a fresh round of negotiations in Brussels.

The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council will hold talks on all files from the Pact on 7 December. The regulation on Asylum and Migration Management (RAMM), Asylum Procedure Regulation, Screening, Crisis and Eurodac Regulation will be negotiated throughout the day, followed by what is called a ‘Jumbo trilogue’. 

In a rush to close a deal on migration, the Commission and the Council are once again using “crisis” as pretext, without substantive figures to validate such claims. The Commission’s proposed law, a sweeping attack on rights in place in Europe since the Second World War, fails to address the existing implementation crisis of current EU migration and asylum laws. Daily violations persist, leaving those seeking protection in Europe vulnerable.

Left MEP Cornelia Ernst, Die Linke (Germany) commented on the upcoming negotiations:

“Tomorrow, EU member states and the majority of the Parliament are deciding on nothing less than the existence of the individual right to asylum in the EU. An agreement on the New Pact, which is tailored to the demands of the Melonis and Orbans, would be a betrayal of the rights of people on the move. Anyone who adopts their positions contributes to the normalisation of right-wing extremist positions. The New Pact will not solve the challenges of European migration policy, it will not lead to a solidarity-based division of tasks among the member states, and it will not end everyday violence at the EU’s external borders. On the contrary, it legalises the violations of EU asylum law by the member states. This is extremely dangerous for our democracy in Europe. No reform would have been better than this one.”

Left MEP Malin Björk, Vänsterpartiet (Sweden) declared: 

“This is not our pact. We, in The Left, demand a European asylum and migration policy that respects human rights and international law, firmly upholds the right to seek asylum in Europe, and ensures dignified reception conditions. The legislative texts that are on the table now do none of these things. It is a disgrace. With this migration pact in place, we will see a Europe with more prison-like border camps and more border violence. We will see more deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. We have fought hard against this, and we will never give up the fight for a policy through which refugees are treated with respect, dignity and in line with human rights.”

Left MEP Konstantinos Arvanitis, Syriza (Greece) said: 

“As we approach the end of talks on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, we note with great sadness that the right-wing narrative seems to have taken hold. In the absence of real solidarity, without mandatory relocation of asylum seekers and refugees amongst all the member states, with no true support member states of first entry and with no care to uphold the right to international protection, this Pact looks destined to strengthen the “Fortress Europe” narrative further and create new “enemies”. It’s a lost opportunity to reform European migration and asylum policies towards a more humanitarian approach. An opportunity that many of the forces in the EP actively sought, and regrettably managed, to squander.”

The Left in the European Parliament stands for alternative solutions to achieve a solidarity-based and humane migration and asylum policy:

  • defend the individual right to asylum;
  • solidarity instead of Fortress Europe;
  • abolish inhumane detention camps at the external borders;
  • use and expand legal and safe pathways;
  • stop the externalisation of asylum and migration policy – ​​no more deals with third countries;
  • a European search and rescue mission to replace Frontex.

 

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