Following visits to two migrants’ centres and a meeting with representatives of the Frontex agency in Sicily today, GUE/NGL MEP Malin Björk said it was an outrage that EU countries continue to militarise border policy rather than redirect funding towards lifesaving missions and facilities.

“The Mare Nostrum operation must be maintained as it’s clear that Triton will be no replacement for it,” she said of the Italian life-saving sea mission and Frontex’s new Mediterranean border control operation respectively. “The goal must be to save lives and treat people with dignity – member states must contribute the necessary financing to do that.”

The delegation visited both temporary and permanent migrant centres on Sicily to inspect conditions and talk to the inhabitants. “It’s absolutely urgent to create legal ways for people to seek asylum in the EU. People – including many minors – are being forced to make extremely dangerous journeys to Europe while fleeing war and persecution,” she said. A meeting with representatives of EU border control agency Frontex was also held in the morning. The group of left-wing MEPs will be in Lampedusa tomorrow to take part in the debates and workshops of the Sabir Festival.

For more details and photos from the delegation see: http://ee-gue.spade/policy/action/lampedusa 

The GUE/NGL group is made up of 52 MEPs from across Europe working for peace, solidarity, social justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Europe and beyond. It is the only gender balanced group in the European Parliament.

GUE/NGL Press: David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09 Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08 Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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