President Macron’s plan for asylum requests to be handled in Libya, Chad and Niger has been condemned by GUE/NGL as racist and a fundamental breach of human rights.

This idea was proposed as Macron hosted a meeting on migration with the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libyan GNA in Paris on Monday.

In addition to this proposal – under the pretext of ‘saving lives’ –  the EU and participating member states have committed to further support various initiatives – financially and technically – to stop people from reaching Europe ‘well before they reach Mediterranean coasts’ – notably through increasing externalisation of border control.

More than 2000 people have died whilst crossing the Mediterranean this year – mostly from Libya which has been described as ‘hell’ by those rescued at sea.

UN human rights experts had already expressed concerns on 17th August 2017 that the European Commission's proposed action plan – first unveiled in July and which this meeting built on – ‘threatens human lives and breaches international standards by condemning people to face human rights violations in Libya’.

GUE/NGL MEP Malin Björk – the European Parliament’s Rapporteur on the Commission’s Union Resettlement Framework – was deeply angered by the latest proposals:

“This plan is tainted by structural racism towards the African population and migrants.”

“Europe has no right to criminalise mobility or movement – especially not in third countries. Irregular migration is not a crime – by calling it a crime is akin to calling these people criminals. The most worrying aspect of this plan is that it is coupled with stopping spontaneous arrivals at European territory completely. This breaches the international right to leave one's country and to seek asylum,” argued the Swedish MEP.

“Furthermore, using resettlement as the framework within which EU externalises its borders is to destroy over five decades of humanitarian work and international solidarity. In terms of increased loss of human lives and suffering, the consequences of this plan will be disastrous.”

“It is an approach that shows Europe has a lot of work left to do in terms of anti-colonialism and anti-racism,” Björk said.

GUE/NGL coordinator at the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Cornelia Ernst, echoed those concerns:

“I am appalled by how this proposal ignores once again the fact that there is no state in Libya at the moment.”

“There is no accountable authority there, no judicial system – and we hardly know who controls what part of the country. This is lawlessness and that is the opposite of asylum,” said the German MEP.


You can read the letter sent by GUE/NGL MEPs to the Commission and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council Ministers on 6th of July over the externalisation plans, and warned that such measures will inevitably lead to further human rights violation here

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