Today, the European Parliament will vote on a set of regulations that make up the bulk of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. By voting in favour of the package, the grand coalition of centre-right (EPP), liberals (Renew), and socialists (S&D) will hammer the final nail in the coffin of the right to asylum in the EU. 

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum represents a shameful capitulation to xenophobic narratives and a betrayal of Europe’s professed values. Rather than heralding a new era of compassion and solidarity, it perpetuates a system of exclusion and oppression, condemning countless individuals to lives of uncertainty and fear.

Left MEP Kostas Arvanitis (Syriza, Greece) commented: “We were against this Pact from the beginning and, unfortunately, the outcome of the trilogues meets our worst expectations. The right to asylum is effectively cancelled. This Pact is the validation of the far right’s migration narrative. This is not solidarity with first-entry member states nor with the people fleeing from suffering and death. We are against this Pact and will continue fighting for real solidarity, dignity and respect for human rights”.

“This is a pact of shame,” Left MEP Cornelia Ernst (Die Linke, Germany) said. “It does nothing to end the deaths at the EU’s external borders, locks families with children in border procedures and contains no obligation to take in any asylum seekers. We will fight the implementation of this pact with all our power, and we are not alone. The forces of resistance will come together in all member states. For a life with human dignity, to which everyone is entitled”. 

The debate and vote on the Pact will be followed by a demonstration in Place du Luxembourg on that same day organised by a group of civil society organisations from across Europe. Left MEP Miguel Urban (Anticapitalistas, Spain) added, “This Pact is the EU’s biggest ever recoil on human rights. It’s a package that institutionalises the anti-peopel drift of the Union, allowing the detention of minors, the end of the right to asylum, detention in inhumane conditions and immigration deals with authoritarian governments. We say NO to this pact, not in our name”. 

Left MEP Malin Björk (Vänsterpartiet, Sweden) as rapporteur of the EU Resettlement Framework Regulation adds, “I am proud to be the rapporteur for the only piece of legislation in this package that opens up a safe and legal pathway for people in need of international protection. I hope all member states, by joining the new EU Resettlement framework, welcome some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world. We certainly have the capacity and the international obligation to do so”. Bjork remarks, “We in the Left have firmly stood up for the right to asylum and dignified reception conditions for those who flee their countries and seek a safe haven in the European Union. It is a great failure that the laws that a majority in the European Parliament are about to adopt today, after many years of tough negotiations, do not live up to these standards. These policies dehumanise people in need of international protection.”   

The Left group in the European Parliament will be bringing together MEPs, NGOs and activists on the 18th of April to discuss and identify how to reconstruct the fight for the right to asylum and a humane EU asylum and migration policy.

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