Stop migrant deaths on Europe’s doorsteps
With an estimated 17,300 people having died attempting to enter fortress Europe, three GUE/NGL MEPs Marie-Christine Vergiat, Jürgen Klute and Cornelia Ernst have thrown their weight behind an initiative by a collective of 15 organisations* supporting migrants and defending human rights.
During a press conference this morning, they denounced EU migration policy, which they qualified as “inhumane and in violation of international law.”
“It is unrealistic to believe that we will stop men and women trying to find a better life in Europe by setting up higher and higher walls and by putting pressure on member states in southern Europe to carry out an increasingly repressive migration policy”, said French GUE/NGL MEP Marie Christine Vergiat. “We cannot let the Mediterranean be a cemetery for thousands of migrants. It is high time that EU migration policy takes a different direction, more in line with the democratic values and principles that EU leaders pretend to defend, and more in line with their international obligations and their statements. “
“We are extremely concerned to see such a rise of the extreme right in Europe and a return to nationalism that stigmatises and criminalises migrants,” said German GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute. “It is taking us away from our essential priorities as elected members of the European Parliament to find a way out of the crisis and to build a social Europe with the people at its centre.”
German GUE/NGL MEP Connie Ernst, Member of the Civil Liberties Committee, said: “Our group in the European parliament is asking for this despicable migration policy to be changed. Primarily, we are asking for the improvement of rescue at sea, the replacement of retention centres by support centres and reception points along the borders of the Mediterranean, and the creation of a European legal framework that could facilitate access and stay in the EU”.
*Members of the collective include: TEJE, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, ATMF Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France, La Cimade, Ingénieurs sans frontières (ISF), la Pastorale des migrants, les Voix Libres, l'Amsed, Oxfam, UDEES union des étudiants étrangers de Strasbourg, la CARES coordination des associations des résidents étrangers de Strasbourg, Colecosol, MRAP et soutenue par Justice et libertés, Artisans du Monde, Collectif judéo-arabe et citoyen pour la Palestine, Amnesty International, Survie, Calima, l'ASTU.
GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Gay Kavanagh +32 495 530 694
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09