CONCORD, European NGO confederation for relief and development (which COOPI is a member of) published his recommendations to Heads of State on Migration and Development for the latest European Council (June 25th-26th).
Below CONCORD statements:
“Since the beginning of this year, more than 1,800 people have died in the Mediterranean trying to reach the European shores, 50 times more than the figure recorded over the same period in 2014. The European Union cannot turn a blind eye on its responsibility; this is the moment to live up to European founding values of solidarity and human rights.
According to CONCORD, continued and predicted tragedies at sea constitute a grave indictment of current EU approach to migration that continues focusing on security and border controls rather than on ensuring the safety of people arriving on its shores. Current EU border enforcement approaches neither protect the fundamental human right to life nor respect international and regional treaties.
CONCORD calls on Heads of States to reaffirm that the EU is committed to work on the “links between migration and development”, emphasizing that “development cooperation can contribute to ensuring that migration is a choice rather than a necessity”. Heads of States must address seriously the root causes of forced migration. EU should forge a new humanitarian and development policy for preventing crisis and conflicts as well as trade and common security policies that are coherent with development objectives. Furthermore, under the ‘Cooperation with third countries’, the EU must refuse to negotiate with countries that do not respect human rights.
As long as legal migration routes to Europe remain closed, lives of migrants are in danger and their right to asylum is denied. CONCORD calls on Heads of State to adopt measures to open realistic legal safe channels of migration to the EU, in order to reduce irregular migration and ensure that people migrate without risking their lives.
We urge Heads of States to agree on a responsibility-sharing mechanism between Member States at the forefront of the crisis and the rest of the EU and adopts a binding, and not voluntary, policy of participation in the reception and resettlement of migrants in a way that respects human dignity.
It is important that the solutions found by EU governments re-affirm the need to uphold asylum and refugee protection. Heads of States should ensure that asylum applications are examined in the country chosen by the asylum seeker.
We are deeply concerned that the identification process of “persons in clear need of protection” involves the detention of asylum seekers in administrative centers for months. Migrants’ rights and dignity must be preserved at all times.
The plan for military naval interventions to destroy vessels is not acceptable from both political and ethical points of view as this runs high risk to put migrants’ lives in great danger. CONCORD strongly opposes such a risky military intervention and calls on the responsibility of the EU’s Heads of States to protect the lives of migrants.”