Diana Riba defends a more welcoming Europe
EFA MEP Diana Riba intervened on plenary today to challenge the flagrant racism refugees suffer in Europe.
The Greens/EFA Group supports the unprecedented decision of opening the European borders to all Ukrainian Refugees fleeing the war, welcomes the measures and helps put in place in such a critical moment.
While the group is delighted with opening borders in Europe to all those in need,there's scepticism as to why it was not done before. The Greens/EFA have been demanding such a decision during the wars in Afghanistan and Syria.
In the past days, people of colour have been telling their first-hand experience abuse the racism they suffered trying to escape from Ukraine.
Diana Riba, MEP, was present in Latvia last week, visiting the border where refugees arrived. Having seen the EU's different approach with Ukraine compared to the previous crisis, Mrs Riba raised some questions in the chamber:
"Let us ask ourselves why we are now committed to humanitarian response and why we did not do so in past conflicts.
Let us ask ourselves why, as the UNHCR acknowledges, there are cases of racial discrimination on Ukraine's border with the Union.
Let us ask ourselves why, while we are welcoming our Ukrainian brothers and sisters with a hug, this very weekend we were welcoming our sub-Saharan brothers and sisters with truncheons at the Melilla border".
"The answer is as hard as it is clear, and it is in the colour of the skin."
The war in Ukraine it's tearing down stereotypes and taboos surrounding refugees, and it has translated into unprecedented unity and solidarity across Europe. Over 2 million people have already fled Ukraine, reported, and many more are expected to come.
Diana Riba MEP said:
"Discrimination based on race, religion or immigration status is unacceptable. Solidarity is a fundamental value that has no exceptions. We all have the right to escape the horror of war and poverty".
"Let us seize this moment to move towards a lasting asylum policy that prioritises solidarity and Human Rights. A Common policy that makes refuge one of Europe's great strengths".