Commission plans will not prevent another Moria disaster
Today, the European Commission has just released its proposed new Migration Pact, which is supposed to create a new balance between responsibility and solidarity. The plans of the EU Commission do not take into account the position of the European Parliament of 2017 on the reform of the Dublin system and a fair distribution of refugees in the EU Member States, which emphasised and safeguarded the principle of common responsibility and should serve as a base for upcoming inter-institutional negotiations.
Tineke Strik MEP, Greens/EFA Coordinator in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee, comments:
"The Commission's Pact won't stop another Moria, despite promises to the European Parliament last week. The EU must end the systematic suffering at its borders but this plan doesn't do that. EU Member States need to share responsibility for asylum through relocation and show solidarity with both refugees and border countries. We welcome the proposal that all Member States have to take responsibility with concrete contributions, however, financial incentives for relocation should be much higher to increase EU countries' willingness to receive asylum seekers.
"The danger of the new Migration Pact is not just that it repackages the shameful status quo. Instead of moving on from the failures of the Dublin System, this proposal reinforces it's key rules, by not abolishing the first entry criteria and increasing the amount of time a Member State will be made responsible for an asylum seeker to up to three years.
"The EU's asylum system must relocate asylum seekers immediately after registration. There should be no asylum procedures at the borders. Even if vulnerable asylum seekers are exempt, the numbers would still lead to bottlenecks, long waiting periods in detention and overburden border countries. We need to enshrine the right to asylum and ensure that no one is housed in tents without legal aid and the option of swift family reunification."
Erik Marquardt MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the LIBE Committee, who is currently on Lesvos, comments:
"Out of the ashes of Moria must come a sustainable, fair and humanitarian European asylum system. The devastating fire in Moria laid bare that the EU's current approach on migration create systematic suffering at the EU's borders. Without a decent and just outcome for the current situation in Lesvos, negotiations on the pact will fail.
"This pact risks making the model of Greek hotspots a blueprint for all border countries in the EU. Member States such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta will be still be obliged to look after large numbers of asylum seekers at the borders. Asylum procedures and closed camps at the borders will become the new norm, return obstacles will persist and camps will easily become overcrowded and lead to squalid conditions as well as serious health and safety risks. Border procedures will lead to more Morias.
"Member States such as Greece and people in need of protection deserve our solidarity; it's time to send a clear signal to that they are not alone. A coalition of solidarity is needed to relocate asylum seekers from the Greek islands. There are options out there to ease this crisis; hundreds of European cities and municipalities are willing to help relocate those in need."