EU foreign ministers today agreed to launch a military mission against migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean. The Greens hit out at the decision, with migration spokesperson Judith Sargentini stating:
“It is cynical of EU governments to propose a military response to what is a refugee crisis. Destroying smugglers' boats would compound the already desperate situation of refugees by leaving them in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers for even longer, with no means to continue their search for asylum. The smugglers only exist because the EU has created the demand by failing to provide alternatives for migrants. The EU should be addressing the reason for the tragedies in the Mediterranean and creating proper legal routes for migrants, with a fair asylum system, instead of further abdicating its responsibility."
Green security spokesperson Bodil Ceballos added:
"Militarising the EU's migration policy is a perversion of Europe's common defence policy, which has hitherto focused primarily on peacekeeping and security sector reform. Abusing the UN Charter to try and justify this mission beyond Europe's territorial waters would be politically and ethically out of order and totally undermine the EU's credibility as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. By pushing this mission, foreign and security high representative Morgherini is not acting in the interest of the European Union but is pushing the narrow interests of a select few member states. This is unacceptable and those reluctant EU member states should put their feet down."
A Greens/EFA paper outlining how the EU's asylum system should be reformed can be found at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/green-proposals-for-a-european-migration-and-asylum-strategy-13919.html
The European Parliament will debate last week's proposals from the European Commission on migration on Wednesday.