Deaths at sea preventable but predictable until EU changes course
Today, Members of the European Parliament will debate the recent, tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea. The Greens/EFA Group called for today’s debate to draw attention to the lack of sea rescue missions, and safe passage for refugees, which is contributing to the high loss of life at the EU’s borders.
Tineke Strik MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, comments:
“The tragedy we saw off the coast of Calabria was entirely preventable. The failed and fatal policies of the EU and its Member States are contributing to the loss of life at sea. The EU and its Member States have a duty under international law to rescue people in distress at sea. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for state-led, EU-coordinated search and rescue missions to save lives and prevent further disasters.
“We urgently need to create safe and legal pathways for those seeking safety in Europe and stop forcing people who have no other option to reach safety into unseaworthy vessels across dangerous seas. The current EU approach leaves NGOs to do the vital work that Member States should be doing, while those very same Member States are in turn criminalising these NGOs.
“Pushbacks at the borders are continuing to take place with total impunity and the EU is continuing to channel money to border countries with no scrutiny over how these funds are used. Unfortunately, tragedies in the Med will continue to be preventable but predictable until the EU changes course and brings about compassionate and practical policies on migration.”
The debate will take place from after 14:00 later today and can be followed live here.