EUROPE MUST ACT FOR THE IMMEDIATE DECONGESTION OF THE AEGEAN ISLANDS

                                                                                     OPEN LETTER

 

To Charles Michel, president of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Heads of Member States,

EUROPE MUST ACT FOR THE IMMEDIATE DECONGESTION OF THE AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Aegean Islands have descended into crisis. 5 years of neglectful EU policy has finally culminated in days of protest (1, 2), NGOs threatened with violence, and mass strikes across the islands. Whilst over 42,000 asylum seekers reside on these islands, there is capacity for just 6,178 (1). Now, communities are braced for a surge in arrivals as Turkey has opened its borders, reneging on the EU-Turkey agreement.

This ongoing political stalemate between the EU, Greece and Turkey must be resolved. This game, played by the powerful, is putting innocent human lives at risk. It must stop now. Added to this already volatile mix is rising panic over the coronavirus. With healthcare severely lacking in the hotspot camps, NGOs fear that an outbreak would have disastrous consequences. 

Greece has been left alone to deal with this crisis - and the island communities more than anyone. Today, Europe must act to correct 5 years of negligent policy-making. It must own up to its chronic shunning of this international burden and recognise that good policy can fix this man-made catastrophe. As the humanitarian situation worsens beyond anyone’s reckoning, it is your responsibility, as EU leaders, to ensure decisive and coordinated action to protect human life. 

We, the undersigned, call for:

  1. Immediate action from all Member States to decongest the Aegean Islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros through fair relocation of asylum seekers across European countries for the sake of universal human rights and in accordance with obligations set out under Art 78(3) of the TFEU and the 2001 Directive on Temporary Protection.

  2. The immediate provision by EU states of support to, and oversight of, the Greek government’s Reception and Identification Centres, to ensure access to a safe and legal asylum process in accordance with humanitarian law, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

  3. The creation of a shared European register of legal, medical and protection staff to support the Greek government through rotational placements in the Aegean in processing asylum applications in a humane, dignified and legal way.

We await the response of the Presidents of the European Council and Commission as well as Heads of Member States to this Open Letter. We remain united in the belief that asylum seekers and refugees have the right to legal processes, that political irresponsibility can be made good through effective and humane policy and governance. Europe must act!

Please join us in demanding that Europe Must Act and sign the Open Letter at

 http://jrseurope.org/news_detail?TN=NEWS20200303085058

  A campaign by JRS Europe                                                           March 2020

Press Release to all National Press Offices / Pressemitteilung an alle Nationale Presseagenturen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 August, 2019 Chris Micallef

 

We, the members of the Christian Life Community in Europe express our solidarity and closeness to all the people trapped in the current ordeal taking place on our southern borders of Italy, Spain and Malta.  We also want to thank the governments of the European states that have agreed to welcome the refugees on the Ocean Viking and hope for another safe ending to the refugees of the vessel Open Arms.  As human beings we need to do all that is necessary to preserve and protect life.  As Christians we are also convinced of the uniqueness and value of each human being.

We cannot agree with the current political discourse that mixes political rhetoric and political gain with the value of human life.  In the situation when life is in danger we are deeply worried about the fact that the world’s more powerful nations, including the three concerned nations of Italy, Malta and Spain are not willing to assume their  civil responsibilities.   We need to come up with economic policies that put the wellbeing of all people first rather than exploit other nations’ wealth, which causes people to undertake very dangerous travels in order to seek a better future.  Every nation has a responsibility for each other, no nation is an island. As a rich continent we cannot close our eyes towards human suffering at our borders.

Human life is precious and needs to be protected.  No one, no matter how powerful, has the right to decide whether someone can die or live.  Our governments need to be held responsible for the mass loss of life taking place in the Mediterranean.  All life is equally important!

We call upon the governments of Europe to work together for the common good and the protection of all the people currently stranded in North African countries where they are being exploited and seeking to make the dangerous sea crossing.  Let us work together as nations of Europe to improve the dignity of human life and our common home.

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Wir, die Mitglieder der Gemeinschaft Christlichen Lebens (GCL) in Europa, bekunden unsere Solidarität und Verbundenheit mit allen Menschen, die dem unsäglichen Drama ausgesetzt sind, das sich im Moment an den südlichen Grenzen von Italien, Spanien und Malta abspielt. Wir danken allen Regierungen in Europa, die sich bereit erklärt haben, Flüchtende der Ocean Viking aufzunehmen und hoffen, dass auch die Situation der Flüchtenden auf dem Schiff Open Arms ein gutes Ende nimmt. Als Mitmenschen müssen alles in unserer Macht Stehende tun, um Leben zu schützen und zu retten. Als Christen und Christinnen sind wir außerdem von der Einzigartigkeit und dem Wert jedes menschlichen Wesens überzeugt.

Wir können den gegenwärtigen politischen Diskurs nicht tolerieren, in dem Politrhethorik und politische Interessen mit dem Wert menschlichen Lebens verwischt werden. In einer Situation, in der vielfaches menschliches Leben in Gefahr ist, sehen wir mit Sorge, dass die mächtigsten Nationen der Welt, darunter die drei direkt betroffenen Nationen Italien, Spanien und Malta, nicht bereit sind, ihre menschliche Verantwortung wahrzunehmen. Es müssen wirtschaftspolitische Maßnahmen entwickelt werden, die das Wohlergehen aller Völker an erste Stelle setzen, statt den Wohlstand einzelner Völker auszunutzen und Menschen dazu zu bringen, die äusserst gefährliche Reise in eine vermeintlich bessere Zukunft unternehmen. Jedes Land hat eine Verantwortung, die weit über die Sicherung des eigenen Wohlergehens hinausgeht, kein Land ist eine Insel. Als ein reicher Kontinent dürfen wir deshalb nicht unsere Augen vor dem Leid an unseren Grenzen verschliessen.

Menschliches Leben ist wertvoll und muss geschützt werden. Niemand, und sei er oder sie noch so mächtig, hat das Recht, über das Leben oder Tod anderer zu entscheiden. Unsere Regierungen müssen für das Massensterben im Mittelmeer verantwortlich gemacht werden. Jedes Leben ist gleichermassen wichtig!

Wir rufen die Regierungen in Europa auf, gemeinsam für das Gemeinwohl und die Sicherheit aller Menschen zu sorgen, die aktuell in den Nordafrikanischen Ländern festsitzen und  von anderen ausgebeutet werden, während sie auf eine höchst gefahrvolle Überfahrt warten. Lasst uns zusammenarbeiten als Bürger und Bürgerinnen aller Europäischer Länder, damit die Würde der Menschen geschützt wird und die Lebensumstände der Menschen in unserem gemeinsamen Haus verbessert werden.

 

The CLC Euroteam

Angelika Scholz          Jean-Benoît Hoet       Katarzyna Artemiuk  Chris Micallef

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ABOUT US >

The Migration Core Team is a taskforce of the CLC-Euroteam. It has four members, sent by their national CLC-communities (at present France, Italy, Spain and Austria) and coordinates the European Migration Network. The mandate lasts for three years.

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