Emmaus International

Brussels, 24 April 2015

23 April 2015 was a terrible day: the European Council, that was at last to “take action” as regards a “tragic” situation in the Mediterranean, merely attempted to shelter the European Union and its Member States from migrants by toughening border protection.

The European Union Heads of Government, who met with great ado, had but one message for those thousands of human beings – men, women and children – who risk death and often find it, attempting to reach a place to rebuild their lives. That message was: “Security!” They did not seek to put an end to the race to the bottom between Member States to take as few migrants as possible after rejecting all the others. As for the word “welcome”, it does not form part of the vocabulary of the Heads of Government

Combating emigration with the support of third countries, deportation, refoulement and detention in specialised centres and criminalization of entry are just part of what survivors experience when they have finished counting their dead. In taking these shameful measures, the European Council turns its back on its responsibility, adding its own dishonour to the ranks of the dead.

The associations and organizations across Europe that defend the rights of all to live somewhere in safety cannot accept such a position, and in the coming weeks will decide how to oppose this deadly policy.

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