Yesterday evening, Professor Cathryn Costello took part in a panel discussion on the Mediterranean crisis at the Frontline Club in London, in partnership with Monocle 24. With fellow panellists, Maurice Wren of the Refugee Council, Patrick Kingsley of The Guardian and Quentin Peel of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, she discussed the EU response and current proposals, the wider context of the crisis, and the public and media response.
Relating to the current EU response and its actions over recent years, she stated that “the idea that we’re going to try to suppress movement in the Mediterranean, given the geography, seems so absurd”. She continued that the deliberate suppression of irregular movement by the EU in recent years is responsible for making the journey across the Mediterranean more deadly, responsibility that is not often talked about.
In discussion of the irregular movement created by the current Syria crisis, particularly where people start to leave countries of first asylum, she argued that “There is a very stark choice. We can let people move irregularly, deplete all of their savings and arrive physically, emotionally, financially depleted, or there could be a global, organised resettlement programme for Syrians and those who have fled Syria… It’s in everybody’s self-interest… anybody who cares about stability in the Middle East.”