Last week, at a special meeting of the European Council, EU leaders agreed four priority areas of actions for Member States and EU institutions in order to address the crisis situation following the death of over 750 people in the Mediterranean.
In this two-part blog, Dr Cathryn Costello and Dr Mariagiulia Giuffré examine the Statement of the European Council on the Mediterranean crisis. This Statement, they contend, “expresses some sympathy, but lacks an acknowledgement of responsibility. EU laws and policies prevent safe access to asylum, thereby creating the demand for the services of smugglers.”
In the first part of the blog, they respond to some of the key points of the Statement. In the second part, they present a number of alternative measures that could be enacted to address the crisis, before concluding:
“It is naïve to think that the EU can prevent mobility in Africa and the Middle East, and prevent refugees from seeking protection. Welcoming refugees has huge benefits, not only for them, but also for us. Our elected politicians let us down when they fail to acknowledge our direct role in this tragedy in failing to provide safe access. They also let us down when they pretend to have capacities they clearly lack.”