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Dignity at heart of Left’s counterproposals to EU Migration Pact

Left MEPs have today published an alternative set of proposals to the EU Commission’s deportation-obsessed Migration Pact. 

With dignity and human rights at its core, the Left blasts the EU for shirking its international obligations to uphold human rights, and disregarding international law on migration. 

Since 2013, thousands of people have died because of the EU’s failed migration policy, with thousands more enduring violence and suffering in inhumane conditions. By pandering to far-right governments, the Commission proposals put deportation front and centre.

In criticising the Commission’s plans as unworkable and unsustainable, the paper ‘The Migration and Asylum Pact: Challenging the European Commission’s narrative from a Left perspective’ offers alternative proposals including:

1) People’s rights to international protection must be guaranteed by all EU countries;

2) Stopping all pushbacks at the EU’s external borders, with a system of proper & independent monitors in place to make sure EU surveillance agencies & border police forces are not committing human rights violations;

3) A new, binding system for the distribution of asylum seekers across the EU to replace the unworkable Dublin Regulation, with priority given to the most vulnerable groups;

4) Dignity for all in reception – no more Moria camps or similar ‘hotspots’ on frontline member states;

5) End the EU’s collaboration with militias & authoritarian regimes in so-called third countries like Libya, Sudan, Niger and Egypt. Instead, safe and legal channels to EU should be opened, including safe harbours and an end to the criminalisation of sea rescues by volunteers and NGOs;

6) End the obsession with keeping people out. Instead, there should be a focus on supporting member states that are willing to ‘regularise’ undocumented people who have been living and working in Europe for years.

In addition to the counterproposals, Left MEPs have also released a study looking into the situation of informal & illegal detention in Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany today. Written in conjunction with Migreurop, you can find the report, ‘Locked Up & Excluded‘, and the executive summaries (in French and English) here.

Speaking on the Left’s alternative plan on migration ahead of the launch at the group’s webinar today, German MEP Cornelia Ernst (Die Linke) says:

“The new Migration Pact as proposed by the European Commission is a slap in the face for anyone who stands for human rights.”

“People seeking protection, and migrants, plus organisations involved in search and rescue, all the volunteers, as well as all those who see the terrible consequences of the EU’s migration policies on a daily basis. They have all been totally let down by the Commission.”

“Their proposals will not solve anything. Rather, it will give the legal blessing to current injustice. The EU Migration Pact is not a framework for a new asylum policy: it is a large-scale project for forced returns,” concluded Ernst.

 

You can read the full set of proposals in English, German, French, Greek & Spanish on our dedicated page here.

 

Photo courtesy of Quentin Bruno

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