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Internal rows shape EU’s migration policy
European leaders at the EU summit in Brussels have failed to agree on reforms to the common European asylum system. Instead, they try to respond to internal rows by reducing the space for asylum seekers even further, and want to offload their responsibilities to countries outside the EU. Oxfam argues that European agreements on migration are welcome, but they should not have a negative impact on the lives of refugees and migrants.
Reacting to the news, Oxfam’s Policy Advisor on Migration, Raphael Shilhav, said:
“EU leaders’ migration plans should have addressed the flaws of our current asylum system and provide an effective and humane response to migration, not only respond to political problems at home.
“At a time when EU leadership on global issues is needed more than ever, European heads of state and government continue to try to offload their responsibilities onto poorer countries outside the EU. They also agree to create even more de facto detention centers, a measure that has evidently failed with the so-called ‘hotspots’ in Greece and Italy. This approach to migration is a recipe for failure, and directly threatens the rights of women, men and children on the move.
“Well-managed migration and an effective asylum system go beyond disembarkation centers, and they are essential parts of a healthy European economy and culture. EU leaders must work towards an agreement that will improve the lives of all people in Europe – citizens, refugees, and newcomers alike. EU policy should not be driven by political games between European member states at the expense of those most in need.”
- Oxfam spokespeople are available for interviews.
- On Sunday, 16 EU leaders held a ‘mini-summit’ to discuss migration, but failed to agree on anything other than Fortress Europe.
- On Wednesday, MEPs and various organisations, including Oxfam, came together to ask EU leaders to show #EuropeanSolidarity to refugees at the EU Summit. The public action involved placing paper boats on squares across Europe, photos and video footage are available for media use.
- Children as young as 12 are being abused, detained and illegally returned to Italy by French border guards, according to an Oxfam report published on 15 June.
- Oxfam has documented testimonies about the immense suffering of people in Libya before they managed to escape to Europe, and physical abuse of migrants at the Hungarian and Croatian borders with Serbia.
Florian Oel | Brussels | firstname.lastname@example.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60