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.”

Notes to editors: 
Contact information: 

Florian Oel | Brussels | florian.oel@oxfam.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

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