Joint statement ahead of the European Council of 28-29 June 2016
With their response to migration, the European Union and its member states risk further undermining their credibility and authority in the defence of human rights, 124 NGOs have warned. The organizations criticize the EU for its shift towards a foreign policy that serves the single objective of curbing migration. They call on European leaders to reject a recent proposal by the European Commission that would cement this approach, making deterrence and return the main objective of the EU’s relationship with third countries.
The plan presented by the European Commission at the beginning of July proposes using aid, trade and other funds to encourage countries to reduce the number of migrants reaching EU shores. It will be discussed by European heads of state and government at the EU summit in Brussels of 28 and 29 June. It is inspired by the EU-Turkey deal which has left thousands of people stranded in Greece in inhumane and degrading conditions.