05.06.2014

On the occa­si­on of the mee­ting of EU Jus­ti­ce and Home Affairs Minis­ters, PRO ASYL urges that Euro­pe final­ly takes its respon­si­bi­li­ty and adopts a con­cer­ted resett­le­ment pro­gram­me for refu­gees fle­e­ing Syria. „Europe’s shame­ful deni­al and indif­fe­rence in the face of the grea­test huma­ni­ta­ri­an cri­sis of this cen­tu­ry must end“, says Karl Kopp, Direc­tor of Euro­pean Affairs at PRO ASYL. As yet, the­re are no signs that the EU resett­le­ment con­fe­rence for refu­gees fle­e­ing Syria, deman­ded by the Ger­man Par­lia­ment on May 8 2014, will be orga­nis­ed – the Ger­man Par­lia­ment had cal­led for it to be held befo­re the sum­mer.

Com­mis­sio­ner for Home Affairs, Ceci­lia Malm­ström right­ly calls for more legal rou­tes for refu­gees to access pro­tec­tion in Euro­pe and pro­vi­des 6,000 Euro for each refu­gee resett­led from a third coun­try. The­se appeals have gone lar­ge­ly unhe­ard becau­se the poli­ti­cal will of the EU Mem­ber Sta­tes is lacking.

Over 100 orga­ni­sa­ti­ons along with over 10,000 citi­zens of Ger­ma­ny and Euro­pe are cal­ling on the poli­ti­cal lea­ders of the EU to final­ly take action:

The EU needs to open safe rou­tes for refu­gees fle­e­ing Syria to access Euro­pe. Only legal access rou­tes for refu­gees can end the deaths in the Medi­ter­ra­ne­an and Aege­an Seas. One pos­si­bi­li­ty would be to lift visa requi­re­ments for asyl­um see­kers from Syria. Resett­le­ment pla­ces must be signi­fi­cant­ly increa­sed. Euro­pe must relie­ve the coun­tries that are hos­ting the vast majo­ri­ty of refu­gees Tur­key and Leba­non. In Tur­key, the­re are over one mil­li­on Syri­an refu­gees. In Leba­non, almost 25 per­cent of the popu­la­ti­on are peop­le see­king pro­tec­tion from Syria. The 28 EU coun­tries cur­r­ent­ly have not even offe­red 20,000 pla­ces for the refu­gees – 14 Mem­ber Sta­tes have not pro­vi­ded one sin­gle place. The many Syri­an refu­gees who have alre­ady fled to Libya con­ti­nue to risk their lives to get to Ita­ly; their peri­lous crossings must be spa­red. Refu­gees should be safe­ly and quick­ly resett­led to Euro­pe under an ad-hoc pro­gram­me. 

The Mem­ber Sta­tes must stop push-backs at the EU’s bor­ders. Vio­lent and ille­gal push-backs of asyl­um see­kers are hap­pe­ning dai­ly on the EU’s exter­nal bor­ders with Tur­key in Greece and Bul­ga­ria. The­se inhu­man defen­si­ve poli­ci­es are finan­ced by the EU and tacit­ly accep­ted by the Sta­tes in the cent­re of the EU. The­se human rights vio­la­ti­ons must be imme­dia­te­ly stop­ped.  

The EU and its Mem­ber Sta­tes must faci­li­ta­te fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on. In Ger­ma­ny alo­ne, the­re is a need of almost 80,000 pla­ces for exten­ded fami­ly reuni­fi­ca­ti­on from the war-torn coun­try. The Syri­an com­mu­nities in Ger­ma­ny, Swe­den and other EU coun­tries must be hel­ped generous­ly and effi­ci­ent­ly to bring their fami­lies to safe­ty.

Sup­port the Peti­ti­on „Euro­pe Act Now“ 

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