11 March 2016
On 17 and 18 March 2016 the European Council will meet once again to discuss the implementation of measures taken to address the current refugee and migration flows and the follow-up of the meeting on 7 March 2016 between EU Heads of State or Government and Turkey.
ECRE published today a Memorandum making recommendations on how to respond to refugee challenges facing Europe in a legal and ethical manner, while raising serious concerns about the EU-Turkey deal in particular.
ECRE is extremely alarmed by the proliferation of restrictive national and EU-wide measures aimed at containing asylum seekers and refugees in Greece and countries neighbouring the EU, such as Turkey. ECRE fears that the current “crisis” situation is being used as a pretext to push through a range of measures which undermine the right to asylum and the fundamental principle of non-refoulement.
ECRE calls on the European Council to:
- Reject the “one-for-one” principle and the designation of Turkey as a safe third country
- Establish large scale resettlement programmes for refugees fleeing Syria
- Commit to use or develop other legal pathways for refugees
- Urgently assist Greece to respond to the humanitarian emergency unfolding in the country
- Refrain from resuming Dublin transfers to Greece
- Confirm their commitment to saving lives at sea
- Strengthen the fundamental rights safeguards in the proposed European Border and Coast Guard Regulation
- Acknowledge the structural flaws of the Dublin system
- Implement a ‘Marshall Plan’ for the Common European Asylum System
Read the full version of the Memorandum here and here the letter sent to President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker and EU Heads of State or Government.