Brussels, 20 June 2014. As UNHCR reveals that, in the space of 5 years, Syria has gone from being the world’s second largest refugee-hosting country to the country producing the second largest amount of refugees, 100 NGOs, Members of the European Parliament and 20,000 citizens submit their petition for European leaders to ensure access to protection in Europe for the refugees fleeing the Syrian war.  Anne Kemppainen, representative of the Office of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, has received today the #HelpSyriasRefugees petition calling on Europe to give refugees a safe way into Europe, reunite families torn apart by the crisis and protect the refugees arriving at Europe’s borders.

“In times of war, keeping your family together and safe, is your first priority. People living in Europe who have Syrian family members are trying hard to get their loved ones to join them here but complex visa and administrative requirements often make it impossible for them to be reunited without taking high risks. We, NGO and citizens across Europe, are asking our political leaders to give more refugees from Syria the opportunity to find safety here without having to put themselves in the hands of smugglers or risking their lives on the journey”, said Michael Diedring, ECRE Secretary General.

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