Europe: Put an end to a shameful policy!

Press release
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FIDH denounces the inadequate response adopted by the European Council last night in reaction to the ongoing tragedy in the Mediterranean.

European States decided to triple the budget for Frontex-led operations, which, according to the declarations made by the agency’s director, Fabrice Leggeri, is not mandated to save lives. The announced measures – strengthening police cooperation, destroying smugglers’ boats, setting up new return programmes – continue in the wrong direction, prioritizing securing Europe’s borders rather than protecting migrants’ human rights. Security measures have not worked in the past and won’t work in the future.

Contrary to the recommendations put forward by migrants’ rights organisations, united in their position, European Union (EU) member states did not adopt any measures aimed at putting in place an EU-wide search and rescue operation or that would open legal and safe channels for migration.

“As long as legal and safe channels of access to the EU are not established, these people will continue to brave the sea in search for protection and a better life, and the bodies will continue to pile up on Europe’s border. Only recognising our common humanity will put an end to these tragedies,” declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

For more details, see FIDH’s open letter to the European Council, published on 23 April.

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