At today’s emergency EU summit, leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron offered help to ‘stabilise’ the crisis in the Mediterranean with a promise of triple funds to support an increased search and rescue effort. But they failed to offer any long term solutions for this growing humanitarian crisis.
Commenting on outcomes of today’s summit, Stephen Hale OBE, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said:
“Today’s summit is little more than a fig leaf to spare the blushes of European leaders. They are putting forward money but with no clear mandate for the increased search and rescue mission. Their failure to offer safe and legal routes for the refugees at the centre of this crisis is shameful and inadequate.
“People fleeing warzones have a legal right to seek protection. By pre-determining that the majority of people must be rapidly returned, Europe will be plunged into territory that is illegal and inhumane.
“The EU urgently needs a comprehensive European resettlement plan, that is proportional to the scale of this escalating humanitarian crisis.
“Europe’s leaders have upheld their duty in the past. In the 90s, Europe offered a safe haven to thousands of people fleeing the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo.
“Today they had the opportunity to rediscover their humanity. They must do better and fast – lives are at stake.”