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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP: Asylum deal endangers refugees and the future of the EU

29 June 2018

A Green MEP has criticised the European Council’s failure to agree on a “robust, fair and humane” EU migration policy. [1]

The deal, agreed by Member States this week, not only raises serious concerns over the human rights of asylum seekers, but could embolden the far-right in Europe.

Member States have also failed to reach agreement on reform of the Dublin Regulation, the rules governing which country is responsible for processing an asylum claim.

Jean Lambert is London’s Green MEP and the Greens/EFA group’s shadow rapporteur on reform of the Dublin Regulation. Jean is also the Green Party’s migration spokesperson.

Jean Lambert MEP said:

“This morning, we awoke to the news that another 100 migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya; yet more bodies in the Mediterranean. [2]

This is the price we pay when Member States can’t agree on a robust, fair and humane way to treat people seeking asylum on EU shores.

The conclusions of the EU Council will do little to stop this humanitarian crisis. It’s deeply disappointing that – yet again – EU Heads of State were unable to put their own interests aside, and forge a solution based on true solidarity. We are still looking to voluntary cooperation from governments as others refuse to step up and still fail to even offer planned resettlement places.

As a result, we can now expect to see vulnerable people being detained in ill-defined “controlled centres” and “regional disembarkation platforms”, raising serious human rights concerns.

We can expect responsibility for the situation being palmed off onto countries such as Libya and Morocco, where criminal gangs will inevitably find new avenues for exploitation.

Meanwhile, development funds will be diverted into strengthening regimes with poor human rights records, encouraging them to clampdown on those fleeing persecution and poverty. Like bolstering the flawed EU-Turkey deal, this undermines our core EU values and risks compromising our foreign policy options.

The truth of the matter is that the number of people seeking refuge in Europe has dropped significantly since 2015. Pandering to the Council’s far-right elements simply emboldens their domestic agendas. This is a dangerous road – not only for refugees but for the future of the European Union.”