Responding to news that European leaders have agreed a negotiating position on the ‘Pact on Migration and Asylum’ that would reduce standards of protection for people at arriving at the European Union’s borders, Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Union Office said:
“People seeking safety in the European Union are entitled to a dignified and compassionate reception. With this pact, European leaders would institute procedures at European borders that would knowingly cause suffering, including detaining people in closed facilities at borders for months. Authorities would be able to send people seeking safety to any country that they deem safe.
“With this deal, solidarity remains an empty concept. The European Union would allow member states to forego solidarity, by paying into a common fund which can be used to pay countries outside Europe to receive people seeking safety. This leaves countries at the external borders with little support from other member states to count on.”
“Amnesty international had hoped to see a reform based on solidarity and full respect of the rights of asylum seekers and migrants. The European Parliament must use upcoming discussions to prevent this deal as it stands from being cemented in EU law and ensure a humane and sustainable approach built to last.”