15 January 2016
ECRE members from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland came together on 14 and 15 January to voice their concerns over the poor European response to the refugee crisis and to call on EU Member States to jointly agree on solutions.
“In 2015 we saw fences instead of humanity, chaos instead of reasonable policies, and political egoism instead of solidarity and cooperation,” the NGOs said in a statement issued today. “Without immediate action, the situation could worsen in 2016. We therefore call on Europe to implement safe and legal channels to protection: resettlement, humanitarian admission programmes, broader family reunification, visa liberalization and the cessation of push-backs.”
The NGOs also call for a system of fast identification and registration of individuals to be put in place at first EU entry points and for immediate humanitarian assistance to be provided.
At a time, when the terrorist attacks in Paris and the recent violent incidents in Cologne are being used to stigmatise refugees, the statement also urges European countries to address security concerns without jeopardizing human rights, people’s dignity and the right to asylum.