Press release: Migration compact: duplicating the awful Turkey deal should not be the way forward
Reacting to the ”Migration Compact” proposed today by the European Commission, European Liberals and Democrats regret that instead of establishing a real cooperation system with third countries, the EU is replicating the deal with Turkey.
Cecilia Wikstrom, ALDE spokesperson for migration, said: ”It is positive that the Commission hopes to improve cooperation with third countries, notably when it comes to combatting the root causes which force people to flee and seek refuge and the provision of safe and legal routes to enter the EU. Europe cannot however outsource its responsibility to receive, in a responsible and dignified manner, refugees.
The EU- Turkey statement is a dead end policy and this needs to be recognised by the commission, rather than trying to impose this model also in other parts of our neighbourhood. It would be a deeply worrying development if the Commission and EU Member States sought to embark on a path towards a type of ”Australian” migration model for the EU. This should never be accepted by the European Parliament, which must be fully involved in any discussions with third countries on these matters. These are issues on which the parliament has full co-decision rights with the Council”.
Speaking about the migration compact, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Group leader, said: ”In my eyes, the Migration Compact it is nothing more than a copy-paste of the Turkey deal with new countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia. Later to sub-Sahara countries. This not so new approach is very simple. We say to them: we give you money, if you don’t send us refugees.
It’s true our problems are mainly solved, but not the problems of the refugees, as many NGOs report. They have to live in awful conditions, sometimes being driven back into war zones, stuck between IS and a Turkish wall, or even shot at the border.
Copying the Turkey deal and continuing to outsource our problems is not the way forward. What we propose is to replace this so called “Migrant Compact” with “new partnership agreements”, a type of partnership where we build co-operation with transit countries, built on three key elements.
This means creating reception centres in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Tunisia to manage the migration flow together with the governments and the UN. These reception centres should be responsible for making the difference between real refugees in need of protection and economic migrants. Finally, we need projects in transit countries and home countries to rebuild their lives and create new perspectives for the people over there.”