Statement - A new migration package for nothing!

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Once again, the situation on the borders of Europe - especially in the Moria camp on Lesbos, ravaged by fire on the night of 8-9 September - reveals the non-politics of the European Union in the area of migration; the objective seems to be the decay of the situation, regardless of the human and social consequences.

It should be remembered that every day tens, even hundreds of people lose their lives trying to reach the European shores; tens of thousands have perished in recent decades in the Mediterranean Sea. The double discourse of the EU, which hastens to denounce any violation of human rights wherever it pleases, becomes a deafening silence when it comes to its own territory.

The fire in Moria, where more than 12,000 people lived, has brought back to the forefront the consequences and failures of this non-political EU:
- The systematic confinement of migrants arriving in Europe, in defiance of the right to move and not to be locked up without reasons;
- The administrative failures to deal with the files that clog up the camps and leave people in interminable waiting;
- The failure to relocate asylum seekers, leaving all the burden of management to a few EU countries (Greece or Italy in particular).

This policy, which denies any solution to those seeking refuge, creates above all the illegality that it claims to fight. Indeed, what better solution for the exiles who can manage to get out of this Kafkaesque management made in the EU? These hundreds and thousands of new undocumented migrants will thus come to feed the army of semi-slave labor so prized by certain bosses and gravediggers of labor and social security law.

So what can be done?
Reinforce repression at the borders? Prohibit the rescue of people who are drowning? Prohibit boats that do so from docking in European ports? Use satellites or drones to stop the flow of migrants? Lost sentence, demagogy!
Experience shows that making the crossing more difficult does not dissuade anyone from trying their luck; the only palpable consequences of this policy are more deaths at the borders and more money for the mafia and for the military-industrial sector which is eating up subsidies to manage the so-called intelligent borders.

We must accept this reality: as long as the world situation is what it is, made up of social injustice and unacceptable violence, millions of people will migrate to go where life seems more acceptable.
A decent Europe would tackle the root of this problem, dismantling the mechanisms that transfer wealth from the countries of the South to the centers of the North, through the monopolization of resources by multinational corporations, the imposition of neoliberal policies by international institutions or political networks of corruption.

In the meantime - and without our resolute commitment we will wait a long time - the duty of every state is to protect life. Otherwise, the inhumanity engendered by a policy that accommodates death will plunge us, this time all of us, into new dark hours for a European continent that has already known too much.

Follow the great march of undocumented migrants in France which will culminate on 17 October in a major national demonstration. This initiative is supported by many networks throughout Europe

On September 23rd, 2020 the European Commission presented its "New Package for Asylum and Migration". Despite its name, this pact is in line with the current European policy; if we are familiar with the refrain of strengthening external borders, reiterated for the occasion, the "effectiveness" of asylum procedures may well result in a stronger filtering of applications, greater use of control tools (such as Eurodac, the database of digital fingerprints) and shortened deadlines for appeal, all against the right of individuals to benefit from correct procedures ...

As far as the new "European solidarity" is concerned, it is therefore unlikely that the countries that today refuse to receive any additional asylum seekers will change their minds. States will indeed have two other options for "supporting" a country in difficulty: "sponsoring" and thus financing and ensuring the expulsion of rejected persons or making available financing, material or human resources for operations to support the country in difficulty.

As far as "legal immigration channels" are concerned, the aim remains that of attracting "talent" alone to strengthen the competitiveness of the European continent: this continues to resemble an organized brain drain to the benefit of European companies, and to the detriment of the countries providing the talent...

Finally, the "international partnerships" will be even more instrumentalized to meet the European Union’s migration requirements.

While the consequences on the ground of this new "pact" still need to be evaluated in detail, the foundations of European migration policy remain unchanged; militarization and externalization of borders, managerial management of procedures and economic utilitarianism.

Consequently, Alter Summit asks :
- A policy of real rescue of migrants at sea and an end to the hindrance of those who do so;
- A dignified and open reception (no to confinement and hot spots), an effective but above all fair procedure (access to the procedure, acceptable deadlines for appeal, presence of associations, enlargement of the asylum criteria to the new realities, climate change, sexual orientation, etc.) ;
- The opening of real channels of legal immigration: study, work, humanitarian, health, etc... as well as the regularization of undocumented migrants present in Europe, with the obligation of equal economic and social rights for all in order to avoid social dumping;
- Changing trade and cooperation policies to stop the plundering and destabilization of the countries of the "Global South".