"What is Europe worth, if it is the enemy of the right of asylum? "

"The question is whether we, the citizens of Europe, can escape shame and dishonor" (Refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, March 7).
"The question is whether we, the citizens of Europe, can escape shame and dishonor" (Refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, March 7). COSTAS BALTAS / REUTERS

Grandstand. We, citizens of the European Union, support the calls already launched by several civil society associations to grant temporary protection to people in distress on the border of Greece with Turkey, which is also our external border. common, or to people who are parked in unspeakable conditions in camps in the Aegean Sea.

There is no need to wait here for an illusory unanimity for this temporary protection, an act of basic decency. A single Member State of the European Union is sufficient to initiate this procedure provided for by European law. If none of them does, the President of the Commission, who is the guardian of the Treaties, will assume the obligations of her mandate – and, if necessary, it is up to the European Parliament to confront the Commission with its responsibilities.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "In the humanitarian emergency, there is no procrastination, we must welcome these refugees" from the Greek-Turkish border

It is no longer a question here for us to debate the political form that the European Union should take or even to take sides in complex geopolitical questions. The question is whether we, the citizens of Europe, can escape shame and dishonor.

A collective bankruptcy

The European Union, after having discharged its responsibilities on Turkey, hails the role of "shield" (to use the expression of Ursula von der Leyen) of one of its member states, Greece, against the flow migrants, making it impossible to welcome those fleeing the horror of a war waged against them by a criminal state.

The island of Lesbos was already the symbol of a moral and political scandal: "Push backs "And" hot spots "(Repressions and regrouping zones) are the names which serve as masks for inhumanity, to what (the Swiss sociologist) Jean Ziegler describes as the implementation of a "Strategy of terror" intended to dissuade refugees from demanding respect for their fundamental human rights.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Greece further tightens its migration policy with a floating wall project in the Aegean Sea

This scandal is now turning into a collective bankruptcy. What is effectively liquidated is the right of asylum itself. This is article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "In the face of persecution, everyone has the right to seek asylum and to enjoy asylum in other countries."

What is Europe worth if it makes itself the enemy of this first and fundamental right? What good is it for the European institutions if member states are allowed to refuse the obligations imposed on them by European law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention of Geneva from 1951? What does “Union” mean if, among the countries that compose it, some people can suspend the examination of asylum applications – compulsory examination according to the Geneva Convention – and exempt themselves from solidarity in the reception and distribution of victims of the persecution?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here