End Triton, save lives!

Two recent tragedies that happened during last week, in which hundreds of innocent people died in the Mediterranean Sea when seeking safety and better life conditions, proved  once more that the EU has failed on its migration and asylum policy.

Instead of funding the Italian sea rescue program “Mare Nostrum”, the EU launched in 2014 its own Frontex operation called “Triton”. This program operating on much lower budget, did not prevent more than 1600 refugees from dying since the beginning of this year.

The main differences between those two programs are:

  • the operational area of Triton is much smaller and concentrates on the border regions only, not taking into regard refugees losing their life on the high sea.
  • less money is spent on Triton by the EU than it was spent on Mare Nostrum by the Italian government. Saving lives doesn’t seem to have any priority.

As YES (Young European Socialists) we strongly oppose Triton, as its main aim is not to rescue people from perishing at the sea, but rather prevent them from entering Europe. This programme has little in common with solidarity and humanist approach towards migration and asylum. “It is unacceptable how European politicians stand back and watch people dying at the European borders, while the Dublin III regulation passes the responsibility from one country to another.” says Laura Slimani, newly elected YES President.

In these hours many members of the European Parliament are asking the national governments to act. On  Thursday, the European Council must stop evading responsibilities and take decision that will lead to concrete actions and stop wasting peoples lives. EU must offer sufficient support to Italy and Malta that cannot continue to be left alone to deal with such a complex situation. YES calls for immediate action to end the humanitarian catastrophe in the Mediterranean Sea and at European borders. There is an urgent need for safe and legal routes for refugees as well as solidarity and harmonization of procedures for welcoming and recognizing refugees all over Europe.

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