Caritas Europa mourns the loss of 50 lives of asylum seekers in Austria and over 200 off Libyan shore in the last 48 hours. Their death would have been avoided if a common European safe and legal access pathway were in place. “Fortress Europe” is steadily transforming into “Undertaker Europe”. Caritas Europa calls for an immediate implementation of a European refugee project based on solidarity and defense of the dignity of every human being.
“We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery”, said Pope Francis when addressing the European Institutions in November 2014. Known as the “route of death”, refugees have renamed the path between North Africa and Europe “the grave of the Mediterranean sea”.
“The stench of the bodies of the men, women and children found in the truck in Austria impregnates all of us. This cannot continue this way. More controls, security measures and armed forces presence will not stop this. Europe needs to act on a humanitarian approach basis in Europe and in the affected countries,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.
Caritas calls for:
• safe and open channels of legal entry to the EU;
• introducing a humanitarian visa, easily accessible and affordable, via embassies from countries of origin and transit;
• facilitating family reunification for refugees and migrants to join their families in the EU;
• implementing the interchangeability of embassies of different EU Member States to facilitate access in 3rd countries;
• extending the humanitarian admission programs. engaging in more resettlement.