NGOs applying pressure for answers to the humanitarian crisis

Today NGOs met to discuss the situation in the Mediterranean. UNHCR updated us on the emergency at Lesbos and the concern of Golden Dawn being present in Kos. While ‘hot-spots’  have advanced in Italy, it is not yet as organised in Greece. On Thursday UNHCR will release their proposals on how to improve the situation.

As Social Platform we have carried out a campaign to Criminalise Solidarity in order to build our case for a revision of the humanitarian clause of the EU Facilitation Directive. The current humanitarian response by organisations and individuals, sometimes even embraced by national Ministers, supports our case by showing how unreasonable it is to criminalise or sanction those that try to help in solidarity with people escaping war, persecution or poverty.

The European Commission is currently preparing its next European Migration Forum, which will focus on economic migration, including the EU Blue Card Directive (2009/50/EC) . NGOs are raising concerns about what defines highly skilled and educated, and whether the Blue Cards could be accessible also for asylum seekers and for students or other migrants already in Europe. This week the Commission’s plan for resettlement will be released. NGOs are asking what the timing is, who it is for and what the criteria’s will be. First out is the approval by the European Parliament and secondly a roadmap will follow. Another issues of concern is return to safe countries of origin, NGOs are questioning which countries are considered safe and not and which Member States are agreeing to this or not.

The questions and concerns are many, and we will continue to follow developments and speak out on behalf of those people fleeing war, persecution and poverty and the people in Europe who welcome them.