A statement by GUE/NGL co-presidents Manon Aubry & Martin Schirdewan
Turkish President Erdoğan’s recent decision to allow crossings by people seeking international protection into Greece has led to attempts by a significant number of them to enter the EU. European leaders and the Greek government must immediately stop all the violence, and must uphold all national, EU and international laws in providing legal access and procedures to new arrivals.
The situation is critical and it requires an urgent EU response – one based on equal sharing of all responsibilities amongst all EU member states, and in line with the Geneva Convention and International Human Rights Law. Concrete solutions to ensure the safety of people arriving, and support for societies dealing with the matter, must take priority. A human rights-based migration policy should be put in place in which solidarity takes precedence, and the highly problematic Dublin asylum system is scrapped in favour of respect for the EU’s obligation to uphold international protection, with solidarity between its member states.
As in 2015-2016, Greece cannot be expected to handle this situation alone, nor is this a bilateral matter between Greece and Turkey. Given the geopolitical tensions encompassing the whole region which includes both EU and non-EU member states, this is a European responsibility. Moreover, the threat of far-right populism, xenophobia and racism could intensify with severe political implications in Europe.
GUE/NGL has already sought a debate in the next plenary of the European Parliament, with a resolution to condemn Erdoğan’s policy of using people to blackmail the EU and to emphasise the need for solidarity with countries facing increased numbers of refugees and immigrants. Furthermore, GUE/NGL has asked for an extraordinary European Summit on this issue as soon as possible, so that the EU and its member states face their responsibilities, and to find solutions that are based on human rights.