Almost every day newspapers report the tragedy that repeatedly takes place in the middle of the blue border: the Mediterranean Sea.
As we write, we hear of hundreds of corpses gathered in the sea, young people, children and women who ended up in the water after a fire started on board a boat that was heading to Europe.
These people were asylum seekers, women and men fleeing wars and persecutions, swallowed by the sea, just like all the others in these last decades: over 20,000 people.
The spectacle of the Southern border has accustomed us to seeing the constant repetition of tragedies like this one with the eyes of someone who, powerless, can only keep on hoping that every shipwreck will finally be the last. As if the only way to look at those who escape from war were with the eyes of someone waiting for a boat to arrive at the port, sometimes to rescue it, other times to send it back and yet other times to collect its wreckage.
For this reason it is difficult to see the tears and words of Europe mourning those who die at the borders as anything other than (empty) rhetoric.
Because Europe, capable of projecting its own sovereignty into the core of the African continent in order to externalize its own borders, to finance detention centres, to patrol and push back – instead has the duty to react to this repeated call for help, to assure that those who flee death and seek to reach Europe do not encounter death en route.
We should talk instead of “externalization” of rights. Today we need to focus attention on rights. We should open, at the European level, a humanitarian corridor, so that those who flee war may apply for asylum directly at European institutions in Libya, Egypt, Syria or wherever is needed (at the consulates or other offices), without being forced to get on boats and thus increase human trafficking and the chronicle of shipwrecks.
No subcontracting of rights, no shifting of responsibility to European governments.
Europe must now radically transform its policy of border control, its way of managing humanitarian crises, its common asylum policy. Europe’s patrol operations must be transformed into operations which rescue boats, Europe must share the management of asylum requests and overcome the constraints of the Dublin Regulation. Europe needs to open humanitarian corridors which would allow asylum requests to be presented directly to the European institutions present in Third Countries so applicants can obtain an entry permit to the European Union. The claims for asylum would be examined with the same guarantees/assurances of current European legislation, without weakening in any way the right of direct access to Europe and the obligations of Member States.
We ask the Italian institutions, the Presidents of Parlamento and Senato and the Ministers of the Republic, to immediately take on this request.
We ask the European institutions to immediately start working in order to activate a humanitarian corridor towards Europe.
We invite all associations, humanitarian organizations, groups and committees to take action and call for a EUROPEAN RIGHT OF ASYLUM
Progetto Melting Pot Europa