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October 23 2013 | ROME, ITALY

Appeal of the Community of Sant'Egidio to the EU: may Europe be generous and fair in welcoming refugees

Statement by President of the Community Marco Impagliazzo. Appreciation for the Italian initiative at the Brussels summit

 
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On the eve of the European Council meeting in Brussels, the Community of Sant'Egidio declares its appreciation for the Italian government's intention to bring into the consideration of the EU partners the respect of the commitments undertaken on the day after the tragedy of Lampedusa with regard to solidarity with migrants and to coresponsibility in the acceptance and distribution of the proportional charges. "The phenomenon of migration - said president of the Community Marco Impagliazzo – has reached historical proportions, and can no longer be evaluated using categories of the past. Already today, the shock for the size of the humanitarian tragedy and the mourning for the victims have been followed by worrying considerations on the national and community responsibilities on the issue, which makes more appreciating and shared the call of the President of the Italian Council to the need that Europe changes its rules on immigration".

After pointing out that the issue was at the centre of last Monday’s conversations, Marco Impagliazzo, along with founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio Andrea Riccardi, with European Council President Hermann Van Rompuy, states that 

"the unrenounceable identity of Europe resides in the respect and protection of human rights”, which requires all EU Member States to take all possible steps to safeguard the lives of migrants and to build a generous and fair system for the reception of refugees and asylum seekers". "The principle of solidarity and of proper allocation of the responsibilities between the Member States on immigration and asylum is sanctioned by the Treaties", continues the statement, which requests the adoption of a series of measures ranging from closer cooperation with the Nations of origin of immigrants, to the opening of a European humanitarian channel that frees refugees from the clutches of the traffickers, to the opening of a European Immigration office in North African territory, to the adoption of common procedures for the very first reception, to the creation, in Lampedusa and Sicily, of European reception centres where, annulling the rules of Dublin, asylum seekers are allowed to have the right to reintegrate into all EU countries, with a preference for those where they already have family ties.

"Italy - said Marco Impagliazzo - must become the operative leader of a European pilot project for the creation of a reception centre for the emergency flows; but all Member States of the Union must give their contribution to this project”.

 


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