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LetsFly2Europe – Enable safe and legal access to Europe for refugees

According to UN data, there are 60 million people worldwide fleeing war, destruction and persecution in their home countries. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides a guarantee for protection from persecution and for asylum in other countries to refugees.

The European Union must live up to its social and political responsibility to grant refugees safe and legal access to Europe.

Entry to Europe via airplane and ship has been impossible for refugees, since transport corporations are forced to finance deportation and face sanctions in case the entrance in the country of destination is denied, due to EU Directive 2001/51/EC.

Consequently, we demand an alteration to EU Directive 2001/51/EC, to the effect that the responsibility for refugees entering the EU via airplane or ship no longer lies with corporations, but instead with the EU. Further, we demand the abolition of sanctions laid upon these corporations.

Deportation shall no longer be the responsibility of the corporations, but shall be undertaken by the member states. Refugees shall be granted safe and legal access to Europe.

Legal entry to Europe via plane and ship will prevent refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. There should not be a single person drowning in the Mediterranean. According to UN data, from the beginning of 2016 until the end of August 2016 more than 3000 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea [1].

This measure would also put an end to organized human smuggling and trafficking. People who can enter the EU legally need not rely on smugglers. Flying to the EU is not only notably cheaper than entering illegally with the aid of smugglers, but also infinitely safer.

Additionally, the EU will gain information about the incoming refugees. If asylum seekers are forced to enter the EU illegally, their country of arrival cannot be anticipated.

Furthermore, air or ship travel requires refugees, just like all other passengers, to pass official passport controls, which provides information about which persons are entering the EU, and who is seeking asylum.

Protecting human rights and human dignity is a crucial part of the European Union’s very foundations. Allowing refugees to drown in the Mediterranean Sea and infringing on their right to seek asylum in Europe is a clear endangerment of the EU’s values and principles.

The EU must act now and grant refugees safe and legal access.