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We reject the shameful and illegal pre-agreement between the EU and Turkey for the deportation of the refugee population

Europe’s lack of scruples distances it from its founding values and from any credibility in its position on the defense of human rights. Washing its hands and outsourcing the management of the future of millions of people to Turkey in exchange for doubling financial aid to deal with the displaced, and giving in to Erdogan’s authoritarian government’s blackmail not only violates international law on asylum, but also stands as an endorsement of the inhumanity of the response of a number of European states to the displaced population.

We adhere to the statement of the Andalusian Coordination of NGOs and express our strongest condemnation of the preliminary agreement reached yesterday between the European Union and Turkey as a shameful response to the arrival of the displaced population to the coasts of Europe, most of them fleeing war in Syria. This preliminary agreement in fact consolidates the “hot returns” model launched by Spain in Melilla (and included in the Public Safety Act), while facilitating the entry into the European Union of Turkey, where examples of setbacks in democratic values follow one another.

The deal, which involves returning all persons that arrive illegally at the Greek coasts to Turkey, including the Syrian population, and a commitment to bring an equivalent number of refugees from Turkey, consolidates the fiasco that the management of this crisis within the EU has become. The loss of direction in the management of these migratory flows and in the legal obligation to assist the population of asylum seekers shows a lack of political will and inconsistency with the EU’s own decisions, which in September reached an agreement to distribute 120,000 refugees that had arrived at the coasts of Greece and Italy.

Of these, almost 17,000 should have come to Spain; today, only 18 have done so.
Europe’s lack of scruples distances it from its founding values and from any credibility in its position on the defense of human rights. Washing its hands and outsourcing the management of the future of millions of people to Turkey in exchange for doubling financial aid to deal with the displaced, and giving in to Erdogan’s authoritarian government’s blackmail not only violates international law on asylum, but also stands as an endorsement of the inhumanity of the response of a number of European states to the displaced population.

In recent months we have seen the Macedonian police firing tear gas at refugees on the border with Greece; the houses where asylum seekers stayed in Middleborough, England marked with graffiti, thus facilitating xenophobic attacks; the collection and confiscation of property in Germany, Switzerland and Denmark; the disappearance of at least 10,000 children in European territory to trafficking networks; or gender-based violence against women and girls, without the EU acting to prevent or to address these situations; border closures with wire fences by Austria and Hungary, and many other actions that contrast with citizens’ mobilizations in favor of the rights of refugees and displaced populations, and with the support of a majority of European citizens for their country to help these populations, as reflected in the latest Eurobarometer survey, published last week (with an average of 65% in favor of support).

Therefore, the Coordination of NGOs urges the European Union and the governments of the member states to improve resettlement programs; allow the possibility of seeking asylum in embassies and consulates in third countries, and grant humanitarian visas. Likewise, we demand safe routes and opening borders to anyone who flees their home as a result of a war or for economic, political, social or environmental causes.
In short, we demand and defend the protection of persons and the guarantee that they can effectively enjoy their human rights, which inescapably requires compliance with international rules on asylum.

Source: Coordinadora