The
Future
of
Human
itarian
Aid
#HuCo2019
Vienna
29/03/2019
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Lampedusa – European Responsibility at Stake

Keynote Speech:

Giuseppina Maria Nicolini Mayor of Lampedusa

Moderator:

Erhard Busek Politician

Panel members:

Tareke Brhane Spokesperson of the ‘3rd of October Committee’, Italy
Oliviero Forti Caritas Italiana Migration Office
Giuseppina Maria Nicolini Mayor of Lampedusa
Michel Reimon Member of the European Parliament
Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger Director General for Legal and Consular Affairs
in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers escaping from war and conflicts have been arriving over the last years to European shores. Although Italy is a major gateway for those who cross the Mediterranean, arriving from Syria, Libya and the Horn of Africa, often in overcrowded boats and at the risk of their lives, this is a European Union issue rather than solely an Italian one. The Italian borders are the borders of Europe in this context, and according to agreements signed by all European Union countries, people have the right to arrive safely and be received in an atmosphere where they feel safe. The appalling reality is that unacceptable numbers of people are dying in the most distressing way as they seek a better life for their families.

This situation calls for urgent action: All European Governments need to grant in line with the relevant international law and national legislation to migrants appropriate international protection and to ensure their access to urgent humanitarian services, such as health care, shelter or assistance to make contact with their families. Europe needs to strengthen its joint responsibility to ensure adequate safeguards to protect migrants. Is there a sign it will do so? Is the European responsibility at stake when it comes to the protection of most vulnerable people?