Statement on the shipwreck tragedy in Greece

shipwreck tragedy in- Greece migrant tragedy
© Getty images

The tragedy off the Peloponnese coast, southern Greece, in which hundreds of people are feared to be dead after a perilous voyage on an overcrowded fishing boat, proves, once again, the need for a common and effective migration and asylum policy. A policy, which makes it possible for people to arrive legally and safely to the EU, whether for socio-economic reasons or for international protection. The EESC has always supported this line, but now, in the face of the horror of this tragedy, it calls on all EU institutions to advance quickly to overcome the bottlenecks and end the cycle of tragedy at our EU border.

Moreover, the EU must work together with third countries to stop migrant smuggling, which puts people's lives at risk, violates fundamental rights, and disrupts the orderly management of migration flows. 

We must reduce the incentives to undertake these dangerous journeys; address the root causes of irregular migration; and promote regular and safe migration to the EU.

Finally, let us be respectful of the principles and values that underpin the EU. Europe must offer protection to those who need it, and we must make it possible for everyone to exercise their rights.

EESC President Oliver Röpke
Cristian Pîrvulescu, President of EESC Permanent Group on Immigration and Integration

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