The European Commission yesterday presented an extensive 25-page document on the maintenance of migration mechanisms within the EU.
Given that the EU lacks - due to the Council's negligence in recent years - a real and effective migration policy, the Communication only concerns three issues:
ASYLUM, where it lays down recommendations to keep the asylum application processes within a flexible and hygienic environment.
RESETTLEMENT, which is suspended, in common agreement with the IOM and the UNHCR
EXPULSIONS, where it recommends keeping the expulsion processes, individualising them so as not to generalize, in order to maintain the internment of those foreigners who could be expelled still.
For the EESC Workers' Group, when the Schengen area has disappeared as a consequence of the application of sanitary measures by COVID19 and where freedom of movement in the EU is non-existent, this seems cynical. The Commission makes these statements when the right of asylum in the EU is specifically killed by the institutional inaction of the EU.
The EC seems to have forgotten the "shield of Europe" which means the dire conditions of the refugee camps in Greece or the lack of a common European asylum system in the EU.
It sounds like a macabre joke at the moment to propose hygienic conditions for the exercise of the right of asylum. Particularly, when people who have been persecuted for a long time do were not able to reach the EU borders in any normal way, and those who managed are crowded in unhealthy and inhumane conditions in shameful camps.
Extraordinarily cruel is the recommendation to implement the expulsions in progress and maintain the processes to that end, as well as the recommendation to individualize the internments.
The EESC Workers' Group reminds the Commission that internment is a precautionary measure restricting freedom of movement whose sole purpose is to execute the expulsion: when such expulsion is not possible (due to confinement, closure of borders, due to hygiene measures, etc.) Internment is illegal and must be immediately suspended with the release of the person.
The EESC Workers' Group is openly dissatisfied with the EC position and the content of the communication, and calls for the responsibility and humanity of the EU institutions in times of crisis against a virus that knows no borders, nationalities or legal situations in the EU.