Today, several European NGOs issued a public statement denouncing the catastrophic situation in the Mediterranean – that appears increasingly like a mass grave on the southern border of the European Union – and the absolute small-mindedness of political leaders in the light of the pathetic agreements reached in their last summit.  Along with a list of 12 urgent measures to be taken, the text says that Europe cannot “Europe cannot torpedo its humanist foundations in order to give in to the racist and fascist ultra-right with a policy that once again criminalizes foreigners, migrants, those who are different and those in solidarity with them.”

The statement is open to support from European NGOs, while the organisers, the humanist association, Convergence of Cultures, together with the signatories, consider what kind of protest actions to take.

To endorse the statement on behalf of an association, send an email to José Antonio Díaz

Statement on the EU Migration Summit

In view of the agreements reached on migration and asylum at the last summit of European leaders held on the 28th and 29th of June, we, the undersigned organisations, express our firm rejection of the content and substance of the resolutions adopted at a meeting, which was expected to provide a necessary and hopeful response to the vital situation that thousands of human beings, forced to leave their places of origin, are suffering.

At that summit, agreements were reached, which in reality are not agreements to anything, giving free rein to each country to do what it wants; agreements that reinterpret the right to asylum, modifying rules to cover up the continuous violations of international and European law in matters of asylum and reception; agreements taken from the point of view of dealing with “human flesh”, thereby giving way to the more regressive and xenophobic approaches that are beginning to emerge in several countries of the Union; agreements that ignore the clamour of the majority of the population in solidarity with migrants and the willingness of hundreds of towns and cities willing to welcome them there.

But perhaps the most shameful thing is that, while many human beings are dying in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean, European leaders centred their discussions on whether to create ‘disembarkation platforms’ within Europe or whether to do so in third countries. There was no self-criticism, no reflection on the responsibility that Europe has had in the generation of conflict; no recognition of the plundering that Europe has carried out and continues to carry out in those countries from where migrants come; no review of its lucrative policy of invasions (as NATO members) and arms sales, which ends up supplying the countries in conflicts from where people flee today.

They basically talked about where to place “disembarkation platforms”, in other words, prisons for foreigners or, more accurately, concentration camps, with the ultimate aim of returning migrants to their precarious countries of origin. It is one more atrocious and dehumanizing step in the direction of the already questioned “Immigration Detention Centres”. Europe cannot torpedo its humanist foundations in order to give in to the racist and fascist ultra-right with a policy that once again criminalizes foreigners, migrants, those who are different and those in solidarity with them, either inside or outside the region.

Human life is sacred and, in the conviction that there will be no progress if it is not for all and by all, we, the undersigned organisations, urge European governments to give a coherent and urgent response by taking measures such as:

  • Dismantling all immigration detention centres and abandoning all attempts to create prisons for migrants in any form.
  • Eliminating ‘fences’ in different countries of the Union.
  • On the contrary, moving towards the elimination of borders, which only exist to separate the poor and have no reality for capital and the increasingly scandalously rich minority of the planet.
  • Preventing the taxes of European citizens from being used for ‘border surveillance’, the ‘outsourcing’ of borders and the creation of ‘prison-platforms’. We propose that these funds be targeted to other areas, such as the reception of these human beings arriving in Europe.
  • Ending the criminalization of migrants and refugees. No human being is illegal!
  • Ceasing the criminalisation of NGOs and aid workers who put their efforts into saving human lives, as well as penalising those countries that hinder their work (as in the case of the continuous sabotage of the humanitarian ships Aquarius, Lifeline and Open Arms).
  • Investigating these policies and considering them as crimes against humanity.
  • Enabling legal entry channels into Europe for a real and effective fight against the mafia groups that speculate on the trade in human beings. Not only by creating ‘humanitarian corridors’, but, above all, by providing documents for legal entry into Europe.
  • Creating a policy of reparation to those countries which Europe has been ransacking for centuries.
  • Comprehensively controlling arms sales to countries in conflict, be these sales made directly or indirectly via third countries.
  • Stopping to follow US orders, through NATO; stopping the occupation of territories and the bombing of populations who are forced to flee in order to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
  • Scrupulous compliance with the Declaration of Human Rights as well as international laws on asylum and migration.

In the meantime, we call on people to maintain this spirit of solidarity which is rooted in our best European humanist traditions. We must continue to give a lesson in dignity to our shameful political leaders by working with the tens of thousands of citizens who are offering their homes and with the neighbourhood networks that are being set up to give urgent attention to those who arrive in their cities, as well as by supporting the new generation of leaders who, in their towns and cities, are taking on the responsibilities that national governments and European institutions are incapable of doing.


Convergence of Cultures

Madrid, 3rd July, 2018

Signed by:

Convergence of Cultures
Redes Cristianas
The Evangelical Church of Spain
Energia per i Diritti Umani Onlus – Rome
Diritti al Cuore Onlus – Rome
Salute Migrante – Rome
Pressenza International Press Agency
The Humanist Women’s Association for Nonviolence
FICNOVA, The International Active Nonviolence Film Festival
Humanists for the Universal Basic Income
Coalición de Tendencias Clasista (CTC-VZLA)
Communities of “Silo’s Message” Villaverde, Vallecas, Alcalá de Henares, Leganés, Madrid (“Comunidad la Realidad Interna”, “Comunidad La mirada interna”); Comunidad de “El Mensaje de Silo” Llinars del Vallés (Barcelona), Comunidad de “El Mensaje de Silo” de Gracia (Barcelona)
World without Wars and Violence, Greece
Asociacion Cultural y Social “Puentes No Muros”
Convergence of Cultures, Chile
Humanist Party, Spain
Humanist Party, Belgium
Humanist Party, Italy
International Humanist Party
Eleonora Forenza, MEP of Rifondazione Comunista-Potere al Popolo