European Commissioner Malmstrom's decision to support the 'Mare Nostrum' programme in the Mediterranean Sea – strengthening EU action and funding through the FRONTEX PLUS initiative – is a welcome first step says the ETUC.
Luca Visentini, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC, said "There is a humanitarian crisis taking place in the Mediterranean Sea with thousands of people putting their lives at risk to escape poverty, and in some cases armed conflicts, for a better life in the EU. Italy and other Mediterranean member states cannot be left alone to face this huge flow of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea."
"Patrolling and search and rescue is important, but not enough" added Visentini. "It should be a top priority for the new European Commission to propose a new and comprehensive EU approach to asylum and migration."
"There needs to be more effort put jointly into preventing trafficking, including in countries of origin, especially Libya, and the EU should ensure more solidarity and responsibility between member states in recognising and resettling asylum seekers by revising its Dublin Regulation."