Petition launched for EU to help refugees at Turkish-Greek border

Migrants, who are part of a group who arrived in the previous days after crossing part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, wait for an identification process before being transported to the mainland on a Greek Navy vessel from the port of Mytilene, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Elias Marcou

MEP Sven Giegold has launched a petition in favour of migrant protection with regards to the “human catastrophe” taking place on the Turkish-Greek border.

A press release issued by Giegold says that after President Erdoğan of Turkey opened the border to Greece, thousands of refugees set out to apply for asylum in the EU. In Greece, the police used violence to prevent people from entering the country. The Greek government declared that this policy of deterrence was required in order to defend the EU’s external border. At the same time, Greece announced that it would suspend the right to asylum. For months, more than 40,000 people have been stuck in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands. The situation on the islands is no longer sustainable, Giegold insisted.

“Right-wing groups are threatening journalists and aid organisations, and these are not being protected by the authorities. A further escalation of the situation can only be prevented by a quick response from the EU member states.”

The European Parliament member said that the European Union has a duty to help Greece deal with the situation in every way possible as humanity and order must now be the guiding principles of the EU. He called this a European emergency.

The petition calls for the implementation of the following:

  • An allocation of refugees from Greece and the Aegean Islands to be taken by EU member states.
  • European Governments can no longer block the family reunification of refugees currently in Greece with their relatives in EU member states. 
  • People who seek protection within the EU must not be deported without an individual review of their asylum application having taken place.
  • Police violence against refugees must stop.

You may access the petition here.