Pittella: a 'European Migrant's Day' to force EU to build up a common European migrant's policy
On the first anniversary of the Lampedusa tragedy, where on the third of October 2013, about 360 women, men and children coming from Africa died in the Mediterranean sea in attempts to reach European soil, the president of the Socialists and Democrats, Gianni Pittella, asked for the institution of a "European Migrant's Day" in order not only to remember, but to force member states to build up a genuine common European migrant's policy.
"360 bodies; 360 migrants from the poorest African regions dead; women, children and men; a tragedy for all humanity; a tragedy that horrified the whole world; all of us watching those terrifying images shouted: no more!
"One year has passed since the Lampedusa tragedy. Since then nothing has changed. The Mediterranean Sea still represents a bleeding cemetery for hundreds of migrants that everyday take the risk to reach European soil to leave behind war and poverty. Europe missed the call. European Institutions expressed deep sorrow, deep concerns and sincere regrets. Member states stressed their willingness to react and promised their commitment to be sure that the Lampedusa tragedy could not happen again. But nothing has changed.
"Everything has to change. Europe can no longer consider southern borders just as national borders. Europe needs a genuine common European migrant's policy with a real budget - not the current insufficient one - and dedicated tools to be effective. Selfishness of some member states should be abandoned to implement the possibility to share among several states the responsibility of migrant flow. Europe needs a more effective asylum policy which could already help seekers in their country of origin. Europe also needs a common border police service capable of managing the illegal traffic of human beings.
"Therefore, as Socialists and Democrats we will demand the EU Commission, and in particular Dimitris Avramopoulos, the commissioner-designate for migration, to inaugurate the third of October as the 'European Migrant's Day'. A proposal inspired not only to remember the Lampedusa tragedy but to force member states to finally face this common problem together with common tools.
"There is only one way to commemorate this tragedy: turn rhetoric, vague words and deep concern into a genuine and comprehensive European migrant's policy. Europe wake up!"