Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has stated that the European Union needs revolutionary change in its approach to the ongoing humanitarian refugee crisis.

Speaking from Brussels, Martina Anderson MEP stated;

“A humanitarian crisis has existed at the borders of the EU for years. The spread of armed conflict across North Africa and the Middle East has led directly to the current humanitarian crisis.

“Several EU member states were directly involved in these conflicts and have a moral responsibility to offer all necessary assistance.

“The alarming practices of the worst excesses of the European Union has been to close borders, build fences, arm FRONTEX, confiscate property, detain, fingerprint and scapegoat refugees for having the audacity to try and survive. 

“Safe and legal routes need to be immediately opened, allowing each member state to play their fair part in addressing this crisis.”

MEP Anderson, a member of the European Parliament committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs continued;

“Since the start of this year alone, 320 people have died in one small part of the Aegean, fleeing war in Syria, Iraq, southern Turkey and Afghanistan.

“Sinn Féin welcomes today’s ceasefire announcement in Syria and we welcome all steps to resolve conflict by peaceful, inclusive discussions.

“The Turkish government must immediately halt military operations against the civilian population of the Kurdish region and take necessary steps towards a meaningful, lasting ceasefire and peace initiative.

“Sinn Féin also welcomes the initial postponement of the eviction notice served on the Calais refugee camp, referred to as the ‘Jungle’. Evicting asylum seekers and destroying the camp will only make conditions worse for those people. I support fully the charities and residents of the camp who are challenging the eviction notice.    

“This weekend demonstrations are being held across Europe in support of the concept of ‘Safe and Legal’ routes being opened for refugees and asylum seekers.

“Not only would this concept allow states to record and adequately look after refugees that enter their territory, it could see the end of unnecessary deaths in the Mediterranean and Aegean.

“The European Union needs revolutionary change in its approach, away from the indifference of ‘Fortress Europe’ towards safe passage and a human approach to the humanitarian crisis at its borders.” ENDS